The development of staff to meet clients' needs requires training in evolving and adaptable processes, says Gemma Rigby.
06 November 2018 | Gemma Rigby
In FM, training comes in two forms: training tailored to your clients' needs and requirements, and training your people for personal and career development.
Training is continuous and must evolve to ensure that your staff are the best they can be. It's not just about teaching, guiding and shaping your workforce, it's also about planning for the success of your business because high retention will reap huge rewards for your reputation.
A good business not only provides a great service with well-trained staff, but also offers chances for progression.
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, so learning from others' experience is invaluable.
People learn from example, so with the right guidance and encouragement positive influencing should thrive across the business.
But the idea of becoming a mentor or coach is often shied away from because of several common challenges.
- Managers often lack the skills to teach and develop others because they have never been taught how to do so.
- Coaching is a tough skill to master because most managers are used to directing rather than developing others to deliver.
- Managers often feel they don't have the time to coach others, but finding the time to pass on skills will save time for the business in the long run.
A cultural shift to alter the style of management in an organisation may be 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
- Outline a plan and implement a step-by-step process to give a structure for both coach and employee to follow. The GROW (goals, reality, options, will) model is a simple and adaptable structure to suit the style and skills of the coach/manager.
- Encourage regular and honest conversations;
- Trust others and allow those who you're coaching to make mistakes. This provides a chance to reflect on how a different approach could have delivered a better outcome.
- Set or suggest clear goals, objectives and timeframes.
- Map the journey by measuring progress regularly.
CPD and measuring success
The process of continuous professional development is designed to help identify areas for growth - and it's also a great way to measure success.
Coaching and formal training should mark part of the process, but your employees are also responsible for their own development. They should identify their needs, set their pace, and use their initiative. A blend of learning styles and resources can be used.
- Online training guides
- On the job - shadowing
- Reading and self-learning
- Industry influencers
When the CPD plan is being implemented, progression should be documented by:
- Employee learning action logs can be used to document the journey.
- Records of training attended, qualifications gained, resources read or viewed.
- Encourage people to demonstrate new skills or knowledge and share them.
Training doesn't all have to be done at a desk. Online training has its place, as does learning in a classroom. But learning on the job, shadowing, being mentored and practical skills sessions are also relevant.
Gemma Rigby is HR Manager at Anabas