The search for sustainable company culture and programs to retain employees seems never-ending. Each month, the workforce experiences more than 4 million separations—that includes employees quitting, which makes up more than half of that statistic at 2.7 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In response to this, it seems companies are spending a lot more money on training. In fact, spending on learning and development programs has increased an average 15% in the past year, the largest growth rate in seven years, according to a Bersin by Deloitte study.
Perhaps they’ve fallen prey to the myth that when something is wrong, you should throw more money at it. But if an organization is experiencing problems with its culture, or engaging and retaining employees, when is it time to take a look at what resources are being overlooked?
When it comes to welcoming new employees for example, other new hires or junior employees can be huge assets on day one if they know where to find the right resources.
Here are some hidden assets companies might not know they have:
These employees are experts in particular areas, but you wouldn’t know if you didn’t give them the chance to train new employees.
Allow your area experts to develop training materials. These could include checklists, written guides, or even video demos that can be shared online. Then allow trainees to rate their trainers based on qualities like communication skills, knowledge, and friendliness.
The true test to identify your employees’ skill in training will be in determining how comfortable trainees feel with what they’ve learned so far. Ask employees to rate their knowledge and perceived ability to accomplish tasks on their own throughout the training process.
Your new hires won’t be the only ones who benefit from peer training. Training others will help your stars-in-the-making grow as they gain a better understanding of the intricacies of tasks through communicating them to new team members.
A common mistake managers often make with new hires is believing they are always dependent or incapable of operating with little to no direction. However, this isn’t always the case if a company is set up with the right tools that enable employees to be more self-sufficient.
Think about how much money we spend on formal training programs. It’s about $1,208 per employee, The Association for Talent Development estimates. And after their formal training the employee will still have questions and need access to the documents that guide them through new processes.
A new survey by Tiny HR reveals one in four employees do not have the tools to be successful in their jobs.
But if new hires know where to find the resources they need—if they’re saved on a cloud-based searchable content management system, for example—they can help answer their own questions, and even the questions of others on day one.
New hires often avoid asking questions so they don't feel inadequate. When new hires can find the resources they need without having to ask others several times each day, they will feel more competent.
A positive company culture remains at the top of many companies’ wish lists, especially since studies show it positively correlates with a company’s financial performance and attractiveness of job offerings.
Only 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work, according to Tiny HR. But the survey also found camaraderie and peer relationships were the number one factor in motivating employees to outperform expectations. Companies need to provide more opportunities to build positive peer relationships through employees helping one another.
If employees are never given the opportunity to help one another, encourage helping through the tools your team uses. For example, use a Q&A forum where employees can pose and answer questions for one another. For communication throughout the day, use an instant messaging service where new hires and seasoned employees can chat.
The more opportunities employees have to communicate with one another and share knowledge, the more learning will take place. A culture where everyone collaborates and works together smoothly to complete projects is rare in today’s workplace. But given the right tools and encouragement, your employees will have the power to transform your workplace culture right before your eyes.
Of course, the best scenario is when these programs are integrated all into one platform so employees aren’t overwhelmed with using separate programs for everything.
Once you uncover these hidden assets within your company, you’ll find that many processes that previously required maintenance or your initiation become more employee managed. That’s what peer-to-peer learning methods do for managers—they take a lot of extra work off their hands. Instead of paying for expensive seminars, conferences and learning licenses, search within your organization to see the knowledge and learning opportunities hidden within.
What are some hidden assets you’ve uncovered within your company?
—Avi Singer is the founder of showd.me, a social learning platform that allows employees to easily train and learn from other employees across an organization. Connect with Avi and showd.me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.