There is a chronic problem with many managers – as soon as someone is hired, their past accomplishments are forgotten and they become boxed in by their new role.
Good leaders resist this temptation and celebrate their employee’s past achievements and experiences.
Don’t feel threatened when they talk about their past. Value their fresh eyes, consult them about their previous accomplishments, and you will bring out the best in that employee.
Do each of the other team members know the past achievements of their teammates? If not, how will they know who to come to for advice?
I once learned that one of my direct reports had authored a best-selling book that sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Few people knew about that achievement so no one was coming to him for advice as an expert on writing and publishing. What a missed opportunity!
Everyone on your team has an interesting past. They’ve accomplished things that they are proud of and rightly so. They may not be a best-selling author but maybe they were a star athlete in High School where they learned some unique lessons about self-discipline and teamwork.
Maybe in their last job, they accomplished something that no one had ever done before. Don’t let that be forgotten the moment they begin their new role.
Find out what each of your direct reports are most proud of and celebrate it with them, make sure your team knows about the strengths and background of each member, and see them as more than what their current title indicates.
I guarantee that they will feel more valued, respected, and engaged. They’ll love their job and they’ll perform better than they ever would have if they were boxed in by the constraints of their current title.