Organizations all need improved revenue and/or profits and lower costs—perhaps by an improved process; and innovation is a key element here and everywhere, especially in the workplace. Innovation in the workplace can be boosted not just by opening to your own resources but by engaging your temporary consultants.
Through employee rotation, embedding and opening up to consultants, you can bring new ideas and perspectives to issues and challenges—all potentially leading to still better business outcomes.
Many firms have rotation programs—where an employee is moved to another unit or area, for the purpose of cross-training. This is a good, acceptable practice.
Embedding—by which you place someone from another unit or area into another project, for a limited amount of time–perhaps a few hours a week is not so common—I presume. This is great to have!
Opening to your consultants would be accomplished the same way as embedding, where you expose consultants to other projects—in a similar, limited time frames. This may not be common, but may be phenomenal!
The benefits of rotating employees are well understood and common. But embedding both employees and consultants, would also likely produce great benefits by bringing new perspectives and experiences to bear.
Consultants or contractors–especially, a normally limited-time resource, are particularly potentially beneficial, as many have been exposed to a great variety of environments and situations. They are usually rich with lessons to be harvested by the hiring company. Of course, not all consultants nor employees are always up to the task—mentally, but this can be overcome and have them motivated.
Not exploring and exploiting these two opportunities is wasting very valuable resources. Resources you are already paying for.
Employing both embedding approaches have the added benefit of allowing the firm to learn more, in a practical way, about their employees and consultants. As well as employees and contractors to see what else is “out there” (in the company) that they could contribute in the future.
This is also a great motivational tool as you empower these assets to expand their horizons, better positioning themselves for growth and increase satisfaction while contributing to the firm’s bottom line.
Don’t waste time…explore these venues for innovation and growth.
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Jose Floren, PMI, CSM, is Sr. Developer, Applications at Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc. He has 25 years of comprehensive IT experience, contributing to solutions in support of a variety of industries and commercial applications, including ERP’s in manufacturing. Jose has managed and worked with IT teams and projects, performing systems analysis and design, and development and programming in a variety of architectures. You can contact Jose here.