Communicate the Importance of Learning
Senior management needs to use every
possible opportunity to communicate that their organization is a learning
center. They need to provide resources and encouragement for all employees to
continually upgrade their skills. Becoming a center for learning will help
attract and retain a dedicated work force.
Show Them The Money
Establish a personnel development
fund. Give each employee a set amount of money each year (e.g. $250) that can
be used for any job-related learning activity such as a professional meeting,
book, video, or trip to a supplier. Also, provide tuition reimbursement to
enable employees to take college courses in their field.
Institute a Job
Develop a system whereby employees
rotate between jobs. This will help upgrade their skills and gain a better
understanding of the interrelationships between different jobs in the
Institute a Shadowing
This is a program in which employees
are given the opportunity to "shadow" other workers to learn their jobs.
Provide a Resource
Establish a center and stock it with
job-related books, technical manuals, industry trade periodicals, and training
videos. Allow employees to visit the center on company time.
Plans Each employee should work with
his or her supervisor to develop skill improvement goals and action plans. Once
established, the plan should be continually updated.
Provide employees whose skills are no
longer needed with the opportunity to learn new skills required in other parts
of the organization. It is much more cost-effective and socially responsible to
retrain loyal employees than to lay them off and hire someone else.
Develop a Cadre of
Employees who can perform multiple
jobs are very valuable because they can fill in when others are absent. Cross
train employees so that they can serve as part of a special Relief Corp. Pay
in Company-Wide Task Forces and Committees
Participation in company-wide teams
can provide employees with important skills and increased knowledge about the
organization. This practice should be encouraged for employees at all levels.
Employees with more skills are more
valuable. Pay employees based upon the amount of job-related skills they
Orientation of Supervisors
Instead of assuming the role of
evaluator and judge, supervisors need to develop a mindset that their job is to
develop, teach, and facilitate the growth of all employees. Encourage
supervisors to adopt this attitude.