- More people are learning independently in ad hoc, asynchronous fashion.
- As options for learning have expanded, employees feel they have less time to learn.
- People want job rotation and stretch assignments, but rarely get them.
Michele sees great potential for addressing the high-tech / high-touch desires of employees. For instance, she believes that employers could use much more virtual mentoring.
I agree, though mentoring is not one of those make-it-so solutions that senior managers are so fond of.
The Masie Center probably didn’t explore the topic of seelou training, though I believe this is the single most common approach to learning on the job.
“Do what Lou does.”
People can learn on the job, of course — that happens all the time. The question is whether it makes sense, organizationally, to look for factors that increase the likelihood of learning. If you’re going to have mentoring, for example, how do you choose the mentors? What’s in it for them?
Allison Rossett tells of a mentoring program for a real estate brokerage. Experienced, successful agents seemed like the ideal mentors for new hires. But not every senior agent wanted to be a mentor, and not everyone who wanted to worked out well. The firm discovered it needed to provide training and support for the mentors, as well as for the new hires.
(There’s a difference between a war story and a real-life example; that difference isn’t always obvious.)
One organization change that this company implemented: compensating the mentors not only for time taken from their own selling activities, but also as a way of sharing in the success of the people they mentored.
I might be a skeptic, but I think it’d take quite some time for individual mentors to make that happen.