Hidden gems are team members who have been typecast in a role but have innate characteristics that would enable them to excel outside of their traditional scope of work or in other areas of the business.
What we know about the new generation of talent (think: Gen-Y and Gen-Z) is that they are incredibly creative thinkers, who are adept at finding faster and more unique ways to complete tasks. We also know that the best leaders in this business have the ability to draw out that type of new-age thinking from even the most seasoned talent on a team.
Identifyingthe hidden gemsis critical for two reasons. First, it can help solve the “engagement” challenge we have in our industry; employees no longer feel pressured to stay at a firm where they are unhappy. If they don’t feel challenged, if they don’t’ feel connected to their work, if they don’t feel like management cares about their development and fulfillment…they will leave and they will leave quickly. Secondly, it adds to the sustainability and durability of the business; the founders can’t be the only ones solving problems and making crucial decisions. In other words, imagine how much better your organization would run if you were leveraging ALL of the creative and critical thinking skills that exist on the team. (P.s. Most of it is currently lying dormant in the minds of folks who don’t regularly have to tap those skills.)
Here are four common hidden gems you can find on a team.
People who have the ability to think outside the box to solve problems. Always pleasantly surprising others around them, they may choose to implement their own methods rather than follow standard operating procedures.
Where to find them? Look for the person who you usually turn to to put out the proverbial office fire.
How to elevate them? Make them the unofficial “Efficiency Officer.” Challenge them with quarterly question-based projects like, “How can we cut down our working hours but get the same if not more productivity from our service team?”
People whose personalities can adapt quickly, they tend to get along with everyone on a team.
Where to find them? Look for the person most likely to organize an office off-site or team-building session.
How to elevate them? Invite them to a client event and task them with asking for introductions. Have make note of how they shift and adjust when working with different types of people, and then use that information to build psychographic profiles for your various target markets.
The Silent Leaders
People who can quietly inspire others on the team; they aren’t necessarily the loudest in the room, but they command respect from others through their actions and behaviors.
Where to find them? Look for the person you might consider “the most consistent and reliable” in the organization.
How to elevate them? Develop them. Provide them with coaching and professional development around how to identify and cultivate talent on a team. They may serve as a great player-coach or manager one day.
The Worker Bees
People who display the same work ethic with or without metrics or schedules. They march to the beat of their own drum when it comes to how to get the work done, but they always get it done.
Where to find them? Look for the person who comes in at 9:15 but is working on a Saturday.
How to elevate them? Reward them with “flexibility” as a bonus. Additionally, allow them to continually create new standards and procedures for the office and teach others how to implement.
How many can you find on your own team?