Sticky Notes: Turn Every Employee into a Knowledge Worker

Teach everybody at every level to leverage information, technique, and ideas in every move they make at work.

Employers nowadays too often divide their employees into two categories: those who are “knowledge workers” and those who are not. Those with higher levels of education and responsibility for higher-level tasks are considered knowledge workers. The strategy is to concentrate training and development resources on the so-called knowledge-workers. I think this approach is a huge mistake.

We teach that “knowledge work” is not about what you do but how you do whatever it is you do. Turn every employee in your organization into a knowledge worker by teaching everybody at every level to leverage information, technique, and ideas in every move they make at work.

The more you help employees think about their work, the more engaged they will be. The more you encourage them to learn while they work, the better they will do their jobs.

The best teaching-style managers encourage employees to make individualized learning plans for work and even keep learning journals. They map out their responsibilities, and for each one, they make a list of learning resources. Then they set learning goals for themselves directly related to their specific responsibilities and journal their learning efforts, how they’ve tapped each learning resource, what they’ve learned, and how they’ve used that to improve their performance.

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