There’s an old saying, “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” that, when applied to an organization, means different members are pursuing opposing or contradictory goals. While the terms ‘opposing’ and ‘contradictory’ may sound harsh, companies where employees don’t have at least a cursory understanding of what other departments do make poor ambassadors for their employers. Test yourself – can you explain in simple terms what your sales and marketing teams do? If someone asked you what the product development department does, could you respond with something a little more elaborate than ‘they develop products?’
Cross-training employees to make a more well-rounded staff isn’t always feasible for a variety of reasons. Such formal programs can be expensive and some positions have steep learning curves, requiring advanced education and hands-on experience. Enter ‘Lunch and Learn,’ a buzz phrase in the hallowed halls of corporate America. Like the name implies, ‘L&Ls’ are informal meetings for employees to learn how their coworkers contribute to the day to day operations of their company. Oh, and lunch is served. That’s the best part (and it also contributes to a more well-rounded staff, albeit in a different way!)
Since NanoLumens kicked off their Lunch and Learns, we’ve learned advanced Adobe Photoshop techniques courtesy of marketing coordinator Patrick Osborne. We’ve also gotten a better understanding of two areas that make NanoLumens tick – projection technology and our new transparent displays – from Robert Cross who works in our research and development department.
But lunch and learns don’t necessarily have to be about work-related things. They can be a team-building exercise where people share their outside interests and hobbies – ‘personal development.’ For example, does your company engage in any charitable causes or philanthropy? Lunch and Learns are the perfect way to plan events to that end outside of the work environment.
Creating inter-company transparency while fostering personal growth and team interaction should be your goals if you’re considering implementing your own Lunch and Learn program. Just make sure you have the phone number of a deli or pizza place handy.
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About the Author
NanoLumens' Marketing Manager, seasoned marketing professional with 15+ years of progressive experience in fast-paced digital media environments. Excellent writing and graphics skills. Track record of achieving exceptional results in content creation, marketing and Search Engine Optimization. And I collect Super hero stuff. :)More Content by Joey Davis