How To Uncover Hidden Talent in Your Employees

When companies need to fill a position, often their first thought is to post a job vacancy, ask around, or even scope out who they might be able to poach from the competition. But, what if the talent they need is right in front of them?

 

A recent Dale Carnegie study shows that 71 percent of employees are not fully engaged in their work. Even worse, 26 percent are actively disengaged, meaning their negativity could prove to be a serious threat to your company culture and overall success.

 

Companies with engaged employees outperform others by 202 percent. Think of what talents your employees might demonstrate if they were engaged in their work.

 

One of the reasons employees feel disengaged is they feel their talents are not being utilized. Therefore, companies should seek to improve employee engagement by inspiring the talent they already have.

 

Here are a few ways you can uncover hidden talent in your employees:

 

Put An End to Boredom

One of the most common, sometimes nonverbal, messages managers fail to hear is their employees are bored. Chances are, your employee will never tell you this outright for fear of appearing lazy. What might be happening is the work they are given isn’t challenging enough, or of no interest to them.

 

Perhaps your employee is a highly technical person stuck doing simple, menial tasks, when he could be troubleshooting your company’s software problems. Maybe another employee spends most of her time updating spreadsheets when she has the talent to design slides for your next presentation.

 

If your employee acts disengaged or makes statements such as, “I’ve already done this a million times,” or “same thing every day,” it might be time to give him more of a challenge.

 

Assign Multiple Projects

One way you can uncover hidden talent and keep your employees engaged is to assign them multiple projects that require different skills. Employees will get the chance to try things they might even not be aware they are good at.

 

The results may be surprising when you find your research assistant can also help design your website or your receptionist can write grant proposals. Still thinking of hiring an outside web developer or grant writer?

 

Recognize Employees for What They Do Best

Recognition is one of the best ways to boost employee engagement. When people feel appreciated, they are more motivated to complete tasks to the best of their abilities because they know people will notice.

 

In a busy company, how can you distinguish your top performers? Thankfully, performance management software is now a part of integrated human capital management systems like Namely. You can use our performance management feature to track assignment completions, goal fulfillment, and print reports showing it all.

 

With our software, you can also increase employee engagement by sending out company updates to share announcements of accomplishments, so employee recognition spans company-wide.

 

Welcome Side Projects

The 24-hour hackathon is becoming more prevalent among today’s most creative companies. Companies are giving employees 24 hours to work on any project they want, no matter how unrelated to their position.

 

Some tech companies allow employees to work on anything that relates to their products, such as building an app or plug-in. Other companies, like MongoDB, turn the hackathon into a competition, awarding prizes to the most successful project completion.

 

Activities like this prompt innovation and inspire employees, allowing them to work on something they are really passionate about. Unlocking that passion will allow your employees’ true talents to shine.

 

So, instead of hiring someone new to fill an open position, why not promote a talented employee from within? They are already integrated into the company, familiar with the culture, rules, and daily operations. The learning curve could save you big in training alone.

 

The talent your company needs could already be working for you. All you need to do is inspire your employees to show it.