Developing Talent Within Your Team

January 17, 2013

Every so often we come across people in our teams who seem to have a real talent for the work.  They appear to achieve great results, learn quickly, get things done quickly and never seemed stressed.

Any manager will want to utilise this person to their best advantage as talented people can make a real difference to results.  In this article we will discuss the key issues and top tips for developing talent in your team.


How Can You Channel Their Efforts?

You will naturally want to protect this valuable asset in your team.  The talent may only be in a certain area such as sales or a technical area.  Maximising the impact on key targets will be crucial.

How Can You Understand How They Achieve Such Outstanding Results?

As you never know how long this talented person will still with your organisation, you will want to understand what it is that makes them so successful and hopefully replicate it in the team.

How To Avoid Them Becoming Complacent

Some talented people let the glory go to their heads and stop trying as hard to impress.  If it is too easy they may think that they will always be able to achieve the results.  They may need to be reminded that even the brightest star does not shine forever and one day another possibly younger and better person may come along and ‘outshine’ them!

How To Avoid Other Members Of The Team Becoming Jealous

Ensure that other members of the team have the same opportunities to develop their own skills.  If targets are set for both the team and the individual, then the rest of the team will also benefit from the results and achievements.  In the same way that a star player in a sports team helps them achieve great things, then they will be more willing to support and protect their colleague while they are still in the team.


Spend Time Really Understanding Them

Time invested in understanding what makes the talented person tick will make it easier to keep them motivated and rewarded.  For some it will not be about the money but more about how they are challenged mentally or how they can get to their ultimate position or role.

Provide Support & Administration To Deal Efficiently With Routine

Many talented employees find routine work boring and may actually underperform in these areas.  This may possibly be a waste of their talent and it will be for you to determine whether they need to be able to cope with this or not.

Appoint A Suitably Trained Or Qualified But Promising Assistant

As talented people are in great demand and are likely to be head hunted you may want to consider succession planning.  Choosing as assistant who might well be the talent of the future will serve two purposes; planning for their possible departure and gaining an insight into their methods.

Consider Providing A Senior Manager As A Mentor

You will probably be planning their route through the organisation. One way to aid this process and ultimately retain their services may be to appoint a senior manager as a mentor? Not only does it show how much you value them it will help prepare them for their upward mobility.

One final thought – Some managers are afraid of challenging talented people for fear that they might leave.  Like any employee, you need to show that you are not afraid of confronting a problem.  Some talented people can be real pains because no one has ever faced up to them and they have got away with things too often.  It might reveal that the only reason they appear talented is that procedures have not been followed or their success has been at the expense of other colleagues.

Many thanks

Scott Rumsey

Senior Management Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training

(Image by Samarttiw at

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