We strengthen your business through enabling your people

Focus on your business strategy, you can’t please every market

The business market is a vast ocean with new ideas and opportunities emerging every second like tides. It is rather impossible to please every sector of the market. The growth of your business depends on the internal business strategies and target customers, and not on the competition in the market.

Save Time

Save your valuable time by making use of short-cuts and contemporary technologies discovered to ease the stress on business people

Stay Organized

Organization of meetings, staff and office, to name a few are some of the most crucial ways to keep track of the business whereabouts.

Drive Revenue

Concentrating on the products and services to be delivered, rather than the other similar businesses in the market, is the best strategy to drive revenue.

Grow Your Company From Within

Any external growth seeds from internal ones. Build your team of people and employees who are willing to thrive for the betterment of the company.

Strategy And Mission

A good strategy, mission and goal can surpass intelligence and hard work.

Knowledge

Knowledge is power – hence possessing knowledge about the business and business market is essential in surviving.

People

Do not be a people pleaser – if your products and services are good enough, people will be pleased anyway.

Use Training And Development Strategically

The strategy for training and development plays a crucial role in building a business

Latest Updates

How to Generate Paid Traffic to Your Website

How to Generate Paid Traffic to Your Website

There is much more to invest than just money in a campaign to increase paid traffic. Although this type of traffic alone does not require a series of techniques and rules for improving content, there are still practical details that can make all the difference in its dissemination.

You need to be fully involved and interested in your strategy so that it can shine. It’s not just about providing the money and waiting for a miracle to happen, you need to always be one step ahead and ready to give what your customer needs.

Importance of Adwords for Marketing Strategies

The Google Adwords is considered one of the most important tools of online Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. If applied wisely, it can become a fixed piece in your campaigns.

The platform allows you to advertise your page not only on Google, but also on YouTube and Google partner portals. Just as an ad appears in different locations, it can also take different formats, from text calls to short video commercials.

Are you ready to take another step towards digital success? Then check out the surefire tips I selected to structure a successful paid campaign.

Initial Campaign Settings

Before venturing out, you need to have your ideas and goals very well outlined so you don’t get lost in the services offered by this extremely broad tool.

Don’t forget that a poorly structured campaign can backfire and only result in losses. First, you need to understand that your ad can be linked across two different networks:

Search Network

Ads are shown on Google search pages when they match the keyword used by the user. Generally, the pages appear right at the top of the page, which guarantees a large number of accesses.
Display network

This type of campaign is advertised on Google partner sites, such as major news portals (G1, Estadão, etc.) and also blogs associated with AdSense.

In this modality, it is possible to choose in which vehicle the call will be published, and it usually has some connection with the main content of the page. For example, if your ad is about a chocolate cake, it will most likely run in a cooking post.

Definition of Keywords to be Worked

At this point in the championship, you already know the type of keyword that carries the essence of your website, right?

In AdWords, it is possible for you to register a series of terms that connect the visitor to your content. So it is important to analyze your topic and search for words corresponding to the main idea of ​​your posts.

Analyze your main keyword’s search trends : how many people searched for this term? What do your competitors offer to the public?

It is possible that you will find other words and terms that are more sought after and less competitive that multiply your chance of being the main choice of the user.

Optimizing Your Campaign

To create an objective and foolproof ad, you need to have your product and customer very well defined.

Google imposes a character limit for each ad format, so you need to get your message across as clearly and simply as possible. Remember that even those who do not have the profile of your target audience can reach the campaign, and they also need to understand your strategy. Of course, a good ad is just the customer’s gateway to your brand, so don’t think he’ll work miracles on his own! Also take care of the look and content of your website to gain the visitor’s ultimate trust.

Analysis of Your Adwords Campaign Results

According to the results you receive, your campaign needs to transform and adapt to attract a new audience reach that your ad has not yet achieved.

In addition, Google may deactivate your ad if it no longer meets quality standards or if a competitor posts something that exceeds your strategy.

Always pay attention to the numbers and be sure to always seek more information about the consumption habits of your audience, knowing a little more about the customer is never too much!

How to Generate Organic Traffic to Your Website

How to Generate Organic Traffic to Your Website

Now that you know each type of traffic, I can start helping you attract each one of them to your website in the best way.

To generate organic traffic, you need to work only on the quality of your content. It may seem like a simple instruction, right? But this technique is composed of small details that make all the difference, so pay attention to each step, all are essential to your success.

