The Job Shadowing Path To Talent Development

Large-scale companies hoping to continue their growth must curtail things that reduce productivity and increase costs. Cutting down on employee turnover and maximizing positive worker performance could help. There are numerous steps capable of supporting these goals, and some don't always receive much attention. Multifaceted talent development ranks among those positive steps not always maximized. Talent development seems like a self-explanatory term, but there's more to the process than many realize. Talent development can involve training, but lectures, workshops, and classroom sessions only do so much. There are numerous other ways to develop talent, including job shadowing. Interestingly, job shadowing may not only develop the expertise of a new employee, it might expand a seasoned employee's skills, too.

Job Shadowing and Learning Exposure 

Job shadowing is not unlike a short-term apprenticeship. A new employee follows an experienced one to observe how he/she performs. A new hire at a call center, for example, can listen to phone conversations to gain firsthand knowledge about how to handle inquiries. How much time a new employee shadows an experienced worker varies. Even a small amount of shadowing could potentially deliver benefits. The chances for successful talent development may increase when the shadowing comes with follow-up training and reviews.

Looking and Listening and More

Job shadowing provides valuable, practical experience. Management should not automatically assume the newbie employee is absorbing everything correctly. So, consider it wise to make shadowing's results more measurable. No one can learn everything in a single day, but the odds are good the new hire may pick up a few things each session. Perhaps giving the new hire guidance is best. Telling the employee to focus on two or three specific things during the shadow session adds some clarity. Then, sit down with the employee to discuss and review the three points. If the employee hasn't grasped everything, management can find out and address the training issue.

Encouraging a Journal

Watching and listening help, but limitations exist. Can the employee recall what he/she saw or heard purely from memory? Probably not, so keeping a journal of the shadow sessions creates material to review. The new hire ends up creating a textbook for future reference.

Assisting the Seasoned Employee

The experienced employee could benefit from job shadowing, too. The process might serve as a review session that may spark some new knowledge or enthusiasm. Seasoned employees often need something to shake up their regular routine. Taking part in job shadowing sessions may do so.

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