Helping employees reach their potential.

Author:Hackett, James E.

How the 'IIF Principle' can help your company improve individual and collective performance

After employees are recruited and hired, must be able to fully develop the skills of these people. The "IIF Principle" is based on three elements - Identify, Impact and Follow-through - as a simple formula to help managers with this responsibility.

Why do some employees become superstars, while others flounder in mediocrity? Why is it that some people succeed in a particular organization, while others with equal potential fail? To a great extent, an employee's success on the job rests with their manager's ability to recognize, foster and manage individual potential.

A manager's responsibly of hiring the right people for the right job remains a critical factor in the eventual performance of any company. But even when this task is handled well, the outcome of this process is sometimes up for grabs. Often, even the right people never fully develop their potential in a given position.

How can managers ensure that once an employee is hired, he or she develops adequately to meet job requirements while fulfilling their own career goals?

One basic recommendation is for companies to invest time in training and developing the talents of their managers. Most companies fail to recognize the importance of educating their managers on how to help subordinates reach their potential. It is more effective to develop the talents of a company's managers than line employees. Good managers will educate their subordinates in a way that is consistent with company expectations and individual career goals.

Many companies will promote a person into management expecting them to know how to manage other people. An individual may have been a successful performer at the non-managerial level, but when put into a management role they may find they lack the skills to function adequately. People management, like most other business skills, must be learned.

Throughout the years, management consultants and corporate psychologists have attempted to define and outline the theories and strategies used by top managers to fully develop an employee's potential. Their research, coupled with my many years of working at a variety of companies throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain, has yielded a functionally sound and highly effective concept of insuring an employee's success.

Many times a manager will say, "If I could only do this . . .," or "If my employees would only do that...

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