During quarterly conversations when you get to “next steps”, have a meaningful conversation around developing the right people who are in the right seats, which I believe is the number one people issue. This was pointed out recently in an EOS session when a member of the leadership team said that he was spending most of his valuable time as a boss dealing with three common people issues: Right People who were in the Wrong Seats, Wrong People who were in the Right Seats and people who were a bad fit on both counts, leaving him very little time to focus on right people, right seats. Often, it’s these people who are ignored.
There are three ways to grow and develop direct reports who are right people, right seats:
First, is to focus your time and attention on helping them improve their skills in their current position, giving them added responsibility, an opportunity to pick up more knowledge or be a member of a project team to improve a process or a procedure. Develop them in position. There’s nothing like gaining practical experience to develop skills.
Second, is making a lateral move. The first one could be within your department. As someone who’s leading the warehouse effort, give a “picker” an opportunity to move to a different position as a “shipper” to further develop their knowledge and skills and perhaps give them an opportunity to lead a project team. Later, you could offer them a lateral move into another department. If they’ve done a good job of learning how things work in the warehouse, give them an opportunity to learn and develop in a different role in customer service.
A third opportunity for development is to promote them. Hopefully, you’ve seen enough of this person’s performance to determine if they’re ready for promotion to a supervisory capacity where they can lead, manage and create an environment of accountability with their own group of direct reports.
Eventually, you get to a point where they can replace you as the head of the warehouse giving you an opportunity to move up in the organization. Three helpful ways to develop people: in position, a lateral move, or a promotion. But, do it in that order.