Editor’s note: This is a guest post from the Namely Team and originally appeared The Namely Blog.
When companies need to fill a position, the instinct is typically to start a job search. However, it can take time and resources to fill an open role, and oftentimes your current workforce is filled with a wealth of untapped potential.
A recent Gallup report reveals that 67 percent of employees are not fully engaged in their work. Even worse, 18 percent are actively disengaged, which could prove to be a serious impairment to your team’s productivity, culture, and overall success.
We already know that engaged employees outperform their disengaged counterparts, so imagine the kind of talent and innovation your employees might demonstrate if they felt actively engaged in their work.
Employee development benefits every aspect of the organization by lightening the load of the recruiting team, inspiring retention, and filling the promotion pipeline. Not to mention, a more productive and engaged workforce is better for business.
Below are a few ways you can use employee development to uncover hidden talent in your employees.
One of the most common, sometimes nonverbal, messages managers fail to hear is that employees are bored. Chances are that your employees won’t tell you outright, so if the work they are given isn’t challenging enough, productivity will naturally drop.
Perhaps your employee is highly technical, but stuck doing simple administrative tasks when he or she could be troubleshooting your company’s software problems. Maybe another employee spends a lot of time updating spreadsheets when they have the skillset to design slides for your next presentation.
Pay attention to how employees act when given such tasks. If they lack excitement for the work, it might be time to provide more of a challenge.
Assign Multiple Projects
One way to uncover hidden talent and keep employees engaged is to assign them multiple projects that require different skills. This gives them the chance to try new things that they could actually excel at.
The results may be surprising when you find your research assistant can also help design your website, or your receptionist can write compelling grant proposals. As you uncover a new range of skills in your workforce, you may reconsider bringing in new hires to fill the perceived skill gap.
Recognize Employee Talents
Recognition is one of the best ways to boost employee engagement. Use your company newsfeed or communication system to appreciate employees publicly. Individuals will be more motivated to go above and beyond when they know that others will notice.
Encourage Side Projects
The 24-hour hackathon is becoming more prevalent among today’s innovative companies. Employees have 24 hours to work on any project they want to help improve their company’s product or service, no matter how unrelated to their position.
Encouraging out-of-the-box innovation allows employees to tap into their passions and work on something they find truly engaging. Unlocking that passion allows your employees’ true talents to shine.
The talent your company needs could already be working for you. Use quality of hire to help identify and promote talented employees from within. Employee development can reduce the high cost of bringing on a new hire, and instead support the employees you already have.