In the beginning, it was important that Alan lay out in detail for me exactly what amount of time he intended for me to spend on different tasks.
This helped me plan my week, knowing that I needed a couple hours for this task, and a few hours for that…
But there was one thing he added that stumped me. He said I could use 1 ½ hours each week to “help out” in any way I saw fit for the benefit of Group Dynamic.
No employer had ever given me space to simply “help out”.
Although I desperately wanted to, for weeks I couldn’t think of a single thing to do that we hadn’t already discussed as a task.
Finally it hit me. There was absolutely room for me to help out.
What’s one thing I know Alan needs, is currently operating without, AND is going to need in the future?
The answer: training material. BINGO.
When I came on board with Group Dynamic, Alan laid everything out to me on paper. As in, he wrote it down for me fresh out of his head. I finally realized that in the future, should another person join forces with Group Dynamic, it might be nice to have training material typed up and ready to give them.
So, I’ve started documenting the on-boarding experience I’ve had with Alan and Group Dynamic.
I’ve been writing about values, expectations, time frames, and how to’s; all complete with links and helpful tips.
I hope to make a stylish Group Dynamic e-training book from it all.
The point is – without the space Alan gave me up front to creatively think up helpful tasks to do on my own, the idea may never have crossed my mind.
Are you giving direct reports space to simply help out?
Well! Thanks, Ashleigh! As I read this over lunch on January 13, it’s the first I’ve heard about how she’s been spending that time.
The idea of “space to help out” is inspired by two bits:
1) The Disney Institute shares stories of how many park improvements were the result of input and observation from front-line employees.
2) I remember many times that my colleagues and I might have decent ideas for how to improve things, but without the voice or power to do it.
Note well — it’s important to give this freedom, but be ready to provide more guidance if needed. Not everyone is ready for it.
I’m really looking forward to Ashleigh’s work!