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The Sideline Blog

Just as sports players come to the sideline for rest and guidance, this blog is meant to provide you some insight and guidance as you explore your Strengths journey.

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  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Missing Talents

What ideas or solutions are you missing due to furloughed employees?

In my last post I wrote about what happens when we close ourselves off from those "in the room" looking to contribute their talents.

​But what about the people "not in the room?"

In response to the current COVID-19 crisis many companies and organizations have furloughed large numbers of employees. This is an understandable response given the financial implications of keeping people on payrolls. Yet, the unintended consequence is that these companies are also furloughing their employees' talents.

In this unique moment in time, when so many companies and organizations are trying to innovate their way forward, how many possible solutions aren't being offered, contributed, considered, or acted on because certain talents aren't being utilized?

I recently saw a nice piece about keeping in touch with furloughed employees but one point I would add to it is "reaching out on a limited basis to get their insights." I understand that certain employment laws limit what you can ask employees to do while on furlough, but some outreach could provide opportunities to:

  • Build engagement among furloughed employees. One of the key criteria for employee engagement is demonstrating that "someone cares about me." By showing you care, you also encourage people to offer their best ideas.

  • Create hope. We will get through this, but by proactively using your Strengths to build a feeling of hope, you fulfill one of the essential needs of followers. By building hope you increase the chances that employees will come back ready to contribute their best work.

  • Engage talents you might not have. As I pointed out in my last post, we are all different and bring different talents to bear. If you're struggling to find, analyze, or enact new solutions, then engaging your furloughed employees (and their Talents) could provide the missing piece you're looking for.

Have you furloughed employees?

If so, what are you already doing to engage your employees so they come back ready to contribute their best?

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