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When Your Employees Attend The Corporate Prom

May 8, 2017

You might think this post is simply an excuse to post pictures of my kids and brag on them. . .Uh. . .I’ll get back to you on that.

Prom happened for my kids’ high school last week. Some of my kids date a lot, some hardly at all. How I respond to them will have a large impact in the future.

How is your team doing? Are they green and inexperienced? Are you trying to fill some important holes? Is your team completely up-to-speed and performing at a high level?

I worked on a team where the manager did everything she could to attract quality people, and then did everything she could to prevent those people from leaving. It was the corporate equivalent of a honey pot. Now, you might think that’s a good strategy. After all, who wants their employees to leave?

You should.

It’s tempting to think of your team being made up of individual employees. That’s the wrong way to look at it. Instead, think of the individuals that you work with make up a team. If you think those two statements are equivalent, go back and read them again.

You, as a manager are responsible for managing a group of individuals, not a team. A team isn’t even a thing. Not in the sense of a thing that can act or do anything. It’s a group of individuals. “The Seattle Mariners” baseball team can’t win a single game. Don’t believe me? How many games did the Seattle Sonics basketball team win last season? In case, you are not a sports fan, I’ll tell you: none. The team is just a name with some records, a World Championship from 1979 and that’s it. The players all went to Oklahoma a few years ago and joined the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The players on a team can win and lose games. Your team is made up of players. If you try to manage them as a team instead of individuals, you will make your high performers frustrated and you will give your weaker members a place to hide.

Realize that you have a group of individuals, and as such, you should promote them. You should be their biggest cheerleader. You should coach them when needed, and stay out of their way the rest of the time. But, ultimately, you should recognize and praise them.

And if that recognition and praise leads to them getting promoted, or poached by another team or company? That’s great. If your team becomes known as a place that high performers get recognized and promoted, you won’t have to worry about recruiting. People will be coming to you and trying to get on your team. You’ll literally have your pick.

But, if you attract those high performers and then you limit their opportunities for growth, or you take credit for their work? No one will want to come to work for you. The woman that I know who tried that found that although she was responsible for some exciting projects, it was almost impossible for her to attract quality people. They stayed away in droves because they didn’t want to restrict their career.

So, what’s all this have to do with my kids?

Easy, when prom comes around, every one of my sons is the handsomest guy there. Each of my daughters is the most beautiful girl.

I only say it because it’s true. . .(And maybe I want to brag just a little.)

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

One Comment
  1. Patricia Nelson permalink

    What beautiful handsome enchanting children!!! Lucky you. Sure wish we lived closer to see them all dressed up like that!!!

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