The words “job shadowing” make many human resources managers picture their high school days, in which they followed an adult acquaintance around to learn more about what they did from day to day. Today, however, companies across SoCal and the United States are setting up job-shadowing programs in which employees can work alongside one another.
Why create an employee job-shadowing program? Here are five ways these efforts pay off:
- Employees see “the big picture.” When employees job shadow one another, they see how their co-workers’ daily tasks relate to their own. With this information, they start to build their own “big picture” of how the business works and how their own efforts fit into that picture – making it easier for them to engage with their work.
- Employees learn practical skills across departments. Illness, sudden moves, job changes, a death in the family…. The reasons your staff might need some time off are numerous. When employees job shadow one another, they become better able to fill in whenever any member of the team must be out of the office.
- Employees improve their communication. Suddenly, the staff in the administrative office aren’t “the guys downstairs.” They have names and personalities – which makes it easier for “the guys upstairs” to communicate with them, and vice versa. As a result, staff become better able to resolve problems more quickly, since they have a personal connection with the very people who are best equipped to help them.
- Employees become better at networking. One of the best ways to break the ice in any networking situation is to find a common interest. Job-shadowing employees have one immediately; they are watching one another’s work. This connection tends to lead automatically to discussions of common friends, interests or backgrounds, helping your employees improve their networks and generate potential candidate referrals for your hiring.
- Employees develop flexibility and curiosity. Exposure to new ideas helps people stay flexible and curious. Job shadowing “shakes up” the day-to-day routine, which can lead to more creative problem solving and improved engagement with the daily work.
At Marquee Staffing, our SoCal recruiters can help you find better talent and build a strong onboarding, job shadowing or professional development program that expands skills and reduces turnover. Contact us today to learn more.