with greg layton

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Part 7 of our series on building High Performance Teams continues to look at the second pillar of high performance – People. In particular, we'll look more closely at the importance of getting the the right role for your people.

Once you’ve formed the right group of people, which we covered in Ep 86, now its about taking a step back and analysing if you have the right role for each of those people. A role that will bring out their best and get winning results for the team.

The best people can crash and burn in the wrong role and a low performer can start thriving in a role that plays to their strengths and focuses on work that they value.

One of the most important things to track is role fit because it is a constantly moving beast. An individual can outgrow a role and when that happens every day they're at work can feel like a step back. It can be soul destroying and in situations like that it’s a significant move if you can help them feel appreciated for their real potential. And sometimes a role can become too big or the wrong shape for someone. E.g. If they’ve been in an operational line management role which plays to their technical expertise and they’ve shifted into an internal support role which is all about influencing. This is a huge leap. Particularly if they have to lead the transformation of an area with a new team.

Of course, every role has suck factor. And mostly people understand that and can handle it to a certain point. As the leader it’s your job to make sure that the suck factor doesn’t get too much or get them down.

Three steps for optimising the roles of your people:

1. Start with a blank canvas and considering the targets and challenge the organisation needs of you draw up the roles that you need to do the job (without the people’s names).

2. Once you’ve worked out the roles and tasks that need doing add in your people to each of the roles.

3. Be creative about how you can make that role more interesting and challenging in a way that brings out their very best. Consider their strengths, their goals and the kind of work that they value.

Remember, a basketball coach would never put a 7-foot tall centre at point-guard and netball coach wouldn’t put a wing-defence at goal attack. The players would be doomed to failure. Think like a coach. How can you put people in positions with the right role description that allows them to perform at their peak.

Righto Chief…over to you. By the time you've done this you should have the right people in the right roles and that should give a significant boost to team performance in its own right.

Stay epic

Next article in the High Performance Teams series:

Pillar 2/People: Part 8 – Strategic Development Plans