Staff Training & Understanding People

Staff Training & Understanding People

Recruitment is a headache that many business owners will be familiar with…

So difficult is it, in fact, to find the right people at the right time, that the recruitment industry itself is big business all in its own.

It has to be; as for many business owners out there, just like you, there just isn’t enough time in the day to track down the ideal candidate by sifting through those with any kind of potential.

More on recruitment on another day though.

Let’s concentrate on the staff that you already have. Trust us, it’s so important.

Because finding staff is so difficult, investing in your staff when you do eventually find the right people to work for you, is absolutely crucial.

Training is one facet of this ‘investment in people’ that you must make, as a supportive business owner.

There are statutory training requirements for all businesses and places of work, such as health & safety, fire procedures, data protection etc etc…

…but what we’re really interested in, is the type of training that builds your staff up to be better people, both personally and professionally. That’s the sort of training that makes a difference. That’s investing in people.

Here are a few examples to put things into context…

An Enforcement company in the North West of England has, as one of its key visions, the aim to change the face of enforcement by increasing compliance in the industry.

Now, we all have our own idea of bailiffs and how they operate, with past experience, media representation and business bias all adding to the melting pot of stereotypes and caricatures.

The CEO of this particular company knows all of this, but rather than trying to fight against it or live up to it, has taken the proactive step to invest in their staff in a way that is both ambitious and progressive.

In addition to the industry specific training programmes and certifications that this company’s agents have to attain, they are also enrolled on training programmes which have been commissioned, designed and developed with the assistance of outside training providers, in order to create a bespoke and purposeful package of content, that will not only help the trainee or employee, but the company as a whole.

How? Well, for a kick off, one of the commissioned training programmes is all about ‘Identifying Vulnerability’, and for a company who claim to hold that close to their hearts, this is vitally important. Practicing what they preach, in effect.

By using an external training provider, they are able to give accredited certification to their employees, upskilling and motivating them at the same time.

Don’t be naive by forgetting about the small details either…

We’re talking about the opportunity for your employees to have a day or two away from the coal face, in a new setting, with biscuits and brews.

It isn’t a ‘break’ as such, because it is targeted and purposeful training, but just make sure you don’t go too far the other way though, or your staff could end up seeing these opportunities as a ‘bit of a break’ and that really isn’t the goal.

Just touching on recruitment again whilst we’re here, it’s also worth pointing out that this particular enforcement company recruit a large number of their employees from ex forces personnel. Who knows? Maybe it’s that discipline and commitment they’re after. It’s all about looking in the right places, but we said we’d leave recruitment for now, so we will.

Another company we want to highlight is a regional sports coaching company, who invest in the training of their staff every single year, again, for the benefit of the company as a whole, but first and foremost for the development of the employee.

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.”

A famous quote from Richard Branson there, and it seems that this particular company have taken a leaf out of his book. Their business model includes the strategy of taking on education leavers, usually on a part time basis, to deliver sports coaching activities in schools, sports clubs and throughout the community.

It sounds like a cushy number, paying young people minimum wage and raking in a fortune from venues, parents and providers, and many companies in the industry would be happy to offer a service that is safe and just ‘OK’. This company though, values their reputation so much that they are always investing in upskilling and training their staff. Every staff member is given a programme that has almost as much contact hours as a college course, which they get paid for, and runs alongside their development ‘on the job’.

What the company sees in return for this, is a team of highly motivated and highly skilled employees who are keen to put their new learning to good use in their role as sports coaches. It sounds so simple, because it is!

Going back to that Richard Branson quote…yes, the company have seen some of their previous employees leave, set up their own company and enter the local competition, but they are still out in front by some distance. They’ve also seen plenty more staff follow the business model and move on after a couple of years, with nothing but gratitude for how the company have treated them and trained them.

The nature of the work the company does often calls for temporary staff, or last minute replacement staff. Guess what? They have them in abundance, thanks to their carefully planned, extensive training offer that each and every staff member has access to during their time with the company.

Bespoke, purposeful training that impacts every part of the chain. The company, the employee, the client and the service users all benefit in turn, from this attitude of investing in your staff.

It’s so important.

Yes, of course, all of the statutory stuff is important too, and developing induction programmes and staff handbooks will prove beneficial for every single business out there, but the type of training, or should we say, investment in people, that will really make the difference, is that which you design yourself, or with the help of external training providers and educators. The type that is industry specific, forward thinking, purposeful, educational, and dare we say it, ‘fun’, That sort of investment in people will change from business to business and industry to industry, but don’t think it doesn’t apply to you, no matter the number of employees you have.

Don’t have any employees?

Invest in yourself. Find the right training and professional development programmes for you. If you are the only member of staff, you’re just as important as another business’s team of hundreds.

Don’t forget that.

So that’s how we invest in people training wise, but what about really understanding people…

Perhaps that’s a conversation for another time, but we’re thinking about things like team building, activities away from the workplace, nights out, and again, it doesn’t matter what size of business we’re talking about.

As a parting comment on this, understanding people and valuing your staff, we know of a business owner, who specialised in PAT testing as it happens, who had one member of staff. That member of staff loved his golf. Every three months, when the weather allowed, the ‘boss’ if you like, took his sole employee on a golf day. His employee, who was invaluable to the business, and who would’ve been nearly impossible to replace, continued to work for the company for over 20 years.

There must be something in that.