We’ve all been there. You are assigned a task and know it can be done, but have no idea how to do it.
That is a reality of the workplace. This reality is actually an opportunity waiting to happen. It’s an opportunity for employers to make the workplace valuable, make their employees feel valued and turn around great, valuable products for clients.
Making the workplace valuable can be tricky. Many things go into competing for those “best places to work” competitions. Companies trying to attract young people have Jello fights and chicken petting day. Companies trying to retain people who have been in the workforce offer benefit packages that include health insurance and discount warehouse memberships.
But one key way to make the workplace valuable is by encouraging staff to try and learn new things.
I am given this opportunity every day. On a weekly basis I use at least four graphic design programs from Adobe, an animation software, a video editing software and multiple Microsoft products. I started using all of these in high school or college more than 10 years ago.
Because I’ve worked at places that encourage learning and self-growth, I’ve been able to keep up my skills in all of these programs, and add new programs to my repertoire.
It takes time to learn the programs and practice, but that time equates to having more graphic design, video editing and design skills in general. This space for growth has made me a more valuable employee, but it’s also made my workplace valuable to me.
By investing in training time and skill development, it’s also made the products I produce improve. Now when a client comes to us with a specific need, we have a multitude of options to help find a solution.
Need to explain an infrastructure project? AE2S Communications gave me the opportunity to learn how to create animations last year. Now I’m able to easily create fun-to-watch cartoons about how or why a clients’ project is needed and how it will be built.
Want to support a successful voter-approved initiative? I’ve been given the freedom to hone my design skills and can make you an entire set of infographics, handouts, GIFs and interactive websites.
By giving me time, space and encouragement to hone and expand my skills, I now add value to my company and for our clients.
So give your employees a chance to learn something new. Ask them if there is a program they are interested in learning and maybe the next time an impossible task comes your way, you will have the skills needed to do the job right.