As leaders, most of us probably think we know our teams and their capabilities pretty well. We interview with the intent of matching skills and competencies to job descriptions, and we manage performance based on employees meeting the requirements of their jobs as described.
And yet, 62% of employees feel that their skills are often underutilized, according to a survey by Lee Hecht Harrison, a career transition and talent development consulting firm.
Employees who do not have the opportunity to fully use their abilities tend to be bored and/or unhappy, less productive, and more likely to look for employment elsewhere. This, in turn, impacts the organization because disengaged employees are not achieving their full potential. Leaders often contribute to this by failing to recognize, explore and/or leverage strengths that employees have beyond what their current role requires.
So how do leaders discover and unlock the untapped potential on their teams?
In my work using the Lumina Spark assessment with teams, we’ve been able to demonstrate tremendous benefits when it comes to finding the “hidden gems” of talent on teams. Lumina Spark looks at three personas: 1) the Underlying, which is how a person behaves most naturally; 2) the Everyday, which is how a person shows up at work based on their role and what’s expected of them; and 3) the Overextended, which is how someone behaves under stress.
Recognizing the Underlying persona and identifying the qualities associated with that persona can reveal some undiscovered talent that may have been dormant because it wasn’t required in the current work environment. For example, a person may show a high degree of “imaginative” in their underlying persona but show much less of that quality in their Everyday persona because in their current role they work more with facts and data. Now, let’s say the team has stalled in coming up with a new approach to a particular process or task. Leveraging that team member’s untapped imaginative quality provides an opportunity to get the team unstuck. Not only will it help the team, it will help the individual become more engaged and motivated by having the opportunity to use a strength that has been idle.
Take a look at your current team initiatives. What are your goals, challenges, and needs? Are there hidden gems within your team that could raise your effectiveness in meeting these goals? In addressing some of your challenges? As an answer to your needs?
Would you recognize the strengths someone on your team might bring to the table if, in fact, those strengths seem opposite to their currently recognized strengths and job role definition? Are you aware of how to find the power of passion for your individual team members? If you can tap into this, you don’t ever need to worry about employee engagement.
You can learn the answers to these and more questions and begin to propel your team forward with Lumina Spark. Contact me at email@example.com or 888.827.8855 to learn more.