Written by: Tracy Dunn
Using All of the Pieces
Do you know who is working for you? Do you know who you have hired? Do you really know what level of skills you have in your repertoire of staff? In this age of doing more with less, an inventory of staff and their skills could be quite helpful. All companies are looking for more resources without additional expenses. Smaller companies are more used to doing more with less and may not have the monetary resources to hire more staff to acquire certain resources or skill sets. Larger companies may also error towards hiring new staff to acquire new skill sets or resources.
Often, I see people in place who are underutilized in their area or others for that matter. By doing inventory on who your people are and what education, background and skill sets they have, it will be much easier to find the right person for the right task. Employers need to reflect more on the resources they currently have or who they may be able to develop for a certain position or task. In so doing, they develop and invest in present employees while saving money hiring and training new employees.
Example 1: Certain staff may be uncomfortable with utilizing critical thinking skills maybe because they don’t have to use those skills regularly or they are not empowered to do so. Empowering and encouraging staff to utilize critical thinking skills to make decisions during their work day can only increase skill levels, job satisfaction and professional growth and development.
Example 2: For the times when you are looking for staff with certain degrees or backgrounds with a specific area of expertise, know that you cannot know these things unless you talk with and listen to your employees. Employers should have in depth conversations with their employees to gain these insights and learn more about their resources.
Often times I hear management discuss what is needed and how to get something implemented. Often, these talks happen without any consideration of who is in the room and the talents they already possess but are not utilized. Understandably, this can cause confusion and misunderstanding among employees. They may wonder if their employer even knows who they are, what they currently do or what they could do in the future.
I remember a time when my manager was looking at a copy of my degree and commented that I attended the same college as two other staff members. What surprised me is that she knew where the other two employees had graduated from. This was amazing as it gave the three of us another common bond.
Simple Steps & Significant Rewards
Learn who is working for you. What education or background do your employees have? What are their interests? Wouldn’t it be nice when you have a specific need to fill to be able to turn to your existing pool of people and promote or develop a skill they already possess?
The reward is twofold. First, is to develop existing employees and show current staff that you are invested in their professional growth. Secondly, when you utilize an existing employee to fill a need, you don’t have to start from scratch. They already know the mission and values of the company. Developing current employees allows employers to get to the current problem or project at hand more expeditiously.
Tracy Dunn is a Project Facilitator for Snow Consulting and has extensive experience working in the medical community with a special focus on sleep medicine, respiratory care, service coordination and compliance. Ms. Dunn has experience in hospital clinical, off sight and in home care management and is known for her industry and product knowledge, business development and tenacity in providing outstanding service for the patients directly or indirectly under her care and supervision. Ms. Dunn also works in the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, NE.