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Posted: 22nd September 2020
We are exploring how we can help our diverse population of leaders and managers to play to their strengths – and instead of constantly juggling the people and task priorities, whether (in some areas) appointing People Leaders whose sole priority is to coach/develop/mentor a pool of people in their areas – might liberate performance and potential.
Has anyone else explored this idea and either discounted it; or implemented it? Any stories or help would be great!
We have seen this approach, but we would careful that it’s not a way of letting them off the hook when it comes to leading their people! If the leaders role is to create the environment for people to do their best work, they do need to make time to be available for coaching, recognition, feedback, career, etc..and in our experience people want those conversations from their direct manager.
Of course they won’t all be perfect at it, and they do need to do it in their own style, so it might be good to have some trained experts (future leaders?) who could coach/support the leader rather than do it for them.
I would also get to the core of the issue before you decide what to do next by asking these three questions:
They combat this happening by running a system with two tracks: there’s a track for individual contributors, where you can go as high as you want within the system in your field, and a management track, with a personal choice as of which to go for. For those people who are wanting to progress in their career, but aren’t interested in managing people, they are able to still develop and advance for the company. They encourage people within the company to move around and try things where wanted, giving potential leaders the opportunity to try their hand at things with no pressure to their career. Upwork’s HR team leads a training program to help young managers, strongly depending on peer coaching and mentoring from more senior level leaders. If, after these programs, people realize the track is not for them, as they find often happens without input from leaders, the company are happy to let them take the other track. Upwork began formalizing this two track process around 3 years ago, and have found it’s been an impactful division, allowing people to test the waters, and have all the mentoring support they need to do so without pressure.
Not easy for you we know, but keep us posted on what you finally decide to do.
Disruptive HR Club Team
Great and really helpful response! Thank-you 🙂
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