Identifying And Promoting The Elements Of Ambition In Your Workers

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Even though ambition is a common word used in the professional setting, it can have multiple meanings. For a workplace to succeed, employees need to be ambitious, motivated, and inspired. On average, over 4 million people per month left their jobs in 2022 (dubbed The Great Resignation).

One of the top reasons people left their jobs was because career growth or proper development opportunities weren’t offered. Employees leave organizations when there is a perceived lack of employee training. This problem certainly speaks about how the talent management team fails to identify and promote ambition in employees.

This issue tells us how ambition is of great value in any workplace. It’s not just about finding ambitious employees and team members, but also about promoting that ambition in them. From both a managerial and an employee perspective, ambition leads to better performance, increased retention, innovation and inclusivity, and other positive outcomes.

In this guide, we’ll look at how talent management teams and professionals can attract and identify ambitious employees, retain their talent, and improve their performance, such as by hiring a business motivational speaker like Steve Gilliland.

Why Hiring Ambitious Employees Is Important

When you hire someone new, they will master your work processes and systems, learn about your company’s culture, products, and services, and do their job. However, you won’t be able to teach them ambition.

Effective recruiting means identifying elements of ambition early on in the hiring process. It helps managers and team leaders set up their teams for success. It improves employee retention rates and reduces employee turnover rates. You know the cost of hiring a bad employee if you’re a hiring manager.

Plus, with every employee that quits and you re-hire someone in their place, it’s costing you 1.5-2 times that employee’s salary. It doesn’t just negatively impact your team’s morale, but also results in wasted time, money, and effort. Hence, it’s important that employers identify ambitious employees and hard workers early on to build a team of motivated individuals.

hiring and identifying an ambitious employee

What Does It Mean To Be Ambitious?

An ambitious person is a hard worker, but not all hard workers are ambitious. So let’s look at what being ambitious means. An ambitious employee is someone who won’t give up and will continue striving because they want to reach a goal.

An ambitious person will work hard, dedicate their time, put in the effort, and persevere to reach their goal. It’s all about pushing forward and being determined to succeed. While ambition doesn’t mean or guarantee success, ambitious people always want to be as successful as possible.

They strive toward being successful, which makes them work hard and become better at everything they do. An ambitious person will continue to push forward, eventually leading to success if the person has the passion, focus, and motivation needed to achieve their goals.

Sometimes, if an employee is overly ambitious, it can have negative consequences. It’s essential that employers understand the kinds of workers they have and who will help themselves and others. Some people focus only on their goals and harm others to climb to the top, disturbing your team morale.

Top Characteristics of Ambitious Employees

While the characteristics of ambitious people can differ according to content, an ambitious worker can be easily identified. With the help of this section, managers can start identifying ambitious employees or potential hires.

Ambitious Employees Are Dependable

A key characteristic of any ambitious worker is their dependability. They will be dependable people to work with—they’ll stick to their word, meet deadlines, and set an example for others in the organization.

The most dependable employees in an organization are always on time. They come prepared, and their punctuality is never an understatement. For them, it’s not about making a good impression, but being prepared.

They are reliable team members who bring quality to any work they do. Since they set an example for others, they can easily become good leaders. Identifying ambitious employees will also help managers find future leaders for the organization.

As a leader of any organization, finding reliable employees isn’t easy. You only identify such employees and see them in action once they start working. If you have ambitious and dependable people on your team, start noticing their qualities and look for similar ones in the next people you want to hire.

employees at a conference

Ambitious Employees Are Good at Prioritizing

An ambitious person has a clear goal in their head. Even when managing multiple responsibilities, tasks, or projects, they can identify those which are urgent, time-sensitive, and most important.

This often means some projects might get delayed or would need some reorganization. However, ambitious people know how to add more value to something if they prioritize and promptly complete everything.

When an organization has a large workload and needs to get it done, managers should be able to identify ambitious employees and rely on them. This doesn’t mean overburdening an employee with more than what they can handle, but finding someone who works strategically and has a strong mindset that helps them think critically and prioritize.

While it’s not easy to identify this characteristic in someone when you’re hiring them, you can look for employees who can manage and adapt to their workloads. If a potential employee is asking many questions, look for those who ask quality questions.

Ambitious Employees Are Motivated

Most ambitious people are motivated, but not all find themselves in organizations that motivate and inspire them daily. As a team lead or manager, it’s your job to identify ambitious employees and motivate them. You have to constantly give them incentives that will allow them to push and work hard.

Motivation doesn’t come easy to any employee. Some seasons in an industry are busy, and in those seasons, if you have a team of motivated, ambitious workers, you won’t have to worry too much, and you can rely on them.