Importance of SEO for Your Content

SEO is a set of techniques that aims to improve your ranking on Google and, consequently, attract more visitors to your website.

A good positioning in the main search engines is a powerful differential in attracting customers. The easier your post is to find and the more obviously it expresses that it is an infallible solution, the more chances are that the public will access it.

How to Make Your Website First on Google

To take your site to the first pages of Google, you need to follow some requirements that make the post more attractive to the search engine, so that it delivers your content as the most concrete and explanatory answer.

Searching for the top ranking in Google is still one of the most effective practices when it comes to increasing organic traffic to your site. It is a kind of very fierce competition between different pages, so you need to understand well what your audience is looking for to be the best and deliver exactly what they want.

Keywords

The keyword is the term that the user will use to find your post in search engines. Therefore, you need to know what your audience is looking for, translate this problem into words and deliver the solution in attractive content for the customer and Google.

The relevance of your page gains power when the keyword is used in the best way. It must be in the title of your page, as well as in the URL and also spread throughout the text.

This does not mean that for every 3 words, 4 are the keyword. Remember that in addition to being attractive, the content must have quality , that is, work on the keyword so that it enriches your text. Check out some practical tips on how you can use it:

  • At the beginning of the first paragraph of your text;
  • In tags that organize your content;
  • In the subtitles of the article;
  • In the meta description that presents your article to the user on Google.

Link Building

Getting links to increase the relevance of your site is like putting together several letters of recommendation throughout your professional career. Doors open more easily when someone you trust praises your work, doesn’t it?

The link building works almost as well! The technique consists of including links from other sites in your article or being included in posts from others. Google analyzes the presence of reliable links as a requirement to move up in the rankings, which is extremely positive.

However, you need to work with pages that have credibility and can benefit your brand. A link in a low quality article on a poorly presented website can end up tarnishing your name too!

For example; You can’t just link from a website about doll houses for kids to a website about cars or vice versa without making it relevant. You surely can link like that just straight away but it won’t work. You have to make the 2 pieces of content relevant and connected to each other in some way. “The other day I was buying a new houten poppenhuis for my daughter but it did not fit in my cars’ trunk, so I had to hire a van instead to bring it to my home!”. As you can see you now have a sentence that is relevant to both queries and it makes sense to link between them, or at least it’s very possible now.

Good content is also indispensable for successful link building. Include links only when they make sense to read, when they offer something that complements your explanation, and not just to attract clicks.

Optimizing Your Title

The title should be the perfect phrase to win over your audience. There are no second chances, if your title doesn’t say exactly what the user wants, it won’t even give you an opportunity to access your content.
Even among professionals, creating an ideal title can be complicated, but there are essential tips that can help you create an impossible call to resist.

  • Use the keyword, preferably at the beginning of the sentence;
  • If possible, use numbers and present your content as a list of tips or solutions;
  • Give preference to the imperative form of the verb, it inspires confidence and security to the user;
  • Do not overdo the size, keep your title always objective.

If your title has at least intrigued the visitor, the meta description should be the final blow to convince them that you have the best answers to the problem you need to solve.

The meta description is the short text used by Google to explain the purpose of your article in searches.

It is important that you also insert your keyword in this part of your post. Remember that the more it appears (intelligently), the easier it becomes to find your page.

The description needs to be brief, intriguing and explanatory at the same time. Explain in a few words the subject that you will discuss in detail in your article, so the visitor knows what will be presented to him but will still be curious to see what else he can learn from it.

If you don’t include the meta description on your page, Google automatically collects a portion of your text and presents it as a description. This may not always be good, as it gives the type of information that the public needs to be convinced of the quality of its content.

Social Media Sharing

The social networks are the places where most of the audience spends more time, and it is there that they consume news, entertainment and even products. Therefore, it is necessary that you insert and work to disseminate your content in this powerful place.

It is interesting to publish your content in different formats to attract different types of visitors.

Produce introductory calls for those who are interested in reading. Create dynamic images and infographics for those who like to share and even edit short and explanatory videos about your post, always including the link to your page in the description.

Social networks reach a large number of potential visitors to the site, do not think twice before using the tools at your disposal to win them over where they most seek information.

Learn How to Publicize Your Website Quickly and Sure

Learn How to Publicize Your Website Quickly and Sure

Do you want to bring thousands of visitors to your site and finally gain the recognition you’ve always dreamed of?

The first question you ask yourself right after launching your blog is “how to advertise my website?” . Just because you are asking yourself this question and have come here to learn more, already makes you someone different on the internet.

