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Value-adding Skills

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
Business Basics (34)      Managing Staff (15)      Productivity (11)     

Two Businesswomen Talking
Image courtesy of stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net

How well do you know your staff? Do you ever have conversations with them outside of work-related topics? I’m not necessarily talking about their family or their personal life. I’m talking about what their outside interests are. You might be surprised to find that those who work with you have skills and talents above and beyond those they use in their current role; skills that could be very useful to your business.

One aspect of the organisation I manage is an opportunity shop. I have volunteers who sort and price goods and others who work in the shop. One volunteer has been with me for about two years, but I only found out very recently that she has a love of jewelry. She makes and sells it on market stalls. This volunteer is now in charge of sorting, pricing and displaying our jewelry. Another volunteer who came to us as a receptionist is skilled in social media, so she now looks after our Facebook and LinkedIn pages. These volunteers are more than happy to take on the extra tasks because it’s what they love to do.

Two Businesswomen Talking
Image courtesy of stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net

In a previous organisation a volunteer came along wanting to work in administration and training. We found out he also worked as a Santa, so guess what? We had a special job for him at Christmas time. Another one had a love of photography, so he became our official photographer at events. He enjoyed the opportunity to attend and interact with others.

What about your staff? Do any of them have a special talent or a particular area of interest that they would like to share? Maybe they like to plan events or write copy. They may enjoy public speaking or organising.

Two Businesswomen Talking
Image courtesy of mzacha / morguefile.com

Giving them the opportunity to put these extra skills to use can enhance their job satisfaction and make them feel more connected to the business – not to mention the benefits to you.

The next time you recruit a new staff member or undertake a performance review, why not ask them a little bit about their outside interests and skills. You might find a few surprises.

#Business Basics
#Managing Staff
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