The Triple C
Time was when most of my days were spent running seminars on specific subjects, like 'Negotiating Skills', 'Presenting to Committees', even 'Report Writing'. The employer was essentially paying for individual employees to be skilled up. There was a hope that, after the training, individuals would remain loyal and the employer would reap the benefits of their training investment for years to come.
There was also a healthy demand for career-related topics like 'Perfecting Your CV', 'Doing Well at Interviews' and 'Networking to get a Better Job'. These seminars are still being supplied every year by membership associations. This training will, of course, give trainees the confidence to get a job elsewhere, i.e. be disloyal!
Whilst the demand for all these topics still exists in the turfcare sector, the bigger training providers (certainly the membership organisations) now want the training to be offered in much smaller packages.
Providers are under pressure to put more 'bums on seats' and so a number of previously two-day events have been shortened to one-day events. One day events have become two hour events, and some two hour events are down to thirty minutes. Of course, not a lot of skills can be developed in two hours!
Enlightened employers are investing in training whole teams
By contrast, enlightened employers these days are investing in training whole teams or entire departments in order to improve work performance. Thankfully, they are happy to hire someone like me to work on their premises for a day at a time focusing on topics like 'excellence at work'.
The training needs that employers want people like me to address include:
- morale problems
- high staff turnover
- communication problems
- underperforming work teams
These training needs seem to become more critical when:
- a new manager or owner has taken over
- the work team has been rationalised
- the work team has been reorganised
- there is unresolved conflict within or between work teams
Members of the workforce have stunned their employers
In my experience, it has always been possible to 'triple C' work teams, i.e. 'cultivate a commitment to continuously' improve performance and morale.
In my opinion, this is mainly achieved by involving individuals and teams as much as possible in the diagnosis and treatment of the problems that beset the work team, and perhaps the whole organisation.
I have found that, time and time again, members of the workforce have stunned their employers with their loyalty and desire to do a good job. Most team members want to go home having done a good day's work in a positive workplace atmosphere.
Sadly, many employers do not see these qualities in their employees or believe that the qualities they value are only possessed by a minority of their employees.
People want to do work that is meaningful to them
In reality, I have found it is the vast majority of staff who want to be a part of an organisation whose values they share and who want to do better in their job. I have tested and seen the results myself - people want to do work that is meaningful to them.
Research has shown 'meaningful work' to be one of the most powerful intrinsic motivators in the workplace.
Learning to be better at a job, or to be asked to adopt 'best practice' at work (as long as it is achievable), is another powerful incentive for the individual.
Whether we ask people to come up with their own ideas for improvements, or whether we just instruct people to do things differently the key is employee involvement.
Without involvement, there is no commitment
Dr Stephen R Covey, author of the book 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' (25 million copies sold), famously said: "Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement, no commitment".
If people feel involved, they will take ownership and responsibility for solving problems or improving performance. If they are just told what to do, we risk them thinking that improving things is not part of their job or their personal responsibility. We send the message to employees that we are not interested in their ideas or their solutions.
As a consequence, their commitment and desire to see things through could be diminished.
So, good luck in your search for best practice and may you soon achieve excellence at your workplace!
If you would like to know more about how to arrange an 'Excellence at Work' event at your place of work, just get in touch by visiting: www.franknewberry.com
© 2019 Frank Newberry