Producing quality content is no longer enough to be classified as a relevant source to the public. You need to reach your target exactly where and when he wants to find you.

Read more on how to create an amazing blog with little time and money. It seems like a difficult mission to unravel your client’s mind like that, doesn’t it? The task is not simple, but it is nowhere near impossible! I have helped thousands of companies in Brazil and in the world to be transformed into references in the market, mainly using the tools that the internet offers.

So, I gathered a series of tips and essential information to start a successful promotion for your website and completely transform the way your audience recognizes you in the digital world. In this text, you will read:

  • Importance of promoting your website
  • Types of traffic you can generate to your website
  • Step by step on how to generate all types of traffic

I hope it helps you. Don’t forget to leave your doubt or opinion in the comments, it will be a pleasure to answer you! Good reading! Before continuing, if you want to increase your sales and know what are the best strategies to promote your online business,

Importance of Disclosing Your Site

Nowadays, disclosure is the heart of a business . It is not enough to produce the best content or product, it is necessary to make it seen by as many people as possible.
Reaching a reach range that covers more than just your target audience opens doors to win new customers. New consumers can simply “bump” on your website out there and find the solution they are looking for!

In addition to taking your product to the visitor, good publicity also has the power to add value to your brand.

A well-constructed visual identity builds an image of responsibility and credibility that sets you apart from your competitors in the market.

How to Promote My Site on Google

To start publicizing your site on Google, you need to register it in the search engine. In a few minutes, your blog is already in the Google catalog. The process is simple, just follow the 3 steps below:

  1. Go to Google in the special area to include your URL.
  2. Fill in the “URL” field with your website address and click on the “Add URL” button. The “Comments” field is not mandatory.
  3. Ready! Simple, isn’t it? If your site meets Google standards, you will receive an approval message from the process and your disclosure begins to gain power.

Types of Traffic You Can Generate to Your Website

Attracting traffic is the main objective of a publicity campaign. However, there are several types of traffic that you can generate for your website. Understanding what each of them represents and how they get to you can help to structure your planning better.

Did you know that there are at least 5 types of traffic on the internet ? The biggest and most relevant to our discussion are organic and paid , but I will also explain a little more about viral traffic , which can make all the difference in its dissemination.

Organic Traffic

Best known among all, organic traffic is attracted with the practice of ranking techniques in search engines, especially SEO . When a user does a search on Google, for example, the sites that appear on the first page are the ones that most attract this type of traffic, since they are more easily found by visitors than the content that is ranked in lower positions .

Reaching the first pages in searches requires extremely high quality content that also bears in mind most of the SEO requirements : objective title, highlighted keyword, internal and external links, etc.

Increasing your organic traffic numbers does not require payment to search engines, only the production of extremely qualified articles that bring the public all the answers they need.

SEO

Paid Traffic

Unlike organic traffic, payment is limited to any form of promotion that needs to be paid to attract a greater number of accesses. Generally, these PPC ads are paid to search engines, as it works in Google AdWords , for example. In this ad, your content gets a higher profile, regardless of ranking. That is, your post will appear more often and in positions with greater visibility.

Another source of paid traffic is social media . Sponsored publications appear more frequently to users and reach a much larger number than their followers. You may be asking yourself: is it worth investing in paid traffic? Will he really give me a considerable result? The answer is yes, but it needs to be used wisely.

It is best to work with paid traffic alongside organic traffic. Quality content aimed at organic traffic can win and retain the visitors who arrived there from paid traffic. In addition to expanding the presence of your brand in search engines and networks.

Viral Traffic

A little different from the types I introduced earlier, viral traffic comes from online generators. You register your site in one of the several viral traffic generators that exist and it does the whole service of attracting more clicks to your site.
Some are commanded by bots and generate empty visits, which only increase the numbers, without any type of interaction. However, others bring real visitors to your site and can make the spread a little more interesting.

This type of measure is suitable for new sites , which do not yet have large numbers of visits or have not yet invested in another marketing strategy , as visits serve more to spread and viralize the brand name than to do some content reading or product purchase.

The registration process at the generators varies from tool to tool, but you usually need to visit some sites that have been registered there for about 40 seconds each, and then register with the tool. It is like a network of websites that do favors for each other.

