Most companies have a squad of people devoted to operational matters, carrying out the tasks that cumulate and form into the overall business performance.
It is common for the members this group to be relatively unambitious and just comfortable doing the work they have and in the roles that they occupy.
So what happens at appraisal time when the question comes up regarding their future ambitions and they reply; “well I don’t really have any”?
Not only might they not have particular career ambitions, they may also prefer not to shoulder the burdens associated with increased responsibilities and the supervision of staff.
This group of people are important to all businesses as often they occupy crucial positions, are skillful and well trained and understand how several operational functions knit together to ensure error free transactions.
The question remains, how do we best serve this group through the development appraisal system?
If we step back for a moment and take a look at the longer term, then the answer becomes clear.
The people who are operationally important must remain so into the future and through whatever changes are predicted regarding the role, their working practices, future legislation, health and safety requirements and so forth.
It is up to us as employers to ensure that each individual remains relevant, skilled and able to work in their current role and fulfil meaningful roles in the future.
This means adapting the appraisal conversation to suit their aspirations to remain unambitious and to assist them in remaining important to the business. Typical outputs from this conversation would include:
- Training in new and future practices
- Involvement in developing new working regimes – brainstorming, joint projects, coaching others etc.
- The recruitment of colleagues
- On-the-job training of work colleagues
- Roles in health and safety training and guardianship
In this respect one could argue that our responsibility remains – to Govern Change – even when someone wishes to remain the same.
More on this in our Governing Change programmes.