Stopping your staff from withering away

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A few weeks ago whilst browsing the garden centre in a bid to break the lockdown boredom, I spied a sorry looking hydrangea shrub. It’s fellow plants were thriving alongside it, sprouting new leaves, abundant growth and heavy blooms that immediately attracted the attention of the gardeners browsing the displays.

This little fella though was neglected and in the shadow of the others, getting little sustenance and water and when it had managed to absorb some much needed sunshine, it had suffered with burnt leaves.

Asking the assistant how much it was (its showy colleagues were £14.99), he said, I could take it – it was only going to end up on the compost as it was beyond saving.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I brought it back home and set about trying to revive it. Cutting back all the dead leaves and branches, soaking overnight in water, planting in the ground with a good mix of compost, feed and in sunlight, but not burning heat, it has, over the last couple of weeks started shooting bright green leaves (see above). It will take a while for him to get sturdy enough to bloom, but he’s on the right pathway with a bit of care, attention and the right setting. Monty Don, eat your heart out!

But it got me thinking – how often do we see this in members of staff at work? If they are not cared for in the right way, overshadowed by louder, more confident colleagues who take all the limelight and particularly if they are put in the wrong setting, they end up withering and not producing their best work. So much of their energy is drained away in getting through the day, they cannot flourish and really show their full potential.

In these unusual times, we have the opportunity to really look at how our teams are performing. Who needs extra help? Who may need to practise skills they don’t usually get the opportunity to develop? Who needs to be moved to another section or department in order for them to grow, develop and thrive?

For me, there was nothing to lose by getting something for free, sticking it in the ground, doing a bit of feeding and watering and hoping for the best. If my little hydrangea had continued to wither and turn up its toes, I would have been disappointed but nothing more.

We cannot say the same for our people – they are too valuable and the greatest resource in any business. Do we need to look at the environment they are in and make some subtle, simple changes in order for them to become strong, stable and perennial people in our organisation?

It is beholden on business owners, directors, managers and team leaders to take time to assess whether everyone in our business is receiving the same care and attention to reach their full potential.

#peopleskills #development #potential #training #assessment

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