Seize Cross-Training Opportunities
Do you want to adopt new skills or learn about specific departments' inner workings within your company? Now is the time! Most companies operate in silos, making it hard to get involved under normal circumstances. Whether these operating models happen because of multiple office locations, lack of outreach, or for a number of other reasons, gaining cross-team insights can seem like an impossible task.
With many companies moving to mostly, or exclusively, work from home models, now is the time to get involved in areas where you are interested. With meetings mostly being held on virtual platforms, geographical restrictions, nor any other reason, are prohibitive.
Perhaps you are in HR, but you would love to learn how the ideas about your company's core products come to life, reach out to the product development and UI/UX teams to learn more. Or maybe you work in sales and would love to dive into the finance world, ask to sit in on some budget planning meetings to gain more insight.
Not only will this cross-pollinating help you develop your knowledge, but it will help create interconnectivity between teams and departments. It will also expand the diversity of thought for all involved.
A few tips to get started:
Reach out to the team leader or someone you know on the team and ask when a relevant meeting will occur. Ask to be your contact's guest.
Please, don't overdo it. It may be tempting to try to dive into ten meetings in a week, limit it to one or two so you don't overextend yourself or neglect your core work.
Seek permission from the host before you attend a meeting.
Speak up! If you have an idea during the meeting, don't be afraid to voice your thoughts.
Follow up. If you come up with ideas after the meeting or want to be more involved, make it known to the team leader or group.
Be transparent about your goals to your boss and the relevant teams.
Be inclusive. When others want to learn more about your team functions, allow them to be involved where appropriate.
Show up. If a team extends an invitation for you to sit in on a meeting, make sure you are there and attentive. Not showing up or being disengaged could lead to you not being asked back again.
The future is yours, don't be afraid to seize the opportunity.
Bonus: People involved with multiple teams are more likely to stay with the company for longer durations. So encourage your team to get involved with others!
This tip originally appeared in the Lowdown, a weekly EX Newsletter provided by Joyus. If you would like tips like this delivered directly to your email box weekly please sign-up.