Visibility is important in every sphere. Brands need to be visible to do well in the market. Actors need to be visible in order to retain their space in their fans’ hearts. Why go far, given the maddening pace of life today, both at home and at work, each one of us needs to be visible lest we be forgotten by our friends and neighbours! Visibility is important to everyone, even to employees because building one’s personal brand has also become essential in the corporate world.
Gone are the days when people were happy doing routine 9 to 5 jobs. They were contented with the steady pace of work. ‘Monotony’ was unheard of. Employees were satisfied doing the same routine work and getting salary increments or promotions whenever their turn came. They did not care for special rewards or recognition as long as they got their salary on time at the end of the month and they were able to fulfil the basic needs of their family.
Today, employees wish to be noticed, appreciated for their talents and demand opportunities to learn, explore and climb up the corporate ladder. They seek challenging projects through which they can prove their mettle. They want their names attached to activities and challenges, and wish to be in the public eye. Popularity is what they seek. Seeing their names mentioned in press releases makes them feel good about themselves. They get a high if their achievements are showcased on the company website. While visibility is not very difficult to achieve for senior-level employees, those at the junior levels expect support from their managers to achieve the same.
Therefore, it is up to the team leaders and managers to step in and give their team members the visibility they yearn. And how do they do that?
As managers and team leaders, here’s what you can do to make sure your employees are visible:
• Be a good mentor. Only then will those working under you be able to grow, develop and be engaged. Employees look up to their managers for meaningful mentoring. Hand hold them in such a way that they remember you all your life and are grateful to you for your guidance.
• Ensure that your team’s efforts are noticed. Of course, as a good manager you will recognise and appreciate the hard work put in by the members of your team. But that alone will not suffice. Ensure that the rest of the organisation also notices their achievements. They deserve to be given credit in public. Also, make it a point to bring up the names of those individuals who really deserve to be named for their extra inputs or innovative ideas or invaluable contribution to a particular project or task.
• Let your superiors know of your team’s achievements. Tell the senior management about the progress made by your team, even the small ones, because every step forward takes the organisation closer to its goals, and each team’s contribution is valuable. Feel proud to tell the super bosses about instances when your team stayed back late to deliver a project on time; about appreciation received from the clients for the team’s good work; about efforts by the team to cut costs, save paper and so on. After all, if you don’t tell your seniors about what your team has achieved or done, and how they work, who else will?
• Offer them opportunities. Allow your employees to not just put their skills to use but also showcase their abilities and talents. Give them the chance to attend conferences, events and seminars and also meet the best in the industry. Introduce them to the key people in the organisation.
• Understand their strengths and goals. It is important to know what your team members are good at and what they wish to achieve in their professional careers. That way, you will know when and in which direction to channelise their energies and grab the right opportunities to make them visible. Being aware of your employees’ goals and strengths will give you a fair idea of when to ask them to be part of important meetings; when to be presented to senior managers; and when to be given a chance to speak at events. But once you have given them an opportunity, step back and let them take over and do their bit. Spoon feeding is not what is required. Let them do it all by themselves, so that they experience a feeling of achievement.
• Value their suggestions. Let your team members know that their suggestions and feedback are valued. Make them part of decision-making. If their ideas are accepted or approved by higher-ups, do not take credit for the same but make sure to mention the name of your team member who made the suggestion. This will encourage your team members to be proactive and take positive initiatives in the interest of the team as well as the organisation as a whole.
• Recommend them for promotions. If you see potential in certain team members, recommend their names for a more responsible role so that they grow and develop as individuals. Help them get promoted by putting in a good word, and push them up the corporate ladder. This will also increase your popularity as a team leader or manager.
It is up to the managers and team leaders to ensure that the work and efforts of those in their team are recognised or noticed. Your employees’ visibility will go a long way in motivating them and ensuring that they are fully engaged and stay that way for long.