How to Enhance Organizational Performance

How to Enhance Organizational Performance

Businesses rule the economy and the whole world’s operation, but not every company soars in the heights of success. Organizations that have failed to keep up standards throughout their lifetime have faltered at some point. While some of them clambered and stood back on their feet to come back stronger, many others just fell into the pit of oblivion. Being passionate about a career and pursuing it is the greatest thing to do when alive; to make it successful is a challenge not everyone can tackle. Owning a company without the necessary organizational skills will push you into a state of immense losses. You need to train yourself and the team to get things going in the right direction. When you focus on providing quality services, take notes to enhance the whole system. Let us look at some steps that can help improve your organization’s performance.

1.      Get the HR Department to Work Harder

A key role in an organization is played by the human resources department, providing the company with effective methods to develop into a successful venture. When this team of experts collaborates with the other departments in the company, the organizational effectiveness will improve. Upon the design of new business strategies, the human resources department can initiate the demand for more employees. This will lead to a balance in the number of people to get a task done. All of this can impact the goals of the company. Human resources professionals’ intervention in certain situations may land you on the solution you may have been searching for. The unique perspective offered by these teams can surely help the organization combine the best of all views for more efficient results.

2.      Growth Through Education

One cannot achieve great feats in life without education, meaning the organizations should have a sufficient number of professionals to deal with every challenge. The strength of a company is measured by the importance given to education, meaning all employees and executives should be encouraged to take up programs that help them grow as professionals. As a leader, you must understand the weaknesses of each person to reinforce them with the right tools to succeed. Once you have identified their strengths and weaknesses, classes that could help them must be initiated and organized at regular intervals until the overall performance has increased.

3.      Work for the Customers

The motto of an organization should always be to strive hard to satisfy the clients. It simply means that every step you take towards improving your service can be effective only if you adhere to the requirements of the customers. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise your perspective always to please the clients. Research about every customer and clear all queries right away to learn exactly what they are looking for. By doing so, your whole team can develop the best strategies for every client to get the tasks done on time.

Five ways to bring out the leaders in your employees

Whatever your business, whatever your industry, strong leadership talent is like gold dust. People are right to desire capable leaders, particularly in times of frequent change or economic uncertainty when leadership can make or break a business. In the infographic we published late last year, however, we revealed that only 36% of businesses feel prepared to fill leadership vacancies, with a worrying 60% of companies reporting a significant shortage of leadership capability.

The problem is this: you might be searching for the best leadership candidates on the market, but so is everybody else – everyone is trying to draw from the same talent pool. One thing you have that your competitors don’t, however, is your existing staff. You could be sitting on a goldmine of leadership talent already – all it might need is for you to look inwards and focus on development, rather than relying on recruitment alone.

1. Focus on potential

There is a tendency for people to want, or expect, their leaders to come ‘ready-made,’ without being prepared to commit to somebody’s development. But this approach needlessly excludes people who have the potential to be great leaders with the right development and exposure.

Don’t just focus on the people at the top of your organisation – look at those nearer the beginning of their career who are showing leadership potential, work out what type of development would get them from where they are to where they need to be in relation to your organisational requirements, and set them on that learning path.

2. Expose them to opportunities

Perhaps the most powerful leadership development comes from exposure to a breadth of different experiences. We frequently talk about the ‘70:20:10’ approach, where experience makes up the majority (70%) of learning, and nowhere is this model more relevant and applicable than with leadership development.

If you want well-rounded, capable, credible leaders, who are able to operate competently across your business, you need to give them the opportunity to take on a wide range of different roles and responsibilities. Provide your leaders with the right kind of experiences and the payback in their development will be huge, and lasting.

3. Start their development early

Bringing out great leaders within your employees is never going to be a quick fix or overnight solution. It is something for which you need to take a long-term view, building up a solid leadership talent pipeline that will serve your business for years to come.

Don’t just focus on people who are already established in their careers, or in senior management positions. Take time to assess those early on in their careers, and help them grow and develop into the leaders your business needs as they progress. Build a robust succession plan so that you know who will replace key leaders if they leave the business.

4. Give them role models

Having a great role model can be instrumental in a leader’s development. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to partner them up with an employee in your own organisation (although, if possible, this can be extremely effective for both parties) – it could mean showing them examples of great leaders externally, perhaps within your industry, or perhaps just leaders who display the right types of behaviours.

Then, importantly, they need to be given the time and facility to reflect on why those leaders are so effective – why they are so successful, how their behaviours have impacted on the company’s success, and so on. This reflection time can provide a valuable learning experience for a developing leader.

