“Give a man a fish and feed him for the day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life”.
So what is my problem with this?
My problem is…Who wants to eat fish for the rest of their life!
‘Teaching’ your team members the fundamental elements of their role is a great first step to feeding their developmental needs, but it is only the first step. People need variety for a balanced diet, so if the only option is fish, (i.e. process/policy/job role training!) they will soon be off looking for a different sources of food, or be lured away by a better looking menu somewhere else! Okay, enough with the fish analogy!
So, if teaching is just one option, what are the others?
What to develop?
Focus on both professional AND personal development. Not professional OR personal development! The two go hand in hand. Professional development relates to what is required for the current role and business requirements. Personal Development looks beyond the current role and is more aspirational.
Even when someone says they do not want to be ‘developed’ they can still excel in their role, increasing their commercial acumen and exposure to the wider company which is always worthwhile and is still development – you just do not need to call it that!
How to develop?
Take your pick, there is a vast array of methods, including traditional classroom based training. Other ways include: coaching, mentoring, job rotation, project involvement, induction mentor, voluntary trainer, shadowing, sharing best practice, running team briefs and organising the next team away event, to name but a few!
If you spot that your team member has a natural talent for something; data analysis, customer service, mentoring new starters etc. ask yourself if you are exploring ways of utilising this talent with them?
So next time a team member asks you how to do something, ask yourself:
Give people a menu full of options and you will feed them for life!
Nikie Forster is Director of Curious Lighthouse Learning Consultancy and specialises in enabling companies to create a culture of continuous development through creating and delivering in-house programmes. To find out more visit www.curiouslighthouse.co.uk
Learning doesn't just happen in a training session. It happens all around us! Follow my ramblings and continue to see the world in a different light!