Wiljan Vloet - Logo

dinsdag 12 januari 2016


As many of you already know I often attend congresses, presentations and seminars. Gaining new insights and developing myself are my main goals. What most people don’t know is that I myself do presentations and seminars. And when I do, I make sure that it’s a unique presentation. Those who invite me usually determine the theme and most of the time they’ll ask me to support or compare the subject with examples from the sports world.

Last month I was invited to share my vision on “Vitality and Talent development” versus “Own Responsibility”. The company had read my blog on Talent Management and wanted me to speak to the management team in the morning and make sure to start a discussion. In the afternoon they wanted me to speak to the other staff, with an activity on the subject of the presentation.

The discussion with the management was hard. Because, in my opinion, the management team did not seek enough possibilities and only looked at employees when they were trying to improve development, and behaviour.
However, they found that the employees had to gain insight and just needed to be encouraged within the development potential, and future of the company.
The management team thought that stimulating development outside of the company would not benefit the company itself.

And that is plainly against my vision. First of all, I think that a company should do more than just stimulate. I think that every organization has to offer tools and facilitation in talent development. Facilitating leads to growth of the organization on many surfaces. An employee, who gets the opportunities to develop its talent, for example when the company invests in training, gains value for the organization. And with that, the organization gains value. It is a little like the discussion in the television commercial where one HR manager says to the other: “Should we put money in developing our employees when there is a possibility of them leaving?” And the other says: “But what if we don’t”.
In my opinion, which arises from my experience in the sports world, where it is very normal to facilitate opportunities to development, this is exactly what should be done. An example of that are the healthy sports meals after every match.

I also support compulsory job rotation of employees, something that is used by Land Force or Marine. In these sectors it is obligated to change function every 4 years:  a rotation system. This system can discover talents and competencies on the basis of the new job; you still need to apply for a job. But in a sports team talents must never be rotated so they get a function where their competencies do not lay. The talent and competencies you’ve got are the starting point for the role you’re getting. This mistake is sometimes made in the amateur sports world.

There are many benefits in organizing a business so it can facilitate mobility. This way, employees come into contact with different kinds of activities, giving the company a better look at their talents. The rotation of jobs keeps people on point, and forces them into continuous self-reflection of your own development. Something that is essential in the present, and future labour market.
Rotation also increases the team feeling within a company. For leaders, rotating means gaining insight into the development of people. Youth trainers, who rotate, see the total process. When they train 14 year olds for many years, they only see development when they are able to compare them to talents of different ages. Of course you can’t put a Head Coach with 6-year-old players for a month, but in the period that the players of the national team are gone, it should be possible. He learns to see where it all began. And maybe after many years of working with the first team, he will see that the youth has changed and that they need to be approached differently.
The other day a head coach told me that he felt no connection to the youth teams of this club. I find that incomprehensible. How can you stay informed with the youth and how they experience sports when you do not work with them every now and then?

Vitality is not only benefited by healthy food in the cantina or increasing awareness of what vitality means, but also by facilitating an employee that needs to carry out heavy work. Rotating functions causes there to be periods with less heavy work. This brings benefits to all parties.
I could also name several examples where there is rotation happening, but not consciously. A friend of mine is a surgeon. Famous for his work domestically and abroad. He often reminds himself of where it begins for all patients: at the general practitioner. Every now and then he goes back there. Because the more he is aware of how the general practitioner operates, the better he can connect his treatment to the patients that end up at his consultation hour. He does this to keep his feet on the ground and to gain new impulses. As he always says: it is very refreshing.

I, myself, have got experience with job rotation from my job in youth assistance. I was linked to the education department of the boarding school Vreekwijk as a sport teacher. From the very first day that I came to work there, the manageress of that time gave me all freedom to operate within the whole boarding school. She thought that she was stimulating the cooperation between social workers and education by giving it freedom. This caused that I sometimes had to work as a group leader when too many of the staff failed to come to work due to illness. I also got to go on a vacation trip with the youth or I got used for the celebration of the anniversary of 50 years of existence of the boarding school Vreekwijk. From the period that I worked there, I cannot remember doing the same job for over a month.

The advantage was huge. I got the opportunity to connect with everyone in the organization and take part in all the activities that took place. And because we regularly switched roles, a feeling of understanding was created, which ensured that we knew how to help each other when things didn’t go to plan.
The most important thing was probably that I discovered my talent, and developed this talent by working with youth. I enjoyed my job enormously and saw every new, or extra, task I took as job enrichment, instead of an increase of workload.

Of course there are downsides to facilitating an organization like this. There will be people saying that it is impossible to orchestrate. I find this nonsense. The prejudices of job rotation are way bigger than the cons, for an individual as well as for a company. This makes it worth the effort to investigate whether it is possible or not. Job rotation needs to be made a priority for every organization. Only when employees realize how important their job is, cross-functional teams with great motivation for achieving the organization’s objectives are created.

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