“It’s quicker to do things yourself than to spend time to train someone to do it”
I’ve been at eXPD8 for almost 4 years and it’s changed so much in a short time, but that’s a story for another time. I was very fortunate that when I was recruited, a lot of brilliant, extremely skilled people were very generous with their time. To be honest I probably received more training in my first month at eXPD8 than a lot of my previous jobs put together.
And as I learned new things, those same people kept spending time with me. Some of them moved on but then new people came along, and they spent their time with me as well.
Some of them trained me in great details about new systems and processes. Hours and hours, spent going over step by step instructions. Practising things, repeating things, until I got them right and I could do them myself.
Some of them just were brilliant around me. Brilliant presenters, brilliant client handlers, brilliant doers. They gave me a glimpse of something different, to learn or try using myself.
Some of them challenged me and made me do things that I was very capable of doing myself. Making decisions based on my experience. Using the techniques that I had been taught. Putting practise into real life situations.
Some of them made me want to challenge them. To prove there was another way of doing things. Maybe sometimes I’ve wanted to prove a few people wrong for the right or the wrong reasons. I learnt that I was wrong quite a few times too.
4 years later, some of those brilliant people still train and challenge me today.
And now I get to train and challenge people myself.
Some of the people I’ve trained, train other people. Some of them teach me a new trick or two occasionally.
Another honest fact, this is one of the most rewarding things I get to do.
Without all these brilliant people at eXPD8 and all the time they spent on me, I wouldn’t be able to be as good at my job and I probably wouldn’t have the experience I do today. And I probably wouldn’t get those rewarding moments myself and to understand why they spent time on me in the first place.
So, here are my top six reasons why you should bother to upskill people.
- To make people ready for the next step – if you can take someone with potential and build them up. Give them tools, teach them skills, show them what to do in a situation and then put them in situations to think for themselves. If they are willing to learn, they will be ready for the next step. It’s great to have a company structure and it’s great to have a next rung to reach for on the ladder.
- Save time – delegate tasks to focus on your priorities, don’t get distracted on things that someone else can do for you. Well as long as you’ve taught them to do them well…
- Don’t keep knowledge to yourself – de-risk situations by passing on your knowledge. By spending time with people and passing skills on. Share knowledge and let other people do the work you’ve been taught to do previously.
- Spend your time on your people – spend time with people you work with. Let them watch you, show them how to do things, check that they can do things you’ve taught them correctly, checking that it’s right after they’ve done it.
- Don’t be a safety net for too long– it’s psychological but sometimes we all depends on other people. But there is a difference between asking what to do in a situation and asking if you think that your suggestion is the best course of action from someone with experience. At some stage, we all need to think for ourselves.
- Mistakes are not a bad thing – we all make mistakes, no one is perfect. Let your people make their own mistakes and own the consequences. Allow them to learn from their mistakes. Remember never to dwell on them or make the mistakes twice.
Remember, the trainees can eventually be the trainers, the inexperienced can have all the experience, the learners can learn.
That’s why I’m still here at eXPD8 4 years later and still learning.
Find out more about planet eXPD8 here .