Uncovering Your Organization’s Hidden Gems: The Ideal Team Players

January 4, 2023

We looked recently at how layoffs are happening across multiple industries as we emerge from the pandemic. It’s something organizations often do when they come up against underperformance: let employees go, until they get busy and increase revenue, then hire people again.

But there’s a different – and better – way to address underperformance. One that’s focused on long-term results. On understanding each employee and the contributions they can make. And it starts with assessments.

Especially post-COVID, we need to determine which of our employees didn’t get enough support, training, mentorship, performance management, or face-to-face time because we might discover they have potential and are really worth investing in.

Look for employees who are smart, humble, and hungry

We want to look for people whom Patrick Lencioni describes as ideal team players. People who are smart, humble, and hungry. Employees who:

  • Have technical skills – understand their roles, but also show an eagerness and ability to learn quickly.
  • Are coachable – listen to, ask questions about, and act on feedback.
  • Are team oriented – do what’s necessary to propel the whole team and organization forward, rather than focusing on their own, personal objectives.
  • Care about outcomes – work hard on challenging or difficult objectives, and want to grow and develop in their roles.

It’s an approach we consistently use at Impact Coaches. We look for people with significant expertise, who are willing to put in the effort, are interested in learning, who care about the impact their work has on the rest of the team. And the results are amazing.

The best employees implement innovative ideas, create change

Employees who have these ideal team player traits do a lot. They change systems and processes. They bring a new perspective to the company, see gaps – and fix them. They not only suggest innovations and come up with ideas that improve everything from efficiency and profitability to engagement and marketability, but run with and implement them. They’re excited by their work. It fuels them.

And this approach works for companies with 50 employees or 50,000. It simply requires everyone in a leadership position to take the time to assess and consider what each person on their team has to offer. And to be intentional and thoughtful about seeking out these key traits.

Has the employee shown they’re more focused on the company’s goals than they are on themselves? Have they demonstrated ambition, a desire to learn, an openness to being coached? And if the answer to all these questions is yes, they’re keepers.

You might have to go back and provide more training or mentorship because they didn’t get enough support over the last two years, but putting in that effort for these valuable employees is not only the right thing to do, it’s worth it. It can have positive, far-reaching impacts on the organization. And it creates significant change – for the better.

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