If you went to university in the US, this will be a familiar theme for you: major and minor. For those who didn’t, it’s the idea that your major is the key focus of your university career, the classes that make up the core of your curriculum. The minor is one that perhaps complements your major, or for some, is a completely different subject altogether- languages, arts, music, etc.
The ad company Translation has taken this concept in a new direction. As Steve Stoute the founder says about minors:
“When I ask you what your minor is, it’s the thing you’d be doing if you didn’t have this job. If money didn’t matter and it’s a passion you have, what would you be doing?”
Not only is this beneficial for employees, making them feel valued and encouraged in their own pursuits, but it can also add to the growth of the business.
Stoute explains that with his team’s minors, he’s able to tap into a skill set that could, in turn, be beneficial to the company. “If we have a client brief and there’s any peripheral dimension to the solution that touches your minor, then you should be involved in that client solution,”
It is about fostering a sense of collaboration between employees, company and who they are. Because many people work to help fund these outside activities, by not creating an atmosphere where you must hide them, they are allowing employees to be themselves. Allowing employees to be themselves is also tackled on the Harvard Business Review blog where Dorie Clark and Christie Smith talk about helping your employee be themselves at work.
Uncovering Talent, reveals that 61% of all employees “cover” their identities in some way – not necessarily hiding something, but downplaying it for fear of drawing unwanted attention or making others uncomfortable.
In their article they suggest 5 strategies that can help talent uncover in the workplace:
- Shift the language
- Share Your Story
- Embrace Analytics
- Force The Conversation
- Look Beyond the Obvious
It all comes back to the idea of employee engagement and innovative ways for workers from the top down, from the bottom up to think and engage staff.