As the new school year gets underway, one of the best ways to support your staff is to be a “professor” for your team by providing guidance, teaching and support. I am often inspired to do this by repeating one of my favorite quotes from Jack Welch – “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others”.
You can increase employee performance up to 19.8% by ensuring that work projects are also learning experiences.
There are many ways to pass along wisdom to your team and I’d like to focus on one activity that produces a big boost in performance. According to research from the Corporate Executive Board, you can increase employee performance up to 19.8% by ensuring that work projects are also learning experiences. So, how is this done?
The number one secret is to talk with your staff member before the project begins. In many cases, we do not take the time to frame projects as learning experiences and therefore, lose the opportunity for employee growth and development. Pre-project, be sure to discuss the following questions with your staff member:
- What do you hope to learn from this project?
- What will you be able to do differently?
- How can I support you?
By having an employee start a project with a learning frame of mind, they will be much more intentional about skill development and more likely to come to you during the project for feedback and coaching.
It is also important to make sure there is time for reflection…
It is also important to make sure there is time for reflection after the project. Calendar time to have a discussion with your staff member rather than racing off to the next project. During the discussion, you can ask these questions:
- Where do you feel you succeeded?
- Where did you struggle?
- If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
- What is the most important lesson you learned?
- Where can you apply this lesson in the future?
Finally, try to find opportunities for your staff member to apply this skill after the project is complete. If not, it will be just like the last statistics course that I took – nothing stuck in long term memory.
We’d love to hear your comments on this post – have you tried doing this? If so, what was the result? What other practices do you have to increase learning on your team?