Developing Future Leaders: Engaging Employees in Learning Together and Collaboration

Developing Future Leaders: Engaging Employees in Learning Together and Collaboration

Developing Future Leaders: Engaging Employees in Learning Together and Collaboration

Today, agencies and companies are facing more difficult challenges than ever, and people are the biggest advantage to help tackle these challenges. Developing soft skills, leadership talents, and consulting skills is essential to solving mission-critical challenges in the dynamic world of Government consulting.

Training for critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills is not commercially available at a reasonable cost. How can we invest in our people through a customized program without breaking the bank?

To address this challenge, Arc Aspicio piloted innovative Peer Groups. Peer Groups are interactive learning groups of eight to ten employees around the same career level that meet to discuss relevant topics to develop the leadership and critical thinking skills needed to solve complex client challenges. These groups are a co-investment of the employee and the company in professional development. The company invests money and time developing the training, and growing leaders invest their personal time attending sessions and collaborating between sessions with peers.

In 2017, Arc Aspicio initiated an experimental set of two Peer Groups. Company leaders selected participants from volunteers, then helped participants identify and prioritize topics that were relevant to their individual interests and career goals. For eight months, we met monthly for personalized training, coaching, and executive discussions. We took these skills and applied them directly to our challenges on the client site and internally within the company. The experiment was a success.

Since those first two groups, Arc Aspicio has formalized the program, running approximately six peer groups per year. I just finished up my third peer group. It focused on developing leadership skills, which I was able to apply directly to my own team and yielded great results. Learning in the group setting allowed us to learn from our peers’ experiences and ask questions to people in similar situations. We discussed various topics, including how to motivate employees, learn from personal failures, and set team visions.

Peer Groups have helped our teams grow in an efficient, effective way that strengthens relationships among peers and executives. In several of the groups, employees who otherwise feel siloed on client sites were able to join an internal team of colleagues. Many that often interacted only virtually were able to work and learn face-to-face with peers and executives. Employees had the chance to build and practice soft skills and become better leaders and consultants in a safe environment.

Peer learning is a big investment for a company organization to make, but one with a big payoff in learning and relationships. One senior associate recently shared with me that her Peer Group “learned in seven months what many learn only after years of experience.” Peer Groups give employees the opportunity to bring new lessons and skills to achieve success, both in their careers, for the company, and ultimately, for our clients and their missions.

About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio enhances the future of our nation by creating bold ideas and bringing them to life. A consulting and solutions company, Arc Aspicio solves problems by applying our integrated capabilities in strategy, design, data, human capital, behavioral science, and technology. The company passionately pursues our vision to be the hub of creativity where people take action to change the world. To do this, employees collaborate with clients and partners to create solutions using a human-centered approach. Innovation is not possible without action. The company focuses on strategy first, then takes a hands-on approach implementing ideas to achieve results. Join Arc Aspicio and our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab) by creating and sharing ideas to inspire people to change the world. Follow us on Twitter @ArcAspicio @SILabDC and learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Blog Leadership Employees

Contributors

Erin Krause |

Erin Krause is a Proposal Senior Associate at Arc Aspicio. Erin graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in English Professional Writing and Legal Studies from Elizabethtown College in 2016 and brings experience in political science, writing, and business.

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