Thursday, May 25, 2017

Framing the Role: A Guide to Better Workplace (Part 2)


Last week we discussed how ideal human resourcing assesses the inner man not only in hiring, but in training and development.

This week we'll continue our downfield drive by focusing on marketplace education, specifically how employee and employer should approach deeper learning and training opportunities...

  1.  Make Deeper Learning Equal Evident
I’ve been blessed to serve under some laudable leadership over the years.

For instance, during my first summer with TDOT, my supervisor would make sure I understood concepts not only in correspondence, but also behind-the-scenes whether taking inventory at local garages or database management courses online.  Whatever the project, whatever the assignment, he wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it. As a result, not only did I feel regularly encouraged, but I felt driven to reach beyond expectation.

Unfortunately, after a season of turnover and transition, the 'extra opportunity well' would dry leaving certain endeavors in the dust; however, though the narrative of my role would change, I ultimately realized the emerging lack of definitive pathway didn’t have to determine my deeper learning trajectory.

Rather if I simply took the time to seek the opportunity, I would eventually be able to find and pursue it. All I needed was initiative and direction to compliment my resolve.

Perhaps some of you find yourself in a similar situation. If so, whether or not deeper learning opportunities are knocking at your door, it’s important to stay persistent and patient regardless of where you think you are.

‘Cause truth is: expecting possibilities to fall into your lap is the least effective way to advance what you know.

Should your employer have a clear guide/available resources for assistance? Absolutely. I’m not sayin’ veer clear of troubleshooting personnel; however, I am sayin’ rather than succumb to a ‘rich get richer’ mentality (like I once did), focus on devising a plan, developing a timeline, communicating intentions to your supervisor, and adjusting them according to your means.

Granted, you may be unsatisfied with your title/role, maxed out within your salary grade, or in a situation where you can’t move up unless you take out a loan to get a degree1.

Yet, when I think back on smart decisions made during my TDOT tenure, no question pursuing open doors where I could mature skillsets usable inside and outside my work arena rank towards the top.

So for those wrestling with the ASAP advantage mentality, know while the pickins aren’t guaranteed to be plenty, sometimes the best move is to invest in what will benefit you down the road as opposed as to what could benefit you right now. After all, we were made to continually advance in some form or fashion.

As for the employers, understand the bond between deeper learning and morale. While it makes sense certain classifications will feature more learning/training opportunities, when employees within each classification are aware of what they can do to heighten their intellectual ceiling, you essentially heighten your quality control ceiling at the same time. Thus, as long as learning/credentialing opportunities exist, dare to be unconditional in conveying them to those you’ve chosen to hire. In doing so, you better frame the roles you seek to define.

Bottom line: When it comes to marketplace education, one of the best ways to steward awareness and morale is through in-house learning opportunities; however, like classification, a title should never drive deeper learning opportunities. Rather, deeper learning opportunities should drive the employee.

Footnotes
  1. I know you can’t paint this subject with a broad brush.
Cover photo creds: Actively Learn

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Framing the Role: A Guide to Better Workplace (Part 1)

We all know there’s no such thing as the perfect working environment.  

After all, work can’t exist without people and to err is human. Still, whether you’re a supervisor, a bivocational minister, or an entry-level employee, chances are you care about how positions are developed and managed. 


Thus, in the coming months, I want to unpack some basic concepts businesses and churches can use to frame their roles and equip their employees to thrive in them.  


The goal? To help organizations make the best investments with their best hires to achieve best outcomes.  


Let’s dive in…


1) Assess the ‘Inner Man’ 


As a bivocational pastor with seven years of marketplace experience
, I understand there are certain disadvantages when it comes to large and small scale human resourcing; however, I also believe bureaucracy and growth mismanagement don't have to determine how classifications are managed.   


For example, at my work¹, each classification is linked to a job plan involving a specific set of functions. Fair enough. 


The problem is while roles are detailed well in their promotion, they’re overly dependent on ‘template’ in their evolution. As a result, employees feel boxed in with functions forged on title rather than gifting. 


My thought is: if more organizations integrate character and gift assessment (i.e. DISCMyers-BriggsStrength Finders, etc.) into hiring, training, and development processes, then more prospects/new hires could contribute the strength of who they are in addition to the strength of what they do. 


Granted, big organizations are going to have different priorities. Yet, this doesn’t mean their personnel approach has to be shallow. 


‘Cause truth is: while procedure and process are important, you can’t define a person by a job description nor can you separate the quality of a person from the quality of his work.   


I know culturally we love streamlining/over-institutionalizing our way to bottom lines; however, if morale becomes the sacrifice in our quest to hierarchical efficiency, one must question the system.


Whatever our work situation, it’s important we remember our position is a journey, not a drop-off. And while the implications are many, bottom line…

  • Classifications should never compartmentalize what an employee can be (i.e. his innate nature in motion).  
  • A piece of paper or paragraph on a screen should never determine or dictate the totality of function. 
  • Given man gives life to function, not the other way around, the inner man must be considered in both the evaluation of fit and the evolution of role. 
Stay tuned next time when we’ll tackle our next point on equal deeper learning opportunities. In the meantime, if you have a question, idea, or story to share, feel free to comment below. 

Footnotes

  • Note: My appreciation for my workplace has grown considerably in recent months; however, this doesn't mean I can't advise from what should be improved.
  • Friday, May 12, 2017

    Eyes on the Shore: The Secret to Surviving Life's Rip Tides



    Tonight during my work out, I felt the Lord saying there are many out there currently caught in rip tides. Rip tides of fear. Rip tides of anxiety. Rip tides of ungodly belief. Rip tides of soul/spirit hurts. Rip tides of shame. Rip tides of discouragement. 


    You get the picture.

    He then said, 'Cameron, how do you get out of a rip tide?'

    I answered, 'You just wait it out, right?'

    'That's one way. What's the other?'

    I paused. Then it hit me: the best way to survive a rip tide is to swim parallel to the shore.

    So I pressed in some more: 'Lord, what's your point?'

    He then said my point is I've given you a way out when the waves of strife seek to wipe out my waves of life. For my shore is truth...my shore is the Word...my shore is my unchanging, constant will.

    All you gotta to do let my shore be your anchor, my shore be your horizon, my shore be your perspective...and then swim alongside it.

    No need to react. No need to respond. Just keep track with the shore 'til you're out of the tide. For tides constantly come and go, but my shore will always be there.

    Whoever you are, you got this.


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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.