Delivering training for your staff to meet your clients' needs - ANABAS
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Delivering training for your staff to meet your clients’ needs

Working in the FM industry, we find that training comes in two forms – training that is tailored to your clients’ needs and requirements and the training of your people for personal and career development.

Training is a continuous process that must constantly evolve to ensure your staff are the best they can be. It is not just about teaching, guiding and shaping your workforce, it’s also about planning for the success of your business, because great retention will reap huge rewards for your reputation. A good business not only provides a great service with well trained staff, but also offers progression opportunities.

What’s new in training?

There has been a huge move in the industry towards mentoring and coaching. So much of FM delivery is practical and problem solving, so learning from the experience of others is invaluable. Formal qualifications are relevant and can provide a great basic knowledge as an overview but they are not necessarily tailored to what your clients need on a daily basis.

Why one to one?

In order for this style of training to work, it must be embraced by managers and may require changing mentalities. People learn from example and so with the right guidance and encouragement, positive influencing should be alive and kicking across the business.

However, the idea of becoming a mentor or coach is still one that is often shied away from. A number of common challenges include;

  1. Managers often lack the skills to teach and develop others simply because they have never been taught how to do so;
  2. Coaching is a difficult skill to master as most managers are used to directing rather than developing others to deliver something; and
  3. Managers often feel they don’t have the time to coach others in the day to day, however taking the time to share and pass on skills will save time for the business in the long run.

So in order to combat the above, a cultural shift to alter the style of management in an organisation is often required. If all staff are developed in the same way from the top down, then managers and supervisors can lead by example.

Making it work

  1. Clearly outline a plan and implement a step by step process to provide a structure for both the coach and the individual to follow, e.g. the GROW model – a simple structure which can be adapted to suit the style and skills of the coach/manager;
  2. Encourage regular and honest conversations;
  3. Trust others – allow those you are coaching to make mistakes. These provide an opportunity to reflect and to discuss how a different approach could have delivered a more positive outcome;
  4. Set or suggest clear goals, objectives and timeframes; and
  5. Map the journey and measure progress at regular intervals.

And remember, the key to being an effective coach is a good working relationship with the learner and collaboration.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) & Measuring Success

The process of CPD is designed to help identify areas for improvement or where development is required. It is also a great way to measure success and is very much a personal journey for each individual in your business. The most important aspect of CPD is that it is personal to each individual. Whilst coaching and formal training should mark part of the process, your staff are also responsible for their own development. As such, they need to identify their own needs, to take responsibility, set their own pace and use their own initiative.

A combination of learning styles and resources can be used and these include;

  1. Online training guides;
  2. On the job – shadowing;
  3. Reading and self learning; and
  4. Industry influences.

Once the CPD plan has been prepared and is being implemented, documenting progression can be done and reviewed in a number of ways. These might include;

  1. Employee journals learning and development action logs can be used to document the journey;
  2. Records of all development – training attended, qualifications gained, resources read or viewed etc.; and
  3. Sharing the learning – encourage individuals to demonstrate new skills or knowledge and share accordingly.

Final Thought

There are many different types of training and it doesn’t all have to be done behind a desk. Training should be an ongoing journey and developed based on the individuals in your organisation, your customer’s needs, changes in the industry and legislation. Delivery wise, no one size fits all. Online training has its place, as does learning in the classroom environment but not all training has to be this formal; learning on the job, shadowing, being mentored and practical skills sessions are all relevant too.

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