Talent activation comes down to how the team leaders can improve the work of their team members each and every week. This presents one main question: how does the team leader know the team member and the work he or she is doing well enough to be able to coach this person how to do it better? How does the team leader provide a tweak, a course correction, an adjustment, an idea, a suggestion to help someone do the job better?
But if that’s the problem, the tools that we’ve built don’t solve it. In fact, these tools are completely ignorant of the problems we’re actually trying to solve.
Feedback is not the solution – team members don’t want feedback; they want attention. Goal alignment is also not the answer – aligning the employee’s goals with the company’s goals is important, but it’s not going to help people perform better week to week. The CEO has no idea about the specific work that’s going on locally. What’s relevant is the real work done by the real team member, and the team leader is in the best position to drive that.
Team members want future-focused, individualized attention on how to get better: they want coaching. The team leader’s weekly questions are, what are the team member’s priorities this week and how can I help them?