Think about the first person who supported your decision to start a business. Or maybe it was someone who encouraged you to step outside your comfort zone and apply for a leadership position. These people gave you the knowledge and support necessary to find business success. Maybe they were a mentor or a business advisor. Or maybe they were coworkers with whom you grabbed lunch once or twice a week.
As the business landscape changes it is more important than ever for business leaders to develop and mentor the upcoming generation of business leaders, including current employees. Sharing information and experience helps shape the world of business. Nothing should be left undiscussed. Knowledge of business, experience, and technology aren’t meant to be kept to oneself. When we give it to others freely we are building new leaders who will take what they have been taught and expand upon it in even greater ways.
Responsibility & Information Sharing
Business leaders have a responsibility to share information with their employees and anyone they mentor. This includes sharing information on how to start a business, using innovative technologies, and social media use. This is good for the entire business community: better educated employees make better employees. When we information share everyone learns something, even the teachers. These conversations don’t have to be formal meetings. It can be casual, over coffee or lunch. What matters is that there is sharing and listening happening.
The role of technology in business is always an important topic. People want to know what apps and technology leaders use to simplify and organize their lives. Whether you prefer Dropbox or Evernote or Google Calendars or all of the above, sharing that simple information makes a difference. It gives employees the tools to organize their work and improve their productivity. Many people are overwhelmed by the available platforms, so guidance through company policy or just advice is a great way to disperse information. In any business organization setting, sharing and security are key elements. Make sure you review how you work with technology partners to create secure spaces. This topic is often overlooked, but it can be make or break for any business.
There are multiple benefits to providing employees with opportunities for both formal and informal continuing education. Most importantly: smart employees make your company better. Education is almost always a pathway to success, and to educate employees means your bottom line will benefit. Beyond that purpose, it encourages employees to take pride in what they are learning and use it to grow professionally. Focus on giving them information that gives them business independence. This means information that helps them do their job better and provides them the foundation for business leadership. Our recommendation, setup a local intranet site to highlight the education opportunities within the organization. Encourage workshops and stream the video of talks so everyone can enjoy them. Identify key areas of employee development and partner with external organizations for employees to take classes online from their desks.
This is often the hardest for business leaders. Unless information is proprietary and requires discretion, there is no reason to not share with employees and mentees. Sharing information and trusting your employees to use it properly is key to building new leaders. Embrace the role of mentor and make it your goal to give employees the skills to start their own business. Even if they never do, they have the knowledge to make your business better. Share everything from what books you read to mistakes you have made. Help organize the information by using technology tools like Trello, Google Drive, and Asana to name a few great options. Creating a centralized location to share and store the information will help encourage and facilitate transparency. Encourage employees to do the same with both you and others.
If you aren’t already holding education sessions for your employees now is a great time to start. Put together one lunch & learn a month on different topics: organization, technology, time management, the industry, etc and share your knowledge and those of other leaders in the community. Spend time teaching employees how to properly manage their social media presence, digital footprint, and using technology to goal set and find success. Find a technology partner or discuss the technology footprint of your organization with your IT team. Technology can be a powerful tool to move forward with programs that take leaders in your own company and pair them with new employees. Do things that benefit everyone and build up the new generation of leaders.