I am not a big fan of new year’s resolutions, so I never set any but I do set business goals for myself. New year’s resolutions are usually pipedreams or hopes and as they say ‘a dream without a plan is just a wish’. So setting business goals with plans behind them is the way to go.
As I outlined in my last blog post, in 2018 the 3rd biggest challenge my clients had (that I supported them to work on in our 1-2-1 coaching sessions) was how around staff retention, specifically “do we attract and retain the best staff?“.
How do I attract and retain staff?
There are a multitude of answers to this complex question, not least getting the recruitment and induction process right. Research shows that staff are highly engaged during their first 6 months of employment and that millennials are prone to ‘job hoping’. The same research also identifies that millennials are also highly motivated by self-development.
So is learning high up on your agenda for 2019? Not only to keep staff engaged and retain the best talent, but also for you to ensure you are using best practice?
Invest and develop yourself and your staff
This is such a big part of retention yet is one area that is frequently overlooked by employees (‘we don’t have the time’ or ‘we don’t have the budget’, are 2 statements I frequently hear). Indeed I have had my clients ask me if I have a face to face course I delivered as an online course or if I could take a particular subject I coached them through and turn it into some kind of online learning. It was these conversations that led me to launch a series of online courses around everything to do with starting, growing and running a successful agency.
The advantage of online learning
There are many advantages (and a few disadvantages) to taking an online course rather than a classroom based course. Here are 4:
- Everyone is busy and time poor, so an online course can be taken when you have a quieter moment or away from the office
- It is self-paced learning. So following on from the point above, you can start and stop the course to suit you. You can revisit modules (and use as a reference library)
- It’s easy to add in an online course as part of everyone’s self development and is more cost effective than sending everyone on a classroom based course. For example, for one of my clients, I delivered some customer service training that they wanted to put all new starters through. To bring me in each time they have some new starters was not practical but to put all the new starters through the online training course is not only practical but ensures all have had the same training and use the same techniques and ideas
- Lower cost – online training is much more cost effective when you look at ‘per student’ costs and of course you don’t have any hotel costs or indirect costs of having someone absent from the office for days at a time
Of course one disadvantage is that there is no interaction with the trainer or fellow students. To help counter that I invite all my students to join my closed Facebook group where I regularly post content and also am available to answer students questions.
There is really little excuse for not planning to have learning and development on your agenda for the new year. The benefits of increasing skills and retention make it a no brainer, so make sure you have it on your plan for 2019!