The quality of your staff is crucial to this. New businesses have a lot to prove so it’s essential that every interaction a client, partner or affiliate has is a good one. It can be tricky to work out where the best area to invest is – what is going to drive your business forward the most? Just four years ago we set up Spencer Ogden and since then have achieved rapid global growth, with nearly 400 staff across 13 offices. The key to this growth is training – we have invested heavily in regular, quality training and I would advise any small business owner to do the same as it will pay huge dividends. The fact is that while you may only have a handful of staff to begin with, every entrepreneur is looking at the longer term – growing the business and all that comes with it. Training is one of the best ways of ensuring that your brand retains its values as you grow. There are lots of options out there. Whether it is carefully selected external training courses or more strategically developed internal training programmes, all of them can help your business reap the rewards. Your staff are your brand ambassadors, so it is essential that they deliver your ethos and company values. Ensure your employees have had the right training and guidance to represent you in the right way. Whichever method of training you choose, illustrating a genuine interest in the future and development of employees not only fosters a positive company ethos, but makes the team more productive and efficient while also building loyalty. Below are a few tips on how to maximise the benefits of training to help your business achieve rapid growth: 1. Engage with new joiners: New recruits are the future of any business. That’s why it’s key to start the training and coaching on day one, ensuring that all new arrivals can acquire the same knowledge and understanding as employees already established within the business. Taking such a proactive approach not only helps build the confidence of new starters but gives them a clearer grasp of your business’s ethos and values. Our trainers are former consultants, team leaders and managers, meaning that they understand the daily pressures of a recruitment business and the needs of trainees. This is what has made our investment most profitable. 2. Ensure your team continually evolves: It doesn’t stop with introductory training. It is vital that employees are given support throughout their career, advancing personal skills and helping the business to grow. Providing initial training for graduates but not for more senior consultants and managers will stunt the development of your staff, and the skills your business needs. Ensure that trainers are aligned with sales staff and managers to enable a constant needs analysis process for employees of all levels. This will prove to be more fruitful than regular meetings with little or no support provided in between. 3. Retain top talent: Talented people naturally want to advance quickly and will appreciate meaningful support in the process. Look to identify future leaders from day one, ensuring that successful employees have a clear progression path to work towards. Investing in the development of these top people will pay huge dividends in the long run as it will also enhance their leadership skills. Outlining a dedicated programme to help your top talent progress means that you are much more likely to retain them. Providing a high level of opportunity will also lead to strong retention levels. Ultimately, it is an investment. Gaining a reputation for providing ongoing training for staff has many benefits but, crucially for a candidate led market, it will help your business attract and retain top talent as it grows. To do it successfully, you need to collaborate, getting employee feedback to ensure that training is relevant to their needs. Meanwhile, taking a forward-looking approach to employee development is key to equipping staff to cope with evolving market conditions, something that is essential in fast changing industries. Every growing business needs to recognise that employees are its principle business asset. Investing in them thoughtfully and strategically will help your business to reap rewards that will pay off now and for years to come. David Spencer-Percival is the CEO of Spencer Ogden
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