Archives for posts with tag: customer service
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Team members on a sales training workshop from Gates Group, an organisation INVESTING in their staff.

How much time, money and effort do you invest in your staff?  Yes, I appreciate that you pay them a wage or salary, but is that it?  If you consider the notion that staff are one of the most fundamental and crucial parts of any business, then surely you should invest in them?

So how do you do that? Well for a start, when did you last TRAIN your staff?

There is sometimes a big ‘fear factor’ about training staff within organisations, which, whilst I categorically do not agree with it, I can understand it, to a degree.  One of the biggest fears is that once the staff member has been trained… they can then take over the boss’s role!  You could argue it stems from perhaps being insecure in the role of the boss!

Training and Development on the Gears.

Training is synonomous with development.

Many of you will have heard this conversation between the Managing Director and The Training and Development Manager?  For those that haven’t, here we go:-

Training Manager; ‘We really should be training our staff’.

Managing Director; ‘But what if we spend all that money on them and they then leave’?

Training Manager; ‘What if we don’t train them and they stay’?

I’m sure many of you reading this will have experienced working for someone who had this attitude, or scarily enough, maybe they just could not see the benefit in training.  Given that many of you reading this will be the retail industry, statistically, the main reason consumers do not return to a shop, pub, supplier or organisation, is not down to the product or product range, the location or even the price; it’s down to staff attitude.  Now what this effectively means is, you are employing staff, paying them a wage, and they are scaring off customers!! Not only that, but those customers are going out of their way to tell others.  Sound ludicrous? Well I can tell you it is happening right NOW.

Another huge assumption is that if you train staff initially when they join the company, then that is it; the rest they simply ‘pick up as they go along’.  But have you noticed how your industry has changed massively over the last 20-30 years… and yet we still, often, do not recognise a need for up-skilling and refresher training.  I’ve often used the analogy of a fully qualified Heart Surgeon, who did their training 30 years ago and has performed plenty of transplants.  If you were about to go under the scalpel…. with the knowledge that they had not up skilled or re-trained in all those years… how confident would you be?  EVERYONE needs ongoing training, as the job, products and environment changes, although bizarrely (and this has always worried me a little)… once you have passed your driving test at 17, you have no more training or refreshers for over 60 years! Is it any wonder that maybe that is a contributory factor to so many poor drivers on the roads and so many road accidents and deaths?

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How many Managers ‘stress’ because they do not delegate or empower their team?

So what is the true cost of NOT training your staff?  It’s an open ended answer and depends on many factors, but what has been proven time and time again is that without training, you are not getting the very best out of your staff.  So what training should you undertake?  Well look at it another way; What is it you would like your staff to do that they currently are not doing?

Legislative Training should be carried out, regardless of the size of your business, so Health & Safety and Fire Safety training needs to be a regular part of your training and whilst many can view this as a ‘cost’, I believe it to be an investment.  It is far far less expensive than actually having an accident, together with possible fines for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

You may want to take a look at business specific training, perhaps your own stock control methods or ‘till’ training, just to decrease the amount of ‘No Sales’ rung up on the till?!  Generic training, which again, should still be tailor-made to your own business can include Sales training, Customer Service (yes I know this is a quick win for most organisations, but in my opinion, we are generally appallingly bad at this as a nation), you may even want to look at PEOPLE or MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT training?  It’s not just the football world that has mind-blowingly brilliant players that produce very poor Managers or mediocre players that turn into brilliant Managers!  An incredible observation in business is the amount of times a person gets PROMOTED to a management position, often because they are VERY good at their job… and fall flat on their face!  The amount of training given, if any, is minimal and yet we expect this person to hit the ground running, which clearly is a BIG ask.  New Managers tend to want to come in and ‘make their mark’, changing things instantly.  Now, I am all for CHANGE… but change to improve, not change for the sake of it.

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How much training is purely carried out as a ‘tick-box’ exercise?

