Merge's Blog

One of the best ways to develop your staff? Let them train others!

Last week, in our series on specific actions you can take to grow and develop your staff, I said that you should thoughtfully communicate your long-term goals and plans to them.  Today’s idea: Let them teach others.

Let them teach others

This one is so brilliant that I am always astonished when people seem surprised to hear this!  For thousands of years, people have known that the best way to understand a concept is to explain it to someone else. In fact, the Roman philosopher Seneca is credited with saying “While we teach, we learn,” in the 1st century AD.  And this notion is absolutely applicable in the workplace, to great advantage.

If you want to grow and develop your staff, get them to train others.  Sure, the obvious benefit is that it will help them develop greater depth in whatever their area of expertise is, but the advantages go far beyond that.  When you get your employees to teach others on your team, you do much more!  You build up their confidence; you give them opportunities to enhance their communication skills; you show them that you value and trust them; you help them understand the big picture in both your department and your organization; AND you end up with knowledgeable employees that can step in to help when coverage is needed for absences or increased workload.

If you want to thoughtfully and deliberately develop your staff, then getting them to train others is a spectacularly winning approach!  That’s certainly been my experience.  But what is yours?  Have you used this approach?  Does it work, or have you run into challenges?  Please share your experiences by commenting below.

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