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How to get staff to improve their range of skills

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An employer should always have the goal in mind to improve his or her staff. Improvement comes from constant coaching and analyzing the work that has been done. Let your staff understand that the good work they do today should not be the good work they do tomorrow. The work should always improve. Putting this little stress in their lives will push them to improve their range of skills.

One way to push staff to the limit of their range of skills is to give them responsibilities that they can do with hard work and focus. As they work through it, watch how they go about seeking instruction and not the improvements they make themselves as they go along. Bring those qualities up when you talk to them. If you notice that they are getting frustrated and stuck, this is the time to step in and be a motivating coach. As the employer, put yourself outside of the problem. Don’t have your employees motivated by fear of your wrath. Motivate them by being on their team. They will want to work hard to please you because they know they can trust you.


Building trust between you and your staff takes away the vulnerability that comes with stretching yourself. Putting someone in a position that may difficult and out of the norm for them will go so much smoother if they know they have an employer that is rooting for them to succeed. Many employers use fear and the image of a strict totalitarian to scare employees into getting things done. The thing that is wrong with this approach is that it shuts down creativity and leaves them cutting corners behind your back to get things done “the right way” in fear that they will lose their jobs if they don’t. A job should be a learning process for everyone involved. This includes you, the employer.

Hiring people who have gone to college or have built themselves up with good working habits will continue to school themselves in the job that they work in. For an educated person, schooling doesn’t end with the diploma. Not if learning really was as valuable to them as the money they put into getting that degree. Your staff members should be encouraged to constantly improve their knowledge of the market, their own specific jobs, and the skills that they use to accomplish their responsibilities. Use the heads of your departments as sources for knowledge. Turn to them and rely on them for advice and they will certainly surprise you with what they know. Because they feel that they are valuable to you, they will work harder to be assets to the company. As a result, the people that are under them will work harder because they will have educated direction from your staff.

A skill is learned with practice. Although time is money, invest time in allowing your employees to fumble a bit as they improve themselves. The results that will come from improving their skills will greatly overshadow their mistakes along the way. After all, you are not a perfect employee, not matter how big an ego you have made for yourself. Make the workplace a positive environment that allows personal growth. If you are good to your employees, the effect is self explanatory.

Growth in a company starts with each staff member. If they decide they want to work hard to become better to improve themselves, it will naturally manifest itself in the results of your company.

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Posted by DK
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