Helping Employees in Different Roles Become Adaptable

Instructor: Saranya Ramachandran

Saranya has a Bachelors in Science focused on Electronics and Telecommunication and a Masters in Business Administration. She has 8 years of Project Management Experience and is PMP Certified.

The lesson describes how a manager who normally oversees employees in a variety of roles, such as full time, part time, or temporary, can help them become adaptable in their particular function.

Why Is Adaptability Important?

Andrea is a new full-time project manager with Soylent Corporation. She is learning how its employees work, about its culture, and her role within the organization. Her manager Nic also wants to help her develop adaptability, specifically where a lot of new situations and problems arise. Adaptability refers to the ability to adjust and perform when the environment and situations are volatile and changing.

In today's world, new information becomes available on a daily basis as the older becomes obsolete. In order to be successful and resilient, employees must be adaptable in the workplace. This is particularly important when handling crisis situations or dealing with uncertainty.

Managers Helping Employees Become Adaptable

Typically, an organization has individuals in a variety of job functions, including some who are full-time, temporary, contract, or those who are hired on an as-needed basis. A manager should help all of these employees so that they perform well in their job.

Nic helps Andrea become more adaptable by having her fill in for other project managers and respond to emergencies in other projects. He asks her a lot of questions in order to help her see things from a different perspective. He often asks is if there is ''another solution'' to any problems that she faces. He also shows her how important it is to be open to different perspectives so there is an opportunity to use out-of-the-box solutions.

An efficient manager allows his employees to make mistakes because this is the only way they can experiment and learn. Nic encourages these qualities in all of his employees. In order to become more adaptable, it is also important to understand the bigger picture. In some instances, a manager might think it is enough for an employee to know only about their specific role, but this thwarts the adaptability factor. Hence, Nic often makes sure that employees see the bigger picture of how their job affects the business.

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