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Building Staff Capability


Skills training

There are many reasons why a business may undertake training, including the need to fill gaps where there are a lack of skills or experience; making sure that new employees are suitably inducted and have the necessary skills to perform their job functions; keeping your business at the competitive edge; as part of a succession planning programme or scheme to develop high-potential employees; or ensuring that managers and other senior executives have the skills to effectively lead their teams.

Training can include everything from teaching employees basic reading skills to conducting advanced courses in executive leadership. A lot of training is focused on upgrading and improving an employee’s technical skills. Other popular training areas are developing interpersonal/relationship skills (whether this is to negotiate better with clients or handle conflicts with prickly people), improving problem solving skills and developing skills to enable an employee to step up within the business (as part of a career management of succession plan).

Skills training:

  • Increases job satisfaction and motivation levels for employees

  • Improves efficiencies in processes, resulting in increased profitability

  • Ensures that your business has the capacity to adopt new technologies and methods, ensuring that you remain ahead of your competitors

  • Increases innovation in strategies, products and/or services

  • Decreases employee turnover

  • Enhances your company image and reputation – people will want to work with a business who invests in their employees

  • Proactively addresses risk management

  • Is useful when introducing multi-skilling which enables employees to cross over to other areas of work

Induction and onboarding

Every business, large or small, should have a well-planned induction programme.

The more time that’s spent helping a new employee adjust to their new work environment, culture and role, the more likely it is that they’ll become an effective, contributing team member.
While an induction process is usually a mix of generic (about the company expectations) and specific (what the employee is expected to do in their role), the length and nature of it depends on the complexity of the job and the background of the new employee. Pod Consulting creates induction plans to enable your business to quickly utilise the skills and experience of your new employees, while helping them to fit in to your business, the team, the culture and role.
Remember to focus on what is really important in the early days and set a timetable. It will take a while for your new employee to full assimilate all the new information that they are being introduced to in their first days with a new business.
Induction plans:

  • Lower turnover
  • Improve employee morale and motivation
  • Reduce recruitment costs
  • Minimise training costs
  • Make learning the job easier for the new employee
  • Reduce anxiety for the new employee
  • Increase productivity

Team building

Often employees are focused on their individual contribution to the business. Team-building encourages individuals to focus on the result rather than the individual input. When everyone in a team is working together, the business is more likely to experience increased productivity, lower absenteeism and less turnover.

Pod Consulting uses the Jung Type Indicator (JTI) as its psychometric tool for team-building activities. The JTI was developed as a modern alternative to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. As well as classifying a person’s ‘type’, depending on scores for each of the type dimensions, it provides a detailed description of each individual.

Prior to our team-building workshop, participating employees complete the JTI assessment and reports are given to each individual at the end of the workshop.

During the workshops, practical activities are undertaken that highlight the differences between the introverts and extraverts, the thinking and feeling types, the sensing and intuitive types, and the judging or perceiving types. As well as being fun and interactive, the process shows the different personality types how to work together in a complementary manner, which positively impacts on relations in the workplace.

Team-building:

  • Improves morale and employee motivation
  • Improves working relationships
  • Helps individuals understand the different personalities of others and how their differences can complement the work they do in a team
  • Improves communication and group skills
  • Provides an opportunity to identify strengths and talents
  • Increases productivity
  • Decreases absenteeism and turnover

Leadership development

Research has shown that people with high emotional intelligence (EI) tend to be more transformational in their leadership style, have better negotiation skills, higher stress tolerance and less absenteeism.

Emotional intelligence focuses on a person’s capability to effectively manage their own and others’ emotions. Unlike personality and IQ, which are generally regarded as fixed throughout a person’s life, emotional intelligence can be learned and developed.

Business leaders who are better able to understand and control their emotions are likely to achieve greater workplace performance, results and success – positive effects that will impact on their business, their lives and the lives of those that work within the business.

Pod Consulting works with business leaders to determine their level of emotional intelligence in relation to seven dimensions. This is done through self-assessment and/or 360-degree multi-rater surveys. The results allow us to identify which dimensions require greater attention, and through a series of coaching sessions we achieve both individual results and outcomes that benefit the business as a whole.

Leadership training:

  • Improves productivity and performance
  • Increases interpersonal effectiveness
  • Creates greater leadership capability
  • Results in better sales performance
  • Improves teamwork
  • Enhances customer service
  • Increases job satisfaction

Businesses must be cognisant of the fact that while it is easy to teach individuals ‘about’ leadership it is something quite different to teach people ‘how’ to actually lead. Things an organisation should consider are the degree to which personality is a critical element in effectiveness, that individuals may not be able to substantially alter their basic leadership style and even given a perfect match in both these areas it is nearly impossible for any normal human being to assimilate all the variables and be capable of enacting the right behaviours in every situation. When choosing leadership training businesses need to ensure these factors are taken into account to ensure their training dollar is well spent i.e. have they selected the right employees to attend and have they selected the right training provider or course/programme. While the outcome may not produce ‘perfect leaders’ it most definitely will produce ‘better’ leaders.

