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Budding talent!

Scenario – 1: Young talent joins an organisation fresh from college – what does the Manager do? The wide–eyed and enthusiastic recruit is dumped in the hands of an unwilling old hand who happens to be around that moment – the Manager walks away gleefully, rid of his burden. The veteran has been instructed to give the new man an overview of company, products and process. If he is not otherwise occupied he may take the man out for a few sales calls. In the evening the not-so-exuberant young man trudges home laden with brochures and process manuals. If he is lucky this routine may continue for 2 or 3 days; but it’s most likely that business that month is below par and the recruit finds his honeymoon cut short. He is given a target and sent out to the big wide world. Practically from Day-1 he is expected to perform miracles.

Scenarios – 2: An experienced hand joins after a successful stint in another company – this time the Manager deigns to spend time with him; thanks to his experience and track record the Manager feels obliged to share some of his valuable time with the new recruit. But the story after that remains the same. In this instance the new hand is expected to run for results as soon as the briefing is completed, after all he has been a performer and is probably trained by his previous organisations to deal with clients. The countdown to perform definitely starts from Day-1.

Where has the Manager gone wrong?

  1. It is good to have expectation for your resources, but let them be realistic.
  2. Reciting the product and process information to the new recruit is not training.
  3. Taking a recruit to the market and permitting him to witness couple of sales calls is not Sales Experience.
  4. Success in another organisation, or with another product, does not automatically translate to success in the new role.
  5. Loading a recruit with a target and starting the performance clock before providing adequate inputs can be extremely discouraging.

What should the Manager do?

  1. Take time to blood new talent – give more training, not less.
  2. Permit the new hands to make calls without the pressure of targets – let them learn the skills first and then ask them to perform.
  3. Manage the initial phase closely – be lenient in the first month and tighten the screws over a period of time. Think long – term!
  4. Encourage experienced hands by recognizing their previous success; give them time to settle down – what worked there may not work here. Seek their inputs where appropriate.
  5. Manager’s involvement is critical in the initial phase – by way of training, coaching, support and recognition.
  6. Recognise and celebrate early success of the raw recruits.
  7. Have a program to bring all new recruits up to speed before you state your expectations –no output is possible without giving the right inputs.

It is critical that new hands, raw or experienced, get inducted into the system through a structured program which pushes them to expected levels of performance over a period of time – stretch too soon and they may snap. Organisations need to initiate the right practices to nurture and grow new talent or careers will flounder even before they are formed … don’t nip a flower in the bud, give it time to blossom!

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  1. Jamy
    May 15, 2012 at 12:16 am

    So true Jay… I sorta went through the second phase not too far back, but found a wonderful mentor in a visiting Senior Manager from another resort for 45 days who has since been my most trusted guide. Great read again! I take it as a compliment that the person who was supposed to train me felt insecure and thought I was going to sideline her..:)

    • JayadevM
      May 15, 2012 at 2:25 am

      Dear Jamy,

      Excellent anecdote.

      You have highlighted a big issue there – many Managers go slow on training, coaching and delegating fearing loss of power and position. They think the junior’s performance will put them in the shade. Such attitudes can chase away a talented employees from the organisation – they would seek other organisations that would permit them to use their potential.

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