Knowledge Is Power
Despite the efforts devoted to developing strategies to attract candidates for potential skill gaps and talent shortages, some organizations fall short when it comes to making the most of the skills and experiences already present in their workforce.
Do your supervisors and managers pigeon hole employees into the specific roles they were hired for, over-manage, under-delegate and in the guise of protecting employees from themselves, assume the burden of delivering information on a need to know basis?
If so, you are guilty as charged.
2012 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement, a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, reflected that 63% of employees rated opportunities to use their skills and abilities at work as the most important contributor to their job satisfaction. It displaced job security (61%) for the number one spot.
We have seen the enemy. It is us!
There is an abundance of untapped and underutilized skill in our workforce. Employees frequently have skills and abilities beyond the position they were hired. It’s up to supervisors, managers and organizational leaders to expose and develop those skills.
Quality training is essential.
We recently sponsored a series of five one-day labor relations workshops for our supervisors and managers. I attended each of the sessions, not to hear the material repeated five times, but to listen for the questions to hear what supervisors and managers were they struggling with. It was worth more than the cost of my time away from the office when, in the midst of a supervisor working through a technically tricky question with the trainer, I heard another utter the sweetest words, “Now I understand!”
Delivering training is one thing; fostering opportunities for learning to occur is another. I now have over 50 front-line supervisors able to assist me in ensuring our labor-management obligations are met.
Knowledge is powerful – when it is shared. Unfortunately, not everyone shares my view.
There is no room for knowledge hoarders in organizations today. They are operating counter to everything we know to be necessary for effective workforce development. You know who they are. Quit making excuses, address the issue and neutralize them now.
Leaders devoted to making the most of the skills and experiences in the workforce will find that:
- Employees, supervisors, manager, departments and teams are able to deliver on business goals with less trial, error, doubt and stress.
- Leaders are able to lead. Their jobs are easier and their burdens lessened. Issues are addressed earlier, less follow up is required and they are able to focus on delivering results.
- Employees are excited to come to work each day and share in the success – and challenges - of the organization.
Why does all this matter? Employees fully engaged produce better results with less strife, provide better face to face service and in the end, your customers benefit.
It’s a ripple effect felt throughout the entire organization.
Lisa Rosendahl, SPHR has over 18 years of experience in human resources. She has provided leadership and expertise to full-cycle strategic HR operations in public and private manufacturing organizations and now, in federal health care. Lisa authors a personal blog at lisarosendahl.com where she writes on leadership and is a co-founder and the past editor of womenofhr.com.