Stuart Pearce of Talent Development discusses the benefits of training your contact centre team and the downside of not doing it.
The term ‘No Train, No Gain’ is kind of a mantra in our office and this morning I had this very conversation with a friend of mine who runs business shows and networking events.
His question was: “Why should I spend money training my team?”
My response was: “If your team aren’t happy or don’t know what they’re doing, would they leave?”
“I guess so.”
So, let me explain what we mean by ‘No Train, No Gain’.
Gone are the days when money was the deciding factor on whether or not you took a job or in fact stayed in the one you have. I’ve seen several surveys saying exactly that. I’m not for one second saying that it’s not a factor; of course it is.
Money is important to all of us, what with the whole pesky paying the bills thing. What I’m saying is that what very often takes a higher priority these days is knowing that your employer will be bothered about your ability and development and help you to improve both of them.
“OK, I get that, but how does ‘No Train, No Gain’ make a difference?”
It’s quite simple really, but you have to see it from both sides of the coin.
As the employer, you want to get your money’s worth from each and every employee, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to make sure you invest in their development. Send them on relevant training courses, work with them on a Personal Development Plan and so on.
What this shows your employee is that, quite simply, you care. It shows them that you are willing to invest in their future with both time and money.
From an employee’s point of view, it does the same thing. It shows you that your employer is actually bothered about how well you do in the role they have given you. Which in turn means that you, as an employee, want to do your best for them and will most likely work for them for a long time.
In the words of Richard Branson: “Train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don’t want to,” and in this situation, never was a more relevant statement made.
These days people want to know that it is worth their working for you; they want to know that should they want to move above their current role, you will, assuming they already have the desired skill set, support them to achieve it, and if they don’t have the desired skills that you will support them in getting them.
As the one in charge and at the top of the ladder, you want to know that your team are fully focused and working their best on your behalf. You also want to make sure that they have the tools.
That means giving them the training they need to achieve what you need them to. It means understanding what they are expected to do, what ‘good’ looks like and if there are any gaps in that skill set.
Now I know I said ‘No Train, No Gain’, but there’s more to it than just training. Coaching will undoubtedly play a huge part in the development of your team, as will the right mindset.
You can give somebody all the training you can get your hands on, but if they don’t want or don’t think they can do something then they are unlikely to put in the required effort. The right mindset will have them on board for what you both want.
And that can be achieved in the way that the training and coaching is positioned and consequently delivered.
It will never cease to amaze me that when times are hard and things aren’t going according to plan, training is generally the first thing to get put ‘on the back burner’, whereas the sensible ones amongst us know that actually, that’s the time when training should come to the forefront, to really get behind your team and have them pushing forward for you.
And in case you’re still not convinced that training should play an important part in your business, let me give you an example…
We were asked to create a training programme starting with induction, through to onboarding and then the ongoing need. Once we’d delivered what was asked for, the number of sales consultants transacting in their first six weeks rose from 38% to 62%, so, as you can see, training works if you do it right.
So to summarize, look after your people, train them, coach them, and they will work long and hard for you (it doesn’t hurt of course to pay them well). What’s the ‘gain’?
Happy team equals hard-working team equals better bottom line.