The more your employees know — about your business, the industry in which you operate, your competitors and your clients –the better they will serve you. Think about it for a minute… consider any situation where you needed to learn something new. Weren’t you more at ease after you read the directions or were taught how to do it? The same philosophy applies to educating your employees. Often, this is done through an orientation at the start of their employment, but much of that information isn’t retained. They are trying to learn about your company and learn their new role at the same time. It can be overwhelming.
One fun way to engage employees is to create an employee scavenger hunt. Give them a week or longer to complete it. In the scavenger hunt, ask questions that will require employees to reach out to other employees for the information. For example, ask the question ‘what vendors does the company primarily use?’ To answer this question, the employee would need to ask the inventory manager, or shift manager, or another person depending on the infrastructure of your company.
Questions in the scavenger hunt should come from a broad range of resources: staff, information found in your website, customers, and vendors. Include questions about your competitors, even something simple like, ‘who are our top three local competitors?’
When an employee completes the scavenger hunt, it’s a great time to meet with them and talk about what they learned and engage them even further in the business. Scavenger hunts can also be used as a team building exercise. For teams and longer term employees, use more in depth questions where you might even consider offering a small reward for correctly answering all the questions. Or, recognize the employees at a team meeting for the accomplishment.
I read once that if you do something you love for a living, you will truly love your job. I believe as employers, we need to also do what we can to engage our employees so that they do love their job. Employers reap great rewards in the long run.