What would you say if we told you we had a great investment opportunity for you? Something absolutely guaranteed to pay you back much more than you put in. No risk! Great returns!
You’d have to be sceptical at the very least, because who could seriously offer you a cast iron certainty on any kind of investment?
Well, there really is one kind which is always guaranteed to pay, and with this investment, the longer you’re committed to it, the bigger the rewards.
That’s the nature of developing the people in your organisation. Keep investing in them and they’ll keep providing the returns for you, year on year. Few things mean more to staff at all levels than a structured approach to teaching and developing new skills on an ongoing basis.
But while more and more organisations are getting wise to the benefits of a culture-based approach to training and development, a fairly major oversight persists, which when addressed, has a hugely positive effect on the bottom line of any company.
That oversight is the personal development of front line staff. Not only the professional development of their current role, but the personal development of their aspirations, too. It’s not so unusual for both to go hand-in-hand when discussing the importance of training senior management, but for those at the sharp end of the operation, it’s unfortunately still something of a rarity.
This is something that we at dancing lion having taken up as a bit of a crusade! We have a passion for development and what Maslow would term ‘self-actualisation’. We’ve seen with our own eyes the amazing effect that a combined personal and professional development programme has on front line staff, and we’ve become evangelists for the cause.
So what does a combined personal/professional programme look like for our people?
We all know the meaning of a conventional culture -based training programme. It should be customer-centric in nature, with targeted objectives to be achieved in defined timescales, and delivered by managers or mentors who know their people and the conditions they work under. Relevance is key, as is a sincere desire to ‘hear’ the feedback of those being trained.
On the second tier of that training programme (but no less important) comes the personal development element. This consists of soliciting the aspirations of each individual and tailoring a personal programme which matches their wish for development as closely as possible. This would be outside the scope of their usual duties, and is likely to be completed outside business hours, such as in the case of college study, external training programmes or leadership courses.
One final element could be added to all the above and could be considered the cherry on the cake. That would be the social element of work life. This is highly valued by almost everyone in an organisation, variously as a way to let off steam, build a strong sense of community and strengthen team values. Having fun and laughing together can’t possibly be underestimated as a key part of the whole training and development mix.
If by this point in our little article you’re thinking that times have changed and managers now seem more like social workers than business people, that would be a revealing thought. The smart money is now on self-aware managers and mentors who have fully realised the value of their people. They want to invest. They want to plough time and effort into development, as the only viable means to continually push that all-important competitive advantage.
And as already stated in another recent blog article, our competitive advantage lies entirely in how well trained and developed our people are, on an ongoing basis.
If your company is committed to this level of training and development, or aspires to it, contact dancing lion today for an initial free consultation on how we can assist you to go to the next level in delivering outstanding customer service.