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Helping a Team Member Who Wants to Do More

Sometimes we have team members who want to do more, but just don’t have the skills or experience needed. We don’t want to discourage them from taking on additional responsibilities, but also want to be careful since they don’t have the skills necessary and the risk may be too high. Here are a few suggestions and best practices for assisting those team members to take on additional responsibilities, build their skills and increase their knowledge and reduce the risk:

  • Partner the individual with another team member who is more senior and has the skills necessary to get the task complete – ask the senior team member to enable for the more junior team member to watch, learn and participate where he/she is able to do so.
  • Provide tasks that may be a bridge between what they do now and what they want to do, but are less risky and still enable for more responsibility and for developing skills and building knowledge.
  • Provide tasks that have a longer timeframe and for which you can provide oversight. This enables the individual to complete the task at a slower pace and you are a resource for questions or to resolve problems that may arise.
  • Arrange for training when possible, and where practical, so that the team member can begin to get the skills needed to take on additional responsibility.

Certainly, work with the team member to develop a plan for how they will get from where they are now to where they need to go. This may include doing any of the above as part of action steps. This will show to the individual that you are committed to their professional development.

Sometimes when the workplace is busy and the projects are piling up, we forgot that we need to nurture team members. The above are just a few simple suggestions to help to nurture committed team members to keep them engaged in the project, the workgroup, the department and the organization as a whole. Not much effort is required, but the benefits gained will be tremendous.