Soon, the latest wave of eager, book-schooled graduates will be crashing onto your industry’s shores. With eyes focused on their organization’s long-term success, decision-makers and strategists have already determined which departments can take on fresh, inexperienced talent and which simply cannot. Making room for enthusiastic new hires often compels managers to implement changes to their workplace; it also propels many to take an active role in growing the business by promoting their existing employee superstars.
How readily can your staff accommodate new situations, new members, new business practices? When considering an employee for promotion, be sure the person is not only productive but also ready to take on leadership responsibilities. Some people are great at what they do, but they have no real desire to move into leadership. They set modest personal goals and like working with very little pressure.
People like this are often content performing the same job year after year, or want to grow as an individual contributor versus manager. They’re loyal, diligent workers that are often also quite accommodating. They may heartily agree to take on a promotion only because you want them to. The result: an unduly stressed, unmotivated, unhappy employee – disastrous in a role where they are supposed to motivate and engage others.
You may come to the disturbing realization that your superstar teller is now ineffective. It’s important to know not only your team’s abilities, but also their career goals. Don’t make the mistake of imposing managerial career objectives on someone who simply does not have them. Fill positions of authority with people who are enterprising, ambitious, assertive and self-confident.
Remember, promoting a great person into the wrong job will create stress, confrontations, confusion, worry and resentment. Make sure you understand your needs and analyze your employees to help ensure a good mutual fit.
Unexpected situations can arise and grow beyond our control. A health issue or family crisis can erupt. A new interest or sudden desire to cast aside the pressures of business and pursue long-held personal dreams has compelled countless high-level executives and managers to do what they never thought they would do: step down from their job. Not to mention the wave of managerial staff reaching retirement age and fully intend to retire. Some businesses experience a smooth, cost effective transition of power by implementing their existing succession plan. Others, too often, will face pandemonium and lost money because there is no such plan in place.
What are the criteria for positions of leadership in your organization? Does your current team meet them?
Preserving the good name, solid reputation and positive image of your credit union is essential. It is critical to provide your customers, as well as your staff, with an ongoing sense of confidence about the future of your organization regardless of who is at the helm.
Your short-term goal should be to develop a pool of leaders. Find workers who show potential to make independent decisions, act on their own behalf and take action. Doing so, however, can be more difficult than it seems.
For example, an employee who is openly enthusiastic, talkative and comfortable in the spotlight might seem like a good choice to lead others. Be careful! The leadership ability you think you see may really be social assertiveness, an ability to strut before an audience. Make sure there are other signs of determination, ambition and resolve. People whose greatest strength is their social savvy often talk a bigger game than they can actually play.
The effects of poor leadership can be widespread, from loss of customers to low morale. The opportunity to avoid these mishaps is yours. Know your needs, avoid guessing, and learn the work habits, objectives and personalities of your staff. The Omnia Profile, a top employee behavioral assessment tool, can quickly, easily and objectively highlight the leadership strengths, challenges and potential of your existing staff and new hires.
The future of your credit union is in your hands and depends on the strategies you have in place today. There is no turning back, no second chance and no margin for error!