Career development  

During the appraisal process, business owners and managers often start twitching in their seats when employees talk of career development, advancement and training. There are many reasons for this discomfort, but the two main factors are the anticipated costs associated with training employees and the assumption that once you’ve invested in an employee, they’re likely to move on to a higher paid role with one of your competitors.

Research has consistently shown that employees want to work for employers who invest in them. Employees show commitment and loyalty to employers who assist with their career development. Time and time again, money has been shown not to be the dominating factor for remaining with an employer – it is the chance to develop personally and professionally, taking on greater challenges, that holds greater appeal.

Pod Consulting focuses on the strategic business aims and workforce planning to devise career development programmes that support the business and individual employees.

Career development:

  • Enables you to develop skills internally rather than needing to recruit skills into the business or outsource your core business
  • Enables your business to develop by growing your intellectual capital
  • Enables you to make good use of your employees’ knowledge and retain those valuable to the business
  • Aligns individual employees’ career development with the strategic aims of the business, enabling you to determine what skills will be needed in the future and facilitate workforce planning
  • Supports the development of succession plans and promotion pathways for high-performing employees
  • Empowers and motivates employees who may require greater challenges to achieve job satisfaction
  • Prepares employees for advancement to jobs where their abilities and potential can be fully realised
  • Enables you to work to the strengths of employees, ultimately getting the best out of them

Succession planning

If a key employee within your business resigns unexpectedly, do you have the skills and experience within your business to quickly and adequately fill the gap?

When key employees leave they often take a substantial amount of expertise and knowledge with them. This may result in loss of productivity and ineffective running of normal operations, damage to customer relationships if you cannot service their needs or, worse, your customers follow the exiting employee to their new place of employment because you can’t address their requirements. Considerable time and effort will then be needed to recruit and train new employees.

Every key role within the business should have a succession plan. As well as ensuring effective appraisal processes and career development systems are in place, Pod Consulting helps you to ensure the longevity and sustainability of your business.

Succession planning:

  • Prepares employees for undertaking key roles in the future
  • Develops talent and long-term growth required for business success
  • Improves workforce capabilities and overall performance
  • Improves employee commitment and retention
  • Aligns with the career development needs of existing employees
  • Reduces the need to recruit key roles externally
  • Focuses on leadership continuity and improved knowledge sharing
  • Provides more effective monitoring and tracking of employee ability levels and helps to identify gaps in skills

Performance appraisals and development plans 

Performance appraisals are a review of performance against pre-determined objectives. They identify the strengths and weaknesses of an employee and address how to improve or develop these areas. They aim to motivate the employee and provide them with sufficient challenges and responsibilities in relation to business objectives.

Pod Consulting devises appraisal and development plans for each employee and/or area of work. We also provide training for appraisers to ensure an objective and fair process.

If an employee is underperforming, it’s important to determine the reason why. An appropriate action plan can then be introduced to address the problem. Poor performance may be a result of the employee not having the skills required to perform effectively, and training may be the necessary outcome. If motivation is lacking, it’s important to establish different ways to motivate an employee to improve performance.

If poor performance continues, it may be necessary to take disciplinary action or discharge the employee. If this is the case, the process should be fair, objective and with minimal cause for embarrassment for the employee involved.

Performance appraisals and development plans:

  • Ensure that managers have data on which to base pay rises and/or promotions
  • Create objective appraisal processes that provide an arena for fair feedback on performance
  • Increase employee performance as employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how to improve their performance
  • Increase employees’ motivation as the process can provide them with greater challenges


Remuneration and reward

Deciding what to pay employees should not be a stab in the dark.
Devising an effective remuneration strategy for your business will help to ensure that your employees are being paid fairly for their contribution to your strategic business goals. Some of the questions employers can ask themselves when planning pay include - Are we paying enough to attract and retain the calibre of employee that the business requires? Are our pay rates fair across the business? How do our pay rates compare with competitors? What will employees be rewarded for? How are the business fixed pay levels determined?
Remuneration and reward programmes:
  • Ensure that you offer remuneration packages that are competitive
  • Provide employees with an equitable structure that supports fairness
  • Encourage employees to perform well continuously
  • Result in you attracting and retaining good employees
  • Reduce unnecessary staff turnover

Employee surveys

Businesses that are viewed as great places to work will achieve heightened performance and productivity.

How well your business succeeds is largely dependent on the capabilities and motivation of your employees. As an employer, you need to ensure that the working environment is conducive to getting the best out of your employees. Surveys help to elicit vital information.

There are many reasons why businesses are reluctant to conduct employee surveys including management apathy with regards to listening to employees, the fear of what employees really think and the belief that employee surveys create more issues than they could resolve. However, employees will always have concerns and not identifying these just preserves the status quo. Ignoring minor issues means they often become major issues over time and ultimately harder to manage.

Employee surveys will lead to:

  • Increased employee motivation and commitment
  • Identification of the strengths within the business
  • Attracting and retaining key employees
  • Improved performance, productivity and profitability
  • Improved teamwork
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • Increased quality of product or service delivery

Pod Consulting undertakes the following surveys:

  • Employee engagement/culture surveys
  • 360-degree individual development surveys
  • Exit surveys
  • New employee surveys
  • Training evaluation surveys