My youngest child started Kindergarten in September! Like most parents, I was super excited for her to start school. I was excited for her to learn and make new friends! I’m super fortunate to still live close and be close to several of my friends from elementary school — even though I grew up in New Jersey and now live in North Carolina. I pray my kids are blessed to able to find and keep great friends … Either way, I was excited and looking forward to both of my children flourishing as “school agers” before the tumultuous “tween” and “teen” years set in.
What I wasn’t really anticipating was the challenge of this new routine. I’d settled into a great rhythm with my son over the last 2 years — and I didn’t anticipate how I was going to balance giving my 2nd grader and Kindergartner what they needed to be successful in their work.
I thought it would be so easy! I was so wrong.
They were on different levels of experience. My son knew exactly how to get himself up and ready in the mornings as well as how to wind things down at night. My daughter was a big ball of excitement who didn’t know where to start or end. They were on different levels of learning. His work was challenging and hers was more basic. And they are just plain different people in about every way — but both equally awesome.
It occured to me that managers and leaders deal with this every day. Our employees come to us with a wide spectrum of knowledge, skills and abilities. We have to rise to the challenge of developing a plan to meet their needs and ensure they are successful at their work.
And just like with my two very different but equally awesome kids, our plans to train and develop our employees has to be tailored to each individual. We have to study our employees to find out how they learn best as well as what interests them most. We have to understand the way the work flows and where the priorities lie. Then we have to use that information to help our employees work within the structure to both keep them engaged and keep advancing the company’s goals.
Simple, right? Yep. HR is just kid stuff.