Originally posted on Recruiter.com on December 2, 2014
A huge part of facilitating engagement, cohesion and motivation in any workforce is by giving workers context to their work. Assigning tasks to a worker without giving them insight as to how their work affects others, and the organization as a whole, is a missed opportunity to engage them as a conscious part of the success of the business.
Fully communicating expectations means making sure that employees are aware of how their role fits in to all of the moving parts. Even workers with more siloed roles need context in order to do the best work possible. There are several ways to get your team interested in their co-worker’s roles, and learn how their own roles can improve through context. While any type of training initiative will use up resources, these employee training programs aimed at employee investment will always prove to be worthwhile. According to Caryn Goldberg, an assistant professor of management at American University,
“By creating systems that let employees cross-train and gain experience in various departments, smart businesses can end up with employees who are able to fulfill various roles, allowing them to find the best fit for their skills within the company. In addition, as they learn more about overall operations, they are better able to make decisions, solve problems, and conceptualize new ideas because they have a better understanding of how the business runs.”
Give Context to Get Context
Let’s start at the very beginning. With any initiative, you must give context as to why this is happening. To start a job-swapping or cross-training program (or any program for that matter) without instruction, or expectations is just a waste of time. It might sound simple to the point of dumb, but give them context about gaining context. Let them know what you want them to take away from the experience.