While most people might think of “education” as something that happens online or in a classroom, it actually occurs right in your office all the time. 55% of employees say they regularly learn from peers and 69% of them learn from a mentor or boss. In fact, you might be surprised to find just how much you can learn from your staff members, with the help of open-minded listening and some company giveaways.
One of your most valuable resources could be your newest staff members. All too often, long-time employees follow outdated processes or procedures because it’s “how we do things.” New hires bring fresh ideas.
After a month or two on the job, hold a reverse onboarding session with new employees. Invite them to discuss ways to improve processes and how they might do things differently. By listening carefully—and not being defensive—you may discover a great new idea.
Thank them for their honest feedback with a giveaway that shows they’re a valued member of the team, like a branded hat or polo shirt.
Peer-to-peer educational opportunities
Creating a peer-to-peer educational program can help staff find ways to improve both themselves and the company. Have employees meet one-on-one to help create a strong network. Each week, bring the whole team together for a meeting. To make these meetings successful:
- Appoint a leader: A facilitator can keep meetings on topic and moving forward.
- Offer a safe environment: Allow staff to be open and honest to ensure that real problems and solutions can be discussed.
- Focus on real-world issues: Talk about any work concerns that come up and let staff find solutions that benefit everyone.
Mangers learn from employees
While managers feel responsible for teaching their employees, they can also learn a lot from them too. Staff members may have a great idea to enhance the company. Managers can also benefit personally by finding out what workers think of their management style. Put up a suggestion box or do an anonymous survey to find out what employees think is being done right and what can be improved.
Encourage employees to step forward and offer input anytime by entering those who do into regular drawings. A tumbler, duffel bag or wireless ear buds can serve as a fun “Best Suggestion of the Month” award.
Nonstop learning opportunities
Learning from your staff makes it possible for educational opportunities to happen on a monthly, weekly or daily basis. Every time your staff members share their wisdom, and you share some company giveaways, it will help to make your business a better place.