5. Go outdoors

I’m not suggesting you move all your employees’ desks into the car park. What I would suggest, however, is outdoor experiential learning, which can be a powerful experience. By putting people into an uncomfortable, unfamiliar, physical environment, and really putting them through their paces, you provide them with mental challenges and learning experiences that are simply not possible in an indoor setting.

Experiential learning doesn’t have to be about climbing a mountain or traversing a canyon, however – you can achieve some really powerful leadership development just by taking people out of the office or classroom environment. The key is to make sure you are able to link any activities with the learning objectives, and always give them the opportunity to reflect on what they have gained from it and how they can apply that learning back at work.

***

When it comes to developing strong leaders, training is not necessarily going to be sufficient. Training may form part of the solution – developing certain behaviours or skills – but ultimately it comes down to giving those people the experiences they need in order to build their confidence and ability as leaders. This means you need to put a certain amount of trust in your potential leaders, give them the right opportunities to lead, facilitate the learning which supports that, let them take responsibility for their own development, and then watch them grow.

For more information, read our guide to identifying and developing your staff with high leadership potential in Enhance magazine.

How to cultivate emotional intelligence in your staff

Emotional intelligence (EI) – described by business psychologist Dr Susan David of Harvard University as ‘the ability to solve problems with and about emotions effectively’ – is essentially the measure of how well a person monitors their own emotions and the emotions of others, and how they use that emotional perception to guide their thinking and behaviour.

EI is not just a business buzzword invented by HR and L&D professionals; it is a concept born of evidence-based, psychological analysis of the way human beings react to situations, interact with one another and make decisions. Researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany recently undertook a study where they tested participants for emotional intelligence then studied their background. They found that the participants who scored higher on the emotional intelligence tests were rated as more socially skilled by their colleagues and were generally better paid. This outcome remained the same even after the researchers controlled for alternative explanations for higher income such as age, gender, amount of training, or hierarchical position within the company.

A high level of emotional intelligence in your staff can make them more effective communicators, able to build better relationships, more productive, and, importantly, able to quickly spot and resolve conflict. All of these traits are extremely valuable in a business environment, and if you want to harbour them within your own organisation, fostering emotional intelligence in your people should be high on your list of priorities.

The RUUM model

When we are designing learning interventions to develop emotional intelligence in people, the content is largely informed by the RUUM model, devised by Dr Susan David (mentioned above). This model can be broken down as follows:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Using emotions
  • Understanding emotions
  • Managing emotions

Let’s take a look at each of those points in greater detail:

1. Recognising

The first stage in developing emotional intelligence is learning to recognise emotions in others, particularly through nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, or through subtle changes in voice. I mentioned the recent study by the University of Bonn in Germany, and one of the key conclusions from this study, cited by the researchers, was that more value should be placed on the skill of recognising emotions when it comes to selecting managers, particularly within professions where human contact is a big part of the job.

If a person does not have the ability to recognise emotions in the first place, it is going to be extremely difficult for them to use develop a more advanced understanding of them. Any learning intervention designed to develop emotional intelligence, therefore, risks being a waste of time if the recognition element is not dealt with first and foremost.

2. Using

Emotions tend to dominate the thinking process when not managed correctly. If you respond to something emotionally, it grabs your attention, and this can hinder productivity and effectiveness. It is vital, therefore, to be able to think past your initial emotions in the way that is most useful for the task at hand. It is also essential to be able to understand which emotions are useful for what, and use them to your advantage in order to facilitate the right kind of thinking. Creative tasks, for example, often benefit from different emotions than tasks which involve sharp focus or attention to detail.

3. Understanding

Understanding what emotions are is an essential part of developing EI. What does each emotion mean, and what information is it trying to convey? Every emotion carries its own messages and potential actions, and it is important to understand the link between those messages and their associated actions. Once you have that understanding, it is much easier to take a reasoned look at them. This ability is central to the development of emotional intelligence.

4. Managing

Emotions can be managed in a way that benefits the individual and improves their effectiveness. It all comes down to ‘self-regulation,’ and the ability to remain open to emotional signals while blocking out those that are overwhelming to the point of hindering productivity or effectiveness. Managing emotions is also about regulating your own and others’ emotions in order to achieve your own personal goals, but it is only possible to achieve this once you have mastered the other three steps in the RUUM model.

Actions you can take

Once you are aware of what emotional intelligence is and you are familiar with the above four-step model, there are certain steps you can take to encourage a generally higher level of emotional intelligence, or at least emotional awareness, among your employees. As with any kind of development, it is not always about taking people out of their roles and putting them on training courses for any length of time; there are ways to encourage a more organic level of emotional intelligence within your business, so it becomes ingrained into everything your employees do, every decision they make and the way they interact with others around the business.

