The Agile Team: How to Keep Employees on the Learning Curve
Oftentimes, hiring managers will try to pick, the most experienced candidates out thereïbut are they always the best choice In some cases, you might be better off hiring a rookie than a veteran. Gaining new or inexperienced employees can be useful because they have a willingness to learn, and that openness can also be applied to turn your existing workforce into the agile team.
There’s a certain school of thought that says rookies are the best hires, whether they are fresh out of college or making a career switch. At times like these, they are still learning about their work and come ready to expand their horizons. This mindset makes people eager to do a good job, willing to work hard, intellectually curious, and teachable, all of which are important qualities to cultivate in the workplace. Workers often produce some of their best work as newcomers, when they are doing something difficult but important for the first time. New learners also don’t usually have any preconceived biasesïthey care about the best way to do something, not how it’s been done before.
One of the most important qualities of newcomers is something called ïlearning agilityï, which is the willingness to be curious, humble, and dedicated to learning more. These are critical qualities that will help employees do their best work, and are also important characteristics for good leaders. In the best cases, learning leaders and workers can help make an entire company more agile by being willing to make new discoveries.
The Rookie Factor
Highly successful newcomers tend to share certain traits in common: they are willing to learn from their mistakes, they focus on making smaller gains, they experiment, they seek out expertise and get help from others, and they are good at connecting the dots between various topics. Qualities like these can help a rookie succeed in their career while also benefitting the agile team and the business as a whole.
So how do you add learning agility to your workforce, even if your employees have been entrenched for a while One great way is simple to hire more newbies. Less experienced employees often thrive in environments where they are surrounded by veteransïmore experienced workers can provide advice, directions, and information to newcomers, while newer hires can teach the old guard how to approach problems in unique ways. By combining different levels of experience, a company can bring a diverse mix of perspectives to the table. (This is one reason that the multi-generational workforce model is so successful; the agile team might be composed of both Baby Boomers and Millennials.)
Corporate Culture Changes
One good way to do this is to start working on changing your company culture. If you do have a mixed workforce of rookies and veterans, then encourage people to ask questions, seek answers, stay alert, and help each other out. You might even consider creating a mentoring program to expand the outlook of both parties.
Another great way to keep your team on the learning curve is to provide coaching. You can educate your workers about the qualities newcomers possess, and encourage them to develop these characteristics in their own lives. It’s possible to reach almost a permanent rookie mindset, where workers are alert, curious, teachable, and determined.
While it’s important to learn things, it’s also important to remember your limitations. Make sure that your employees don’t feel afraid to confess that they don’t know something. Being able to admit ignorance is the first step to remedying that ignorance; it also build humility and makes the workplace more welcoming.
Learn and Move
The Agile Team is the product of a culture of leaning within your company. Modern businesses change so rapidly that the speed of learning can almost be more important than preexisting knowledge. Your company’s most valuable players should be ready and willing to jump in and learn new things.
Finally, keep in mind that one of the best qualities of newcomer sis a willingness to be bold, take new steps, and experiment. Try not to punish your employees for taking risks, and don’t hold people back until they’ve learned ïenoughï. The whole point of agile learning is that it’s an ongoing process, and that you can’t bring everything to a stop to wait for it to happen.
Your workforce is one of your company’s biggest assets. If you’re looking for other ways to encourage your employees, make great hires, and create the agile team, check out the other resources available here at Mighty Recruiter.