A motivated team will even work through challenging times. A morale dip can hinder an organization’s success, but motivated, ambitious employees will continue to produce good quality work.

Ambitious Employees Persevere

Nothing describes ambitious people better than perseverance. When you identify ambitious employees, you will find them persistent. If they have a goal in mind, they will stick to it. They will continue to extend efforts toward it, despite obstacles and challenges.

Ambitious workers persevere in many different ways. They will find a way to make their professional and personal lives better. When working with clients, they will continue to find creative, viable, and innovative solutions for each client. They can shift their priorities easily to put efforts into something that will deliver quality outcomes.

an ambitious employee at a workplace

How To Promote and Retain Ambitious Employees

Retaining ambitious workers and promoting their qualities is a top concern for many organizational leaders and managers. According to a study, many high-potential employees are at an increased risk of quitting because they look for better career opportunities with promotions and more recognition.

It’s not just about identifying ambitious employees but also about promoting the elements of ambition in them. If companies want to ask a high-potential employee to manage more tasks, take on more responsibilities, and guide others, they need the right rewards and recognition.

Fair compensation is important. However, money and paying an ambitious employee well enough aren’t what will help a company retain them. Let’s look at how you can keep your ambitious workers happily employed and promote their qualities.

Allow More Freedom

Don’t just limit your ambitious employees to what their job role is. When you identify ambitious employees and give them the autonomy to advance in their job and do what makes them happy, you’re also motivating them.

Additionally, motivation will come if you provide the employees with ways to advance in their careers, feel fulfilled, and pursue their passions while working on the job. This freedom increases employee happiness and allows for better collaboration in the team.

Conduct Stay Interviews

You might have heard about exit interviews—organizations perform them when an employee leaves to prevent more employees from leaving for the same reason. However, in addition to that, companies can also improve by conducting stay interviews.

These interviews will be more like check-ins with employees, which can not only help managers identify ambitious employees, promote their qualities, and retain the top talent. Stay interviews can help managers discuss what an employee feels about their work in the organization, what might cause them to leave, and what motivates them to stay.

If someone’s ambitious, they might like challenges. As a leader, you can ask them how they feel challenged and want to be recognized for dealing with those challenges. The answers can prove very enlightening for managers who want to retain high-performing employees.

team members shaking hands

Encourage Communication and Keep Lines Open

Have all sorts of conversations with your employee early on and often. When you hire someone, ask them about their career goals, the skills they want as they progress, what can help them learn, and how they are currently on a path to success.

Such conversations should occur once every quarter, along with the stay interviews. It tells your ambitious employees that their ambitions and career goals are important to you. Communication also builds trust that drives people and lets them know they can find growth opportunities in a certain place.

Be Responsive

Many of your employees will change over time. Their goals and aspirations might change. However, if you’ve identified ambitious employees, ensure you help them thrive, feel energized and excited—engage with them and help them beyond their job roles.

Invest In and Promote Their Growth

As a leader, you want to let your ambitious employees know you care about their growth. The highly ambitious workers always want to grow, so ensure you’re offering them additional training. Investing in their growth can mean holding seminars where you invite the best motivational speakers.

An environment that promotes and fosters an ambitious person’s growth will also help provide a way for them to advance in their career. You can hire a corporate motivational speaker to give each employee motivation and a clear sense of what they want to do in their career.

It’s not just about retention—employees need recognition beyond salary. They won’t leave for a higher-paying job when they feel like they know how to advance and have a better sense of belonging.

A man giving a speech

Rewards and Recognition

Make sure you’re delivering rewards that truly matter. A high salary won’t help you retain ambitious employees, but a better reward and recognition system will. For some employees, a simple “good job” will suffice.

For those who want more and are ambitious, you can try something formal—maybe a public expression. Everyone’s different, and how your team wants to be recognized is something you’ll discover once you identify ambitious employees.

Hiring Business Motivational Speaker

Steve Gilliland is a brilliant professional motivational speaker. His inspiring and heartwarming keynote speeches deliver the motivation your ambitious employees need. He has delivered impactful speeches in countries worldwide and speaks on a variety of relevant topics for businesses in any industry.

From changing a company’s business attitude to the culture and leadership, Steve Gilliland’s speeches help managers identify and promote elements of ambition within their employees.

You can find Motivation Bites, blogs, and books containing insightful tips and distinct knowledge that only Steve Gilliland can offer. He’s also an esteemed member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. Companies looking for the top motivational speakers in the world can rest assured that their top talent will be on a path to success after learning from Steve.

Book Steve for your next conference, seminar, or event.