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Nurturing high-performing teams

How can leaders develop and nurture high-performing teams in the workplace? Rockwell Automation Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director Barry Elliott unpacks these requirements in this discussion on performance management and leadership.

Our challenge as leaders is the creation of dynamic work environments where people are sufficiently engaged, stimulated and motivated.

We rely on our employees to ensure the profitability of our enterprise. High-performing people make high-performing teams, which in turn constitute high-performing organisations. And while it’s true that each of us has to intrinsically motivate ourselves, as leaders we must create the environment that fosters motivation.

This goes beyond ensuring more obvious aspects of the job, such as remuneration, work/life balance, physical workspace, team dynamics and so forth are healthy and in place; it involves questions of self-actualisation. We need to understand how we can help employees realise their professional and career objectives in line with the overall vision of the company. And in this regard, we’re constantly contending with an excessively noisy world, where shifting socio-political issues allied to the sluggish recovery of the global economy present tangible consequences in how we live.

Part of it is about buy-in to a company vision. Questions about what the company’s purpose is, what it stands for, where it will be in years to come and how it is getting there, are important to the modern employee, millennial or not. They want to be able to translate a broader corporate vision within their own ideology, to understand and appreciate how they fit into the bigger picture.

This is an ongoing dialogue of personal and company values, with open and honest communication between both the employee and the company being key. Employees need to be informed and involved in the activities and performance of the organisation, so that they not only understand where it is going and what its purpose is, but feel empowered to positively influence its outcome.

Empowered employees are engaged employees. For some, being engaged is the outcome of working in an environment where there is potential for pursuing different avenues of career growth. For others, it is through challenging their technical abilities. The organisational environment and culture needs to accommodate the diversity of your employees’ aspirations and values.

The true value of our workforce is in the unique skills and personalities of each employee at Rockwell Automation. Leveraging these qualities requires adaptable leadership, with a fluid approach to management that constantly deploys varying degrees of support and/or direction.

Consider for example a dependable, high-performing employee. It’s easy to assume that they need very little guidance and support because they display such high competency levels. In fact, the opposite is true: high-performing people require more leadership attention. The key to managing these people is through encouraging constant personal and professional development. Top performer or not, no-one’s good at everything.

It’s fulfilling and exciting as a leader to watch our employees grow. As managers we should be constantly assessing an individual’s potential to develop within the organisation, whether in a technical, professional or management capacity.

Organisations getting the most from their employees are laying the groundwork for long-term business success. As leaders, our task is to foster environments where employees are engaged and their values and aspirations align with those of the company.

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs about 22,500 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

About Barry Elliott

Barry Elliott is the Managing Director of Rockwell Automation Sub-Saharan Africa.

Elliott joined Rockwell Automation in 2012. He previously headed business development for sub-Saharan Africa at AE&E Lentjes and Doosan Power Systems.

Elliott has also held positions with AE&E Group as Sales Director for sub-Saharan Africa; sales and marketing head for Babcock Engineering; and 15 years’ service to Siemens, during which he was appointed as the General Manager of Mining and Metals and Managing Director in Tanzania.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Elliott’s background is in Electrical Engineering, having studied at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Vaal University of Technology. He also has various management and executive development certificates from the UNISA School of Business Leadership and University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.


Michelle Junius

Field Marketing Specialist

Sub-Saharan Africa

Rockwell Automation

Tel: 011 654 9700

Website: www.rockwellautomation.co.za

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