This past week, I have found myself pushed out of my typical comfort zone in terms of my work projects – and thrust into areas that are newer to me/require me to stretch a bit. While uncomfortable at times, it’s also a lot of fun – made more so by the fact that I am lucky enough to work in an office that truly lives by the credo, “there are no stupid questions.” In fact, in my 5+ years of working at GroundFloor Media, I have consistently found that my colleagues are always willing and eager to answer questions, share knowledge, teach, etc.
In fact, peer learning is an important aspect of life at GroundFloor Media. While we’re also always encouraged to find and sign up for professional development webinars, conferences, etc., the best way I’ve found by far to stay on top of the rapidly changing PR industry is to dive in on projects with colleagues who know more in a certain area than I do. This week alone, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my knowledge/expertise in the areas of SEO, digital project development and video. I like to think that, in turn, I am able to teach my colleagues in areas where I may have more expertise.
I’m certain that our flat structure is one of the reasons that peer teaching/learning works so well at GroundFloor Media. All too often, I hear of people in competitive, political work environments where getting ahead matters infinitely more than sharing skillsets/knowledge with teammates. Or where people are afraid to ask questions out of fear of looking foolish. Perhaps that’s why the Gallup poll numbers released earlier this week showed that nearly 68 percent of Colorado workers aren’t happy in their jobs, a number that is also very similar on a national basis.
Creating an environment where it is safe to ask questions and it is OK if you don’t have all of the answers is key to having engaged, empowered employees. It also leads to more creative, thoughtful, innovative approaches to projects. I can’t wait to see what I’m going to learn next.