If the person has had the fortune previously, to work for a GREAT manager, then a lot of those skills will hopefully have been picked up, yet I have seen it time and time again, where superb employees are given management roles, with no support.  That ‘failing’ then infects the whole team and those with a little ‘get up and go’ tend to do exactly that… GO!  Those that remain generally fall in line with the poor standards, failings and under-achieving that often go with the bad manager.  Consider who has really failed though, the newly promoted manager or the company?

Organisations invest in premises, IT systems, products, marketing (sometimes!), and other essential items, but staff training is often neglected.  Why not make time NOW to invest in your most important asset?

It’s not about cloning our staff into being super slick sales people, but rather enhancing their skills, updating their knowledge and motivating them to achieve even greater success, for both themselves and the organisation.

If you would like to explore the training aspect of your staff but are not sure where to start, then give me a call, under no obligation, and we’ll have a conversation.

For more details of workshops that can help YOU and YOUR business, simply contact us on info@imduk.com

Please feel free to forward and share.

Gary Boyes – Director

IMD (UK) Limited

Bad Manager

 

I was fortunate, recently, to be able to travel to Guernsey, working with Aurigny Airline. My involvement was to join the back-end of a five day Train the Trainer workshop, hosted by a good friend of mine, Fleur Johnson, from Insight Solutions Consulting Group.  It was the first time in Guernsey for me, and I got to experience the short flight from London Gatwick in the ATR aircraft, a great deal smaller than the aircraft I would normally take from Gatwick!

Gatwick South Terminal, busy people, off to different parts of the world, all with their own agenda.

Gatwick South Terminal, busy people, off to different parts of the world, all with their own agenda.

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Passengers embarking on the Aurigny Airline ATR, from Gatwick South

Following a pleasant crossing, slightly delayed, due to a fog-bound Guernsey I arrived and without further delay met the team we were working with.  Of course, having worked with the group for three days already, they had bonded well and I was interested to find out how they would react to a ‘new’ member joining the team.  Whilst I was there to deliver parts of the workshop and undertake feedback sessions on the final day, as always, I was determined to further my knowledge of the airline industry (having worked with different airlines for over 15 years).  Remember, we are always learning no matter how much we think we already know.

So what did I learn?  A Top Six Learning Points from my time in Guernsey (in no particular order)!

  1. How much does an aircraft weigh? Got that? Now, add on a load of passengers (of varying weights), luggage, crew, food and drink, fuel… and anything else you care to add… because we need to know this, in order that the aircraft is ‘light’ enough to effect a take-off.. AND… to land safely.  How many of us would even consider this, when we are queuing at the airport, on our return from holiday.. with those little extra’s in our suitcase.  Such is this calculation, that if the aircraft is painted as part of its maintenance, then that has to be noted also!  When you think about it, thats a colossal additional weight.  Consider how much paint would be needed to re-paint an aircraft (bearing in mind, the original coats are still on the plane) and then consider how much a can of paint actually weighs when you collect it from your local DIY store! Thanks Travis, for always getting the calculation right!
  2. What happens if you are on a flight and you become ill?  Not just unwell, but something serious, such as a heart attack?  Defibrillation equipment is carried on all of these flights together with trained staff… but how’s this for a few facts:- In Europe, every 45 seconds, a cardiac arrest takes place.  That sounds like an awful lot of people, but relate it to how many people are in Europe.  With intervention, early resuscitation and prompt defibrillation, within 1-2 minutes, a greater than 60% survival rate can be achieved.  Thanks Monika for raising our awareness and making us feel a lot safer.
  3. Ever considered what requirements certain passengers need on an aircraft?  Just how do you get a wheelchair user along the aisle of a plane?  What about a deaf or blind person, either looking or listening out for departure/boarding times?  Thankfully, there are procedures in place to assist with this, so thanks Martyn, for the enlightening training session!  Things we perhaps ‘know’ but never put into practice, because we never come across that scenario on a regular basis.  It was a pleasure to be able to use my acting skills for your session! 🙂
  4. It’s always important to have all bases covered and I’m always impressed by the amount of safety procedures we have, but I have to admit, knowing how much Oxygen is stored on a plane, even a relatively small passenger plane, such as the ATR or the Embraer Jet, in emergencies or times of decompression makes us all feel comfortable.  As we know, safety is paramount and I’ll confess to always watching and listening to the safety instructions from the flight crew, regardless of how many times i’ve seen it.  Thanks Faye, for your training session, together with some new phrases I learnt!
  5. Ever wondered, when you’re sitting on the plane, ready for take-off… what those guys and girls are doing, walking around the plane in their Hi-Viz jackets?  Well again, they are there for your safety, making sure there is no damage, ensuring everything is in order and carrying out a procedure that most of us take for granted.  Who’s in control of the plane during this time? Well most would say ‘The Pilot’, but it is in fact the ground crew, standing on the terra firma, during the ‘pushback’ procedure… once the plane is then ready to taxi to the runway.. The Pilot takes control.  Thanks Rob for passing on your knowledge and you’re right… you wear the Hi-Viz well!
  6. Finally, again on the theme of safety, how important is it that EVERYONE carries out their job, to the best of their ability and leaving nothing to chance?  Mike took us on a journey around the world, in particular the middle east, and highlighted the National Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-400 freighter crash in Afghanistan, that many will have seen on You Tube and rather than jumping to conclusions that because it was in Afghanistan, it was the subject of terrorist activity or military intervention.. the most probable cause was that a heavy item of cargo was not secured properly, thus becoming unstable.  For want of a simple procedure, the crew lost their lives.  What a responsibility… but this of course is not just limited to the aviation industry.

