OK, so you should onboard new employees, make sure that they understand the mission and goals of your department, review policies and procedures, go over the performance management process you will be using …
I guess that sounds a little like teaching. But, could it be that maybe you’re not the best person to teach your employees everything?
Maybe you also have a responsibility to provide an opportunity for them to learn from others and in other situations too. If you’re fortunate enough to work in a company that formalizes some of these approaches for your employees, great.
If not, step up.
Programs such as these can increase employee satisfaction and improve retention:
Introduce your employees to others. Encourage your employees to find mentors, both within and outside your company.
Mentors can provide a wealth of knowledge and experience for your employees and help them build their network. This is a great way to bring new insights and fresh perspectives into your organization.
2. Shadowing others
Match your employees up with someone that they can shadow for a day (or longer if it makes sense). This can be someone with a related job, or an area that they are interested in learning more about. You can also use this to help them understand what it might be like at different levels of the company.
I know of a CIO in one company that regularly selects employees to go with her into key leadership meetings. Watching others “walk the walk” can accomplish more in a couple of hours than a whole host of training programs.
3. Brown Bag it
Create a Brown Bag Lunch series to foster informal training. And encourage your employees to be the ones leading the sessions.
It’s a great way to get everyone involved and learning from each other. This can often create a broader understanding of what everyone does and how what they do benefits everyone in the group — and ultimately your customers/guests/stakeholders.
4. Join industry associations/trade groups
Encourage your employees to join industry associations or trade groups. They can be good opportunities for learning what others in your industry are doing and are a great way to keep up with the latest trends and changes in your industry.
It’s also a nice way to meet local speakers. These groups also often offer great training opportunities that can be low-cost.
5. Formal training
Last, but not least, make sure that your employees take the time to take all the training that their job requires and support their ongoing education efforts. If you have a budget for outside training programs, make sure that your employees use it!
“…But Kirsten,” you ask, “if I give my employees all this exposure, everyone will poach them right out from under me!” Maybe, but I guarantee that if you develop a reputation for encouraging, mentoring and developing your people, you’ll have a line out the door of others who want to come work for you.
Until next time … wishing you business readiness success!
This was originally published on PeopleResult’s Current blog.