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Employees are being asked to take charge of their careers and their learning. Organizations are training employees to be self-managing. I believe one of the benefits to this approach is that employees can become real rock stars.
I know some people don’t like the label rock star. That’s fine. Call it what you want: subject matter expert (SME), guru, ninja, etc. The point is, employees have the ability to become high performers. Organizations can give employees the resources and support to control their professional careers. Let them do it. And don’t subject them to some old-fashioned notion of what rock stars should be.
Share with candidates and new hires what the future holds. We’re often so focused on the job that we’re hiring a candidate for that we forget to talk about the future. And we want candidates to know they have a future with the company. It’s equally important for recruiters and hiring managers to let candidates know that transfer and promotional opportunities do exist.
Create development opportunities (not just training). Development programs focus on the work employees will have in the future (versus training which focuses on the work the employee currently performs). Organizations should think ahead when it comes to learning and make investments in employee development.
Recognize exceptional performance. When employees perform like rock stars, tell them. Trust me, they know when they knock it out of the park and it hurts when the company doesn’t recognize it. These are the moments when disengagement and discontent can surface. It doesn’t cost the company a thing to tell an employee they did an awesome job.
Support an employee’s professional goals. While no one wants it to happen, sometimes the organization isn’t able to give an employee what they need to accomplish their career goals. If that’s the case, help the employee find their next opportunity. Yes, they will leave. But they’ll do so as a raving fan. Who knows? Maybe at some point in the future, they will want to return.
When organizations allow each employee to become a rock star, there’s no limit to the number of rock stars a company can have. And that is a very good thing.