Have we forgotten how quickly we can help people grow?

What was your plan for 2020 as you entered the year? Like many of our clients, you were probably creating plans for year over year revenue growth, higher profitability and/or that big product launch. You probably also had one or two significant personal growth and development objectives. Perhaps you, like many others, expected a banner year. 

When everything shifted in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum, all of those goals went out the window. As I learned in the helicopter industry, a crisis makes it very clear to everyone what the important work is. People who were challenging to work with shifted from undermining teams to asking “how can I help” – and meaning it authentically. Those who were challenging to work with and did not make this pivot often found themselves included in layoffs.

At SupportingLines, we’ve seen two things happen with our clients’ High-Performance Index™ scores:

  • Help Teams Align and Help Teams Collaborate scores have increased, as did work engagement. 
  • Help People Grow scores became static or decreased (personal development, and that of your team likely went out the window as we became laser-focused on crisis management)

While it’s great that alignment and collaboration increased, there is really no reason that Help People Grow didn’t follow suit. 

How to Help People Grow in 15 minutes or less

Everybody is pressed for time right now, but we can’t wait until the pandemic is “over” to do this work. Otherwise we will have another crisis on our hands: employee turnover. You can leverage our (very inexpensive) SupportingLines Cloud eLearning platform to quickly make gains in two key areas: feedback and recognition.

  • Feedback is the cornerstone of Helping People Grow but our data suggests this is not happening right now as teams focus on execution. Effective, real-time feedback in the middle of a crisis accelerates people’s development. The use of feedforward to deliver the feedback is especially helpful in an environment where people have lower resilience and fear they might lose their jobs.
  • Recognition from managers and peers is strongly correlated with every other element of High-Performance Culture. In a pandemic, there are so many opportunities to publicly recognize people, but our data suggests many teams are not doing this effectively. Our simple framework for recognition will help your entire organization immediately make progress in lifting each other.

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