When you are manager of a team (laboratory and otherwise) an important goal to be reached is to identify the talents of the team members and put them to good use. It is essential to have projects that are best accomplished by specific skills. When successful in this process, a series of positive impacts on the team are realized and the self-esteem of its members is also strengthened. In the same way it is good to evaluate if there are no underutilized skills for someone on the team.
Not all skills are always visible from CV, it is not easy to find them but if you can create a stimulating and favorable environment for the initiative, some people will spontaneously solve problems as soon as they have the chance.
A key question to ask instead is “can this person improve a skill beyond the level we already know?” If it is necessary to make sure to empower the person and convince him that he can cover a certain task. The mental aspect is very important. Many underestimated skills remain so because of fear. In this sense, not only words of conviction are sometimes enough, but you have to tell them stories in which failure is foreseen as a necessary step before reaching success.
Stimulating and using employees’ strengths effectively has a clear positive impact on productivity, the environment and results, the effort is certainly rewarded, if you are looking for useful information about it, we recommend this Labmanager article.