One person who has a grasp of what to look out for is Bill Duncan, Partner of Fifth Dimension, who use a novel approach combining magic and humour to aid the professional and personal development of workers, students and schoolchildren.
“It’s highly unlikely that top employees will come ‘ready-made’,” says Bill. “More often than not you’ll have to nurture their talents and coax the best out of them. However, by quickly recognising the signs that they have potential for development, you will be able to set them along the road to progress much earlier.”
“Employees are like stars,” believes Bill. “Not only do both come in different shapes and sizes, but they are all at different stages of their development cycle. Protostars are essentially ‘junior’ stars which may go on to become the more ‘senior’ Supergiants given the right combination of circumstances.”
And it’s only by looking at the UNIVERSE that you can identify those whose careers will go into orbit and those who will just burn out and fade away. Bill describes the qualities that you should be looking out for in employees to see if the have ‘the right stuff’:
Do have a good grasp of where they fit within the organisation, and how they contribute to the overall success (and failure)? “A sense of their place in the order of things usually means that they are aware of what is necessary to make the step to the next level. It will also help them relate to subordinates if they move up the career ladder, because they have an appreciation for the challenges that junior staff face,” says Bill.
“This isn’t just about contributing ideas and suggestions, but also knowing when it is appropriate to do so. Showing signs of tact in the early stages of their career is a great indicator of potential, because it demonstrates a tacit understanding of the diplomacy needed to be a top manager.”
Does the employee in question follow up on tasks they are no longer involved in? “Showing interest in the progress of projects once they leave their hands is something to look out for,” says Bill. “It can mean that they care about the work they do and therefore care about the company itself.”
“An employee who works under their own initiative, and is eager to take on more responsibility can be a valuable asset to a business. With the right guidance, an employer can let them take charge of issues and tasks from an early stage, building on the complexity and importance of the duties as the worker’s experience and confidence grow.”
Workers who display a willingness to muck in and get their hands dirty are worth their wait in gold, says Bill. “A can-do attitude is a crucial talent for a high-potential employee. It illustrates their readiness to get the job done no matter what, and often this inspires others around them to do likewise. It’s a key skill for would-be managers to have, because it a central tenet of good leadership.”
“If a staff member is receptive to feedback and constructive criticism, this generally indicates that they are largely aware of their own limitations and appreciate that they aren’t the finished article yet, but are willing to learn. A little humility will take them a long way.”
“Look around your employees – which ones would you trust to deal with a sensitive matter quietly and effectively? Being dependable and reliable are ideal traits for star employees,” says Bill.
“The ability to interact well with peers, supervisors and clients is an essential part of becoming a leading member of staff,” points out Bill. “Look out for staff who can relate easily with different people. They will have high levels of social empathy, which is a fantastic attribute for a business to have access to.”
“Employees may not overtly display all of these characteristics, but if you can identify some of them in certain individuals, chances are you may find that the other talents are there but are simply waiting to be discovered to shine. These indicators can help spot potential star employees for whom the sky is the limit.”
“By having a greater appreciation of the UNIVERSE,” concludes Bill, “employers are better placed to decide whether a staff member is out of this world, or simply just on another planet.”
Bill Duncan, Ivor Smith and Jeff Burns of Fifth Dimension have more than 50 years collective experience as professional entertainers and magicians and use Magically Enhanced TrainingTM to ensure that messages are remembered long after an event has finished.
For further information about Fifth Dimension’s innovative approach telephone 01224 706755 or 07764 793897, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fifthdimension.biz.