At WWSB we have designed programs to mentor staff members to seek and attain the skills necessary for higher positions, some examples of success stories are:
Any and all personnel within the Production and Operation departments are cross-trained in each other's positions throughout the department.
There are varying degrees of effectiveness; but each person within the department is provided the opportunity to train on the core skills needed to perform each other's jobs. This allows us to look within the department and identify early on those individuals that qualify for advancement (as positions become available) and those that may fit for promotion within our own department as well as other departments within the station (and/or station group). This cross-training also helps with the covering of shifts due to vacation, illness, family emergencies, etc. It also provides a strong motivation and efficiencies within the department, as each individual has a well rounded skill base and working knowledge of each other's function within the department.
Senior level personnel (Directors, Production Editors, Production Coordinators, Media Controllers) within the Operations and Production departments are required to have extensive knowledge and practice for every functional position below them (Production Assistants) within the Department. They are also required to train those individuals below them and new hires as well as continue to train them as new equipment and procedures are adopted.
This results in a comprehensive training schedule (as people train for their primary function) to allow them to sample the other positions. Then the cross-training schedule is implemented. These cross-training measures are "refreshed" on a regular basis, by shifting schedules to maintain hands-on experience.
As future opportunities arise; those individuals within the Production and Operations Department - already have the proper skills, working knowledge and functional practice to qualify for potential advancement in most situations.
Each member of the news team is enabled to cross-train on various areas of the newsroom including, photography, editing, producing, reporting, anchoring and working on the assignment desk. Each employee is trained by the employee in the current position and then is allowed to work in that position during opportunities of that position being vacated. Each employee then is coached and evaluated on their performance in that position and then is considered, should they apply, for that position, should the position become vacated due to resignation or termination.
The Sales Department has and does training on a regular basis. Borrell, Dale Carnegie, Wide Orbit, Marketron, and Scarborough to name a few. We also assign projects to different AEs to run or help administrate. Through these efforts all of the AEs are subjected to leadership responsibilities. This regular exercise, I believe, maintains the constant effort of training these people to assume managerial duties at any given time.