Developing People

Have you ever started a new job? Of course! We all have. Depending on your surroundings, it can be pretty intimidating. While learning your new role in addition to (but not limited to) break schedules, Human Resources info, Occupational Health and Safety policies, organizational processes, getting to know your supervisor, names of the administrative staff, colleagues and so on… how do you develop in the role?
There are many approaches to people development and perhaps the one that we are most familiar with is the “sink or swim” mentality. Personally, I believe that this approach is antiquated and does not set people up for success. Work cultures are changing and we can take an approach from simulation training and apply it to employee development.
Simulation can be defined as the replication of a system. An immersive scenario or event is designed and modeled according to objectives and expectations and an accurate simulation reflects the fidelity or reality of the system. With this in mind, how do we use simulation to develop new hires? Modeling. No, not the runway and catwalk in New York or Milan type; model the behaviors and reality of the job. Here’s why modeling is important – it sets the nature or tone of the working relationship and the first 90 days are critical to employee development.
The most important development tool during the modeling phase is the mentor, buddy, senior staff or whatever the common term is in your workplace. This mentor should be someone who is great at their job and who demonstrates or models the key characteristics that you want to see in the new employee. Consider the example of someone who is happy at work, who lends a helping hand to colleagues and does a good job. Alternatively, think about the mentor who was “told” that they are mentoring a new staff member 15 minutes before a shift begins. There can be two very different experiences and outcomes for the new employee and mentor. Either way, the result reflects the working culture and expectations of the new hire.
Bringing new employees on board can be an exhilarating experience and is a critical piece in employee development. The use of modeling key behaviors and expectations through mentors that we see in a simulation can help alleviate stress for new employees, help build positive relationships, impact work culture and most importantly, set the person up for success.
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About the Author: Matthew Jubelius is a subject matter expert in healthcare simulation. He is a consultant, educator and wants to change the future of people development, education, and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through for simulation consulting, program and people development opportunities.

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