By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Gallatin, TN

The look on your employee’s face says it all: the light has dawned.  They have “connected the dots”.  What can you do so that it happens earlier in their training, making them more productive, more quickly?

And one approach you definitely can’t count on is for them to get it by osmosis.  You can’t expect your employees to learn to connect the dots by reading a book or listening to you talk about how or why you did what you did.

One of the pitfalls of being an experienced BV practitioner, and having the carefully calibrated judgment that goes with it, is how easy it can be to forget that you weren’t always so wise.  You didn’t always know what you know.

Your learning process was experiential in nature.  Your employees will benefit from the same approach.  Tim Dankoff, Partner in the Southfield, MI office of Plante Moran, has developed a method for nudging employees a little faster along the path of learning to connect the dots.

Tim takes the employee under his wing.  He takes them along on calls, literally having the employee “shadow” him and get client exposure.  Then, on the trip back to the office or while at lunch, he asks questions intended to generate learning opportunities:

What just happened?

Tell me what you heard.

Why did I do/say that?

What did we accomplish?

He has a commitment that if he has a project coming up, one of his staff is with him from start to finish on that project.  For Tim, the worst thing would be to pull them in after it starts, or to take them off before it finishes.

Business valuation is a business of judgment.  If you want your employees to grow and become more productive and profitable, you’ll need to develop your own methods of letting them exercise and strengthen that judgment.

John Borrowman