Put me in coach! Getting employees easy "reps" is important to their development.
This past Sunday marked the end of the NFL’s regular season and it was fascinating to see how teams played out the game, which is in some cases was “meaningless”. Some chose to rest their starters and or veteran players, while others maintained a full speed ahead, approach.
In one game, the starters were playing but the score was so lopsided in their favor, by the third quarter the coach inserted all their backups and role players. This led me to think about perspective, and how it plays out in the office.
These backups could have thought, “Oh, the starters are coming out because the team can’t risk an injury to them but it’s ok for me to play?!” This is a negative perspective. (even if there is a bit of truth to it.)
A more positive approach is, “I get to have real game-time experience but not necessarily in a pressure-filled situation.” “I’ve spent all season practicing, now I get to display my skills.”
The coach is likely thinking, “I am going to let these players gain some confidence by putting them into a game in which they will probably have some success. I am also going to see which players are able to capitalize on this opportunity and which aren’t.”
As a manager, it’s important to give your employees small successes to help build their confidence. Let them do a presentation at a small gathering to hone their presentation skills. Let an outgoing friendly employee oversee employee onboarding. This can also give you insight into their management potential.
Employees, be sure to capitalize on these opportunities and not to see them as additional meaningless tasks. Your manager is most probably watching to see how you react to tasks that sit outside your designated area of responsibility. An employee who is eager to do more and get involved is displaying leadership signs which could lead to promotion opportunities.
Helping your employees create small victories often leads to a winning culture all around!