Humans like to organize. That is why our work is structured around strict job roles. We cannot imagine a finance professional in the marketing department or a sales person in the design department. We would think of such people as “nosy”. It gives us comfort that all of us have one unique talent and we will be good at doing the role that fits this talent. The problem with this thinking is that humans are not simple enough to fit into these boxes designed by organizations. Multi talented employees get ignored in this setup.

How to handle the adrenaline of multi talented employees

Why do we have such a system?

When companies were starting to form, the ways of getting things done were much more complex. For example, an accountant did not have the software available today to do his work. This meant that he was swamped with his primary role the whole time. Therefore, the question of recognizing other talents, just did not emerge. However, now our work is not as arduous. Therefore, we are expected to do more of it, which makes it boring.

Boredom is one of the key contributors to the lack of productivity and absenteeism. Simply put, if you do not enjoy yourself at work, you are not likely to put in your best and you may want to avoid being at work altogether.

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How to handle the oozing enthusiasm of multi talented employees?

This problem has been spoken about by industrial psychologists and human resource professionals. They suggest the following options:

Interview differently

They suggest that instead of asking people to appear for a particular job role, there can be 3 to 4 job duties that can be mentioned and then people can be taken and given titles accordingly. For example, if an interview reveals that a particular employee is good at both finance and design then he may be called the Design and Finance Contributor. Another gentleman/woman could be good with sales as well as CSR so she may be given the duties of both. This way, multi talented employees can get accountability for all the roles they perform.

Mix teams

For different products, different teams can be assembled. For example, for Product A, the team could consist of two finance people and two design people. And for Product B, the team could consist of one marketing person, one finance person, one design person. Such mix teams allow broadening of the mind as different people work with different types of professionals. This also leads to great ideas and different, diverse products.

How to handle the adrenaline of multi talented employees

Involving hobbies

People with hobbies that are not actively linked to the job can also be involved in the company. This can be done in two ways. One is to use their hobbies to get important messages across. For example, people with skills in drama and singing could put up a skit about workplace sexism and its bad effects. The other way to utilize their hobbies is to ask them to review their hobbies in light of the contribution to the organization.

“My line manager loves to cook. If he is not talking about work then he would be talking about food. He loves to eat and cook for others. It was obvious therefore that he be made the canteen supervisor at office. Thanks to this decision now we have the most delicious and healthy food everyday at work.” said CH Shanti who works in an MNC in Bangalore.

At the end of the day, the exact technique of managing the enthusiasm of these talented people is more important to retain them than trying to coax them with thick incremental and promotions offers.

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