Training and Development Initiatives: Communication is KeyTraining + Development
By Amanda Smith, Project Training Coordinator
In 2016, CNUC experienced its largest growth in company history. This was a year filled with new contracts and expansion of existing business. One may ask, how does a growing company maintain the expertise of its valued employees, while disseminating knowledge to develop new experts in the field? For CNUC, communication is key.
Knowledge is a core value of our company. Everyone on this team is an expert in something; they’ve mastered a task or perhaps have had formal training in a classroom. Much of that background is tree-related, but some of our mastery lies in other fields. By sharing the knowledge amongst one another, in a meaningful way, improves the capabilities of the entire team. Near the end of 2016, I was assigned the role of a project training coordinator. In a broad sense, my role is to help train new employees as well as continue to develop the expertise of existing employees. When I started this role, I was focused on streamlining our training program. While developing or modifying existing training materials and checklists, I’ve been able to create a more effective and consistent training experience. Communication is important here, as well. Sometimes discovering the gaps in training comes directly from fellow Lead CUFs or CUFs in the field.
Last week, a co-worker let me know there were some job tasks that he saw fellow teammates struggling with. This kind of feedback is integral to the success of improving our training program. Sharing knowledge and feedback is another aspect of my role. One of the many rewarding projects I work on is the Tree of the Week. The weekly email highlights one tree species in our service territory. The idea behind it is that learning about trees beyond what we’re already familiar with will expand or reinforce our botanical knowledge.
CNUC was founded by experts in the UVM field and as we continue to grow, it’s important to remember these roots. I am proud to be in a role where I can contribute to the educational development of our team.