So you see, even though I was in Guernsey ‘training’, as always it’s a joy to increase my own knowledge.  Basic, little things, that we take for granted, or, more realistically, don’t even think about as they possibly may never affect us, directly… (until something goes wrong)!

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Gary Boyes & Fleur Johnson from Insight Solutions Training Group, Quayside in St. Peter Port

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St. Peter Port Harbour as the sun starts to fade.

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St. Peter Port Harbour as the sun starts to fade.

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You really can’t go to St. Peter Port, Guernsey, without sampling the Surf & Turf in ‘Mora’! Fillet Steak and Lobster.. Luscious!

You never know, what you don’t know… just think about that for a while.

Put this into the real world situation, of everyone’s busy schedules and whilst you’re undertaking your chores and work, why not glean some additional knowledge.  You’ll never know when you may possibly need it?  The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple attended Caligraphy lessons, just because he found it interesting… but of course, never needed it in his life.  A good few years later, when the initial font-types on computers were being thought over, there was Jobs, with his knowledge of different styles.  He refers to it as ‘joining the dots’, but you can only join the dots looking back, not forward.

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The sun shines on the tail fin as we leave Guernsey. Great place, great people and I look forward to returning in the very near future. Work days like these, never seem to be ‘work’ 🙂

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I took an ATR on the way to Guernsey and had the pleasure of returning to the mainland in the newest member of the fleet, The Embraer. Here’s the view, heading due North North East 🙂

For more information and workshops that will be useful to your life, simply drop us a line.

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The ROLIS instrument took a snapshot of comet 67P/CG as Europe’s Philae lander descended toward the surface on Nov. 12, 2014.
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR

So has anyone else been captivated by the recent events concerning the Rosetta Space Mission? I mean, just consider that the launch date goes as far back as March 2004, when a certain Mr Peter Andre was number one in the charts with ‘Mysterious Girl’! What was the point of the mission? To rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and undertake a lengthy exploration of a comet at close quarters to watch how it is transformed by the warmth of the Sun along its elliptical orbit.

Now, when you take into account, the journey to the comet alone would take over 10 years, that the mission was ‘put into hibernation’ to conserve energy and would be ‘woken’ at an arranged date when it moved closer to the sun and was warmed by the suns rays, that the comet was 317 MILLION Miles from earth and that the comet is travelling at 34,000 mph… to land a ‘washing machine’ sized probe (Philae Probe) is truly AMAZING! Already data has been sent back, including pictures which will give mankind even more information about our solar system. A comparison has been made that it was like a fly landing on a fired bullet!

