Making The Most Of Company Talent

Jim Luff
Posted on September 21, 2010
SMART HR: Use the resources of your employees to save money and showcase their abilities.
 
Outside of my life in the limousine industry, I am very involved in charity events usually run by volunteers. I recently was involved in putting together an annual festival that required more than 400 volunteers. There are so many volunteers that we have to train them over the course of two nights because we don’t have a facility large enough to train them all once.
 
One of the first things I do when putting together an event is start polling each volunteer on what their “specialty” is. Some people have marketing talents and connections. Some have artistic skills, while others might have an accounting background. Then there are those with just sheer muscle for manpower. Once the skill is determined, we start making assignments that will give the volunteer enjoyment in doing something they have experience in. And that benefits our event by having experienced people do the job.
 
I realized that this same formula has been used in my office for years and although I try to use the resources and talent we have under our own roof, sometimes we forget or perhaps we don’t even know about a talent. This is why I decided to share these thoughts so you can dig deeper within your own organization to determine what other skills your employees have beyond their job duties.
 
Over the years I have discovered amazing talents within our organization that have saved thousands of dollars. One of our reservationists has quite the knack for designing web pages, including locating clip art and providing excellent graphics to go with our packages on our web site. A chauffeur with great drawing skills designed tickets for us to use at a wine festival and took the project from inception to completion. One of our chauffeurs is a former vehicle air-conditioning tech for a large oil company. Now that is a dream come true for any limousine company!
 
Don’t just look to your employees to accomplish the job you hired them for but look beyond their job functions and find out who they really are. If an employee is part-time, find out what that person does full-time. I am not talking about finding out where they work. I am talking about what they do on a daily basis. If they are an off-duty highway patrol officer, perhaps they could teach a safety class for you. Off-duty firefighters can teach basic First Aid classes. The sky is the limit; the more people you have employed, the more resources you must draw from. People love to showcase their talent and skills. And don’t forget to thank them for the use of those skills. People also enjoy praise.
 

— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor

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Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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