Stretch Assignment Support

Employees don’t always know everything they need to in order to excel within a position. According to an article from Talent‘s Kevin D. Wilde, VP and CLO at General Mills and author of Dancing with the Talent Stars, continued learning is necessary for most jobs. As a talent manager, it’s your job to provide instruction and support to your employees throughout the job cycle. Sink or swim won’t be the best policy for stretch promotions – you’ll need to instruct and support these employees as they adjust into their new roles.

By definition, stretch assignments mean the individual isn’t fully ready for the new job. Perhaps the new role requires a higher level of skill or judgment, a leap in job breadth or role complexity.

Since your employees aren’t completely ready to be thrown into their new position, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition smooth. Here are five principles to keep in mind:

Look before they leap.

Teach transition dog paddling.

Preview unseen currents and riptides.

Make it a team swim.

Keep an eye on them once in the water.

Although providing support to your employees in transition is vital, it is often impractical. Failure costs money and resources, so be sure to plan for such situations. If risk is high, offer more support, such as first-time moves to general manager positions. A good strategy to teach employees are the three fundamental ‘swim strokes’ of major transitions: expand self-awareness of their impact on others early, gain a lifelong habit of aggressive learning and self-development rather than relying on old skills and acquiring solid start-up practices, and stress-reducing resiliency habits.

Big job transitions take some getting used to. Giving your employees support and feedback during this process will make the outcome better for everyone. To read in depth about how to assist employees during stretch assignments, click here for the full article.

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