Some will say… what is the point (when you consider that the mission has cost over $1 billion, but then, you can always argue… what is the point of anything, people will always have opinions and opinions are what makes the world go round! Whether you agree with the mission or not, you cannot fail to be impressed with the vision.  I mean… who would have ever dreamt up the fact of landing a probe on a speeding comet? (Well, we can all dream), yet who would have this dream/vision but actually have the commitment to see the mission through?

Too often, I, and no doubt you, hear that ‘This is impossible’ or ‘That is impossible’… and once the words have been said (even if this is in our minds, talking to ourselves) it gives us the right to give up.

If you are that determined, then this mission alone should give you all the motivation that you need to discover, whatever life may throw at you, that there is normally a way.  It may not happen instantly, it may take years of planning and there will doubtless be risks and potential problems involved.  Even after all the meticulous planning in the world, it is very possible that the outcome was not what was originally visioned, (as in the case of the Philae Probe, where it appears that the landing on the comet has left the probe in a crater’s shadow thus not allowing the sun to recharge the solar panels.  It is currently in ‘hibernation’ and will await recharging, when and if, the probe can absorb some sun energy).

Next time you have a dream, and people tell you it’s impossible… give them the Rosetta Space Mission Story!…. Just like the Philae Probe…To be continued!

All you ever needed to know about Hallowe’en is right here…. http://www.livescience.com/40596-history-of-halloween.html

All you ever need to know about training and people development…. then you have found IMD (UK)… simply gives us a call!

With many years of experience in training and development, you can be sure that when you attend one of our workshops or courses, we will give you the tools to tap into that phenomenal organ between your ears… your brain!  Want to know more? Contact us today (Oh, and please ‘follow’ our blog and Facebook Page 🙂

John Lennon Happy

Ever thought what direction your life would take if you weren’t doing what you are doing right now?

As the late Steve Jobs of Apple said, a good few years ago… ‘You can only join the dots of your life, looking back’… but just imagine, if you had made that decision, or changed your career path all those years ago? Where would you be now?

The fact is, you are where you are, right now, but that doesn’t always mean that your path is pre-determined from this moment on. I was recently reminded of that quotation ‘The best time to plant an apple tree was twenty years ago… the next best time is now’!  How very true that is.

If you feel you are at a crossroads in your life, career, hobby, etc. and are maybe unsure what is in store for you, then you may want to consider attending one of our workshops coming up soon.  If this is something that may interest you, please register your interest NOW (under no obligation) by simply emailing us for further information. change@imduk.com

As I write this, I am reminded of John Lennon, assassinated in New York in December 1980 at the age of 42.  Today, the 9th October would have been his 74th Birthday!  Little did he know what was in store that day when he signed an autograph for Mark Chapman, although maybe Chapman new how his life would pan out with a murder charge on his head.  I wonder how, nearly 34 years on, how the music scene would have possibly changed with Lennon’s influence over those years?

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15th September 1978, Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks to win his 3rd World Title fight.  Somehow, he just knew he was going to do it.

For more information about how we can help you achieve your own goals and aspirations, contact us NOW!

http://www.imduk.org

Richard Branson Opportunity.001

How many business opportunities are turned down on a regular basis (and life opportunities), purely because we lack the confidence to carry it out or doubt ourselves that we have sufficient knowledge or skill to undertake the task? Take the opportunity and use it as a motivator, to learn a new skill or increase your knowledge. Can you imagine how impactful that could be?

Next time an opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands… and then go about increasing your knowledge or skill. Consider what resources you may need?

If this is something that you’d like to investigate further, then be sure to watch out for our forthcoming workshop, where the focus will be on making you a far more confident person than, perhaps, you are at the present time.

Contact us on 01277 821651 or simply email us on info@imduk.com to register your interest.