Telling the truth about SME life today

Why Your Team Needs a Coach with Joanna Howes

Leadership and Performance Coach and Founder and CEO of The Change Creators, Joanna Howes talks through why your SME should consider the learning and development of your team as a necessity and not just a perk.

For a lot of companies, the first budget that was cut at the start of the pandemic was the training and coaching budget.

I do understand, yet I also find it interesting that whenever companies are in trouble, this is always the first place the cuts happen.

I am, however, noticing now we are getting more used to living with the pandemic, a rise in wanting to invest in the team’s growth as a way to ‘thank’ them for their contribution and commitment to helping the organisation survive.

So, on one hand it’s the first to go and then it’s the first thing to come back as a thank you.

What if it was possible to provide your teams with the certainty that by working for you their growth will accelerate to help them be the best version of themselves, that they can be?

What difference do you think this certainty would give your teams and their desire to want to stay loyal to you? I know a company that gives each member of staff a training budget every year for them to choose where they feel they need to grow. I know this as one of the team chose to work with me and the loyalty and gratitude she has for this company, has meant she wants to give them her all.

For me it’s a win win, as your team’s potential and performance keeps growing, your service or product will be more successful and your bottom line reaches its full potential.

How investing in your team is no longer a perk it’s a necessity

We are in a new world and this world is going to keep experiencing a pace of change like we have never seen before.

Talent requirements are going to change, technology is going to be our new partner and what we create and provide is going to a whole new level.

I was an operations director in the creative industry, and I remember when we moved to digital advertising.  The majority of the industry just couldn’t keep up with the change, training their teams was delayed, they couldn’t find the people to fill the roles which meant they were then paying over the odds in salary costs.  The hardest part was when they were saying to clients we could fulfil a brief when we really didn’t have the experience or skills to do it.

We learnt a big lesson there, yet unfortunately, not everyone has learnt this lesson otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing the cuts or limitations in training budgets that we are today.

The other worrying thing I’m noticing is that HR teams are being given a small budget and expected to make it stretch across a company of 300 people.  The consequence of this is that you think everyone has been trained but the content has not been relevant or at the level they need it.  Then we end up with a belief that training doesn’t work as the company doesn’t see any impact of improvement.  I personally would use that budget to highly train 50 people and build a ‘train the trainer’ model to have a ripple effect in the organisation.

The impact of this not changing

If you keep the training budget at the bottom of the priority list, you will lose your talent.

The people who are entering the job market now are not only incentivised by money. They will be asking you about your culture and values and most importantly what growth can they expect and how will you be investing in them.

There are some fantastic companies out there now that are creating ‘people first’ cultures and by doing so become a very attractive place for talent to go.  The people feel they belong, they matter and most of all they feel like they are growing which gives humans one of the core things we are mostly driven by -0 the need to progress.

Don’t wait for that moment when your greatest talent leaves to put you into action.  Start now by reviewing what is most important in your company and that is your people.

Back them, invest in them and you will soon see a return.



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