Thank you Inc., for another good article. I admit I had forgotten how common educating others (co-workers, prospects, clients, etc.) is part of the job. Often this is not even realized or at least appreciated.
Educators range from sales clerks who take a few minutes to layout the features of two different products for a customer. The sales professional hoping to land an account by customizing a presentation for the client. A co-worker showing a supervisor a few tricks to navigate the new software. Countless other examples exist.
If we are educators, then we are also equally all learners too.
I have been thinking more (a lot more) about training and development and the areas I find interesting. One such area is the on-job-training (OTJ). OTJ is very common, can be formal or informal, dominant form of training in many organizations. For a brief overview, see On-the-job training .
From my experience, OTJ has occurred something like this:
Supervisor: “Mike, go talk with Steve, he knows how to do the process X.”
Mike: “Hey Steve, our supervisor wants you to show me how to do process x.”
Steve: “okay, here is how you do it……done”
Mike: “okay, I think I got it. Thanks.”
My guess is that this is a typical scenario in many organizations. From a training and development experience, there are few things wrong here and few ways for improvement.
First, the wrong. There was:
- No baseline assessment to see if Mike knew how to do process X
- No evaluation of whether Mike could execute process X after the demonstration
- No documentation or job aide (step-by-step/how-to guide) was done
- No verification of learning
Second, the fix:
- Explain context
- Demonstrate to learner
- Explain steps
- Document process (note taking)
- Have learner demonstrate process
- Check-in with learner to ensure that they are doing the process
Following a few simple steps with OTJ can make it more effective for the learner and organization.
Five somewhat random ideas involving training and development and affordable/public housing.
- Resident recycling program implementation. How do community managers get resident buy-in? How are residents effectively educated on the program? Why some residents choose not to follow the recycling program?
- Program/policy evaluation of any type or stripe. See above. Service Coordination programs and Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) provide other opportunities for evaluation.
- Learning communities within housing. How do the communities evolve? Who participates? Why do they participate? Real benefits? Perceived benefits?
- On-the-job training. How to effectively design? Does it work?
- Executive level/Board succession planning. What do organizations do? Is it simply a matter of putting an ad on Craig’s List? Recruit?
There are probably an infinite number of research ideas involving training and development and housing. The above is just a few (5 actually) random things I have recently thought about.
Dear Linkedin Connection,
Thank you for recently connecting with me. It is always nice to make a local connection in our industry. As someone once told me, it is a large industry, but a small world. Within in 24 hours of connecting, you did something I found tacky. You asked me if I know someone who was hiring in our field. So, I offered you a few resources that might be helpful given your background and our industry. From our brief, exchange here are a few things, I thought were at best tacky (unprofessional at worst), you:
- Used the “generic LinkedIn” invite.
- Did not respond or say “Thank you.”
- Did not proof read your long reply to me asking about job opportunities.
- Wrote an unclear email to me (I got the impression, you were asking me to conduct your job search or look for a suitable position for you).
- Connected with me only to ask me if I knew of any positions for you.
Our exchange could have been so much better, you could:
- Have asked me about the company I work for, my community, a connection we may both know, or even one of our shared groups
- Responded to my email with at least “thanks,” “ty,” or etc. Easy to do and appreciated
- As for finding a suitable position for you, only you can do that. If you can find LinkedIn, you can find the job boards and company websites.
In any event, good luck with your job search.
Favorite Article of the Week. Okay, maybe not the best article I have read, but poorly constructed emails definitely “grind my gears.” A good start is the article by Getting Things Done. Also see Amy Gallo’s “Stop Email Overload” found in HBR blogs.
To the list, I would add:
- The out-of-context forward. This occurs when emails arrive in your in box with little or no context as to what the sender wants you to do with it.
- Not sending a “receipt” when there is a submission of important documents. For regular submission of documents, especially large files, it might be easier to set-up a drop-box, than to have these submissions enter the regular flow of emails.
- An easier way to format lists, when composing an email.
- Hitting send without proof reading.
…remember to hit the return key once in a while!
Like many weeks, there are always opportunities for multiple FAWs. So, I will do a part II this week.
Shockingly the article “The Power of Your Network is the ‘Ask’” comes from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog section.
Reading the article, I was reminded of:
- If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.
- Asking exposes one to the possibility that the answer will be “no”
- My time working in retail office and computer sales, ahh those sometimes awkward sale closing attempts.
- The importance of providing value to people in my real, online (online only connection) and blended network (real and online or online across multiple social media platforms).
- It is okay and normal to ask. It does not make one a beggar, lazy, or incapable. If no one ever asked then where would the world be?