Once Upon a Time, I was doing research and I got lost. The internet is like a forest in Fairy Tales. You are out picking apples and you wind up gone for years trapped in a turret growing your hair. If only Rapunzel had Pinterest, she would have found the perfect style while growing out her bangs. See, my mind is like the internet. You start out looking in one direction and wind up somewhere else. Sometimes, you find you have wasted five hours and all you have are new shoes and a pile of work still left to do or sometimes you find a gem.
They say the best way to write a blog is to read blogs. It’s a great theory if all you have on your hands is time. I tend to feel guilty for reading during the day. Which is crazy since my job is about research and staying ahead of the changes in my industry. I have set up a bunch of blogs that I read on a regular basis and have to clean out because it gets to be too much. (Please don’t clean me out) On a tangent once, I found this great blog, MWF seeking BFF, she blogs about friendship and it’s both interesting and hilarious. Her latest blog post talked about another blog (see it’s not just me) that was called Friendship with Benefits (get your mind out of the gutter, this is an HR Blog). It is about how your old friends can teach you something new. She posts video tutorials of different things she’s learned from her friends. She learned to make Sangria, organize her life and make sun somethings (I could have lived without that one). It got me thinking about our employees. Do they have skills we overlooked, forgot about or have they developed new ones?
Once we evaluate our employees and friends, we tend to put them into certain positions and leave them there. Cinderella came in to clean the office and we never followed up to find that she’s been taking classes and she has an associate degree in marketing. Sleepy was a factory worker that was always doing the minimum because he was tired. We didn’t know he was volunteering at a local shelter for women and raising money to build a new wing. Cinderella may be able to help us with our social media because her degree is recent. Sleepy would never have been considered for sales but he raised $30,000 for that shelter. I had an older employee that was afraid of computers. I never give her a new project. Then one day she told us her kids bought her a computer and paid for a class so she could email and she loves it. Now I know I don’t have to get past her fear, I can give her new work.
I challenge you to talk to your employees. Ask them what new things they’ve learned in the past year both personal and professional. They may both apply to work and they wouldn’t even know. Sleepy never would have said he was good in sales because that was volunteer work. Cinderella may not see a job posting so she’s looking somewhere else for a job because she doesn’t want to pressure you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from employees – “They never even asked us”. You never know what you can learn from your current employees or friends. You may have the perfect solution to your problems right in your own Kingdom.
Let us know what great things you learned from your employees!
MWF seeking BFF – Friendship with Benefits
Friendships with Benefits – Blog