Encourage a coaching culture

One of the best ways to develop emotional intelligence in your staff is through coaching. By coaching, you can encourage the coachee to think about how a situation makes them feel, and why, and to reflect upon that. If a colleague has reacted negatively to something they have said, for example, you could help them recognise what emotion that person was displaying, and encourage them to reflect, in a reasoned way, on why that person might have displayed it in response to what they said. The RUUM model also encourages managers to think in an emotionally intelligent way when it comes to dealing with their staff, whether that is through coaching, feedback sessions, one-to-ones or anything else, so it is a fantastic tool for them to have.

Champion the importance

If you want an emotionally intelligent workforce, it is important to properly champion the benefits of EI to your staff. Be clear about how EI can help people make better decisions and form stronger relationships with internal and external customers alike. Yes, emotionally intelligent staff are beneficial to your business, but there are obvious personal and career-related benefits for the individual, too (such as the fact that emotionally intelligent people are, on average, better paid, according to the recent study I cited at the start of this article). If people understand what EI is, what it means to have it, and the positive impact it can have on anything from relationships to decision-making, they will be much more likely to engage with it and any associated development activities.

Hire the right people

As mentioned above, it is difficult to develop advanced levels of emotional intelligence in somebody who doesn’t already have the ability to recognise emotions in themself and others. It is therefore vital, particularly when you are hiring people managers, to take emotional intelligence into account during the recruitment process. It will be much easier for you to develop a high level of emotional intelligence in those people managers if they already have the ability to recognise emotions, so hiring the right people should be the first step in creating an emotionally intelligent workforce.

Facilitate open communication

One obvious barrier to the development of emotional intelligence is an inability to communicate. Make it easy for staff members to have open discussions with one another, and try to encourage healthy debate. By interacting with each other regularly, in a safe and constructive way, people will be able to practise reading the emotions of others and using their own emotions in social situations. The more people interact with their colleagues, the better they will learn to recognise how people react emotionally, and how their emotions affect others around them.

***

There is no hard and fast way to ‘make’ people emotionally intelligent; it simply does not work like that. What you can do, however, using the RUUM model as a basis for learning, is help people better understand what emotions are and how they can be used and managed in a way that is productive and effective for the environment or situation they are in. Once people are able to recognise emotions, in others, but also in themselves, it becomes much easier to understand, use and manage those emotions in their everyday working lives.

Mike Davies is a management and leadership L&D consultant with over 10 years operational management experience and 22 years in the learning and development field. His specialist areas include coaching, emotional intelligence and experiential learning.

Empower your people – develop a coaching culture

It’s no secret that while budgets are stabilising, they are still relatively tight. It’s also no secret that when cost reduction is a key priority, one of the areas that – rightly or wrongly – tends to be neglected is people development. This is sadly counterproductive. It’s during the leaner and more challenging times, more than ever, that you need your teams to be working at maximum capacity. Developing your people not only enhances their skills, but also empowers and motivates them, ultimately creating a more productive workforce.

So how can you continue to effectively develop your people without putting a heavy dent in your budget? One extremely powerful approach is through coaching. By developing a coaching culture within your organisation, you enable people to come up with their own solutions, developing their skills and knowledge without having to send them on a paid-for training course every time. Coaching can also help make sure L&D budgets are being spent in the most relevant and effective way possible, because it identifies specific development needs. Ultimately it creates a more self-reliant workforce, which frees up more time for managers to focus on other things. Be sure to download our guide to coaching your sales team.

Doug Chapman, L&D Consultant at Thales Learning & Development, summarises it well:

“By enabling a proper two-way dialogue between managers and staff, coaching does three things,” he says. “It raises awareness in individuals, it enables them to make choices by giving them options, and it prompts them to take responsibility for their own development. It also helps identify true training needs, which means organisations don’t have to take such a ‘broad brush’ approach to L&D.”

But how do you implement that culture?

According to Matt Driscoll, Management and Leadership L&D Consultant at Thales Learning & Development, who uses coaching in many of his learning interventions, it can be as simple as asking questions.

“Coaching is all about empowering people and getting them to think,” he says. “If people come to their managers with problems, those managers should always be asking questions – ‘Why?’ ‘How can we resolve this?’ That is essentially the required behaviour for a successful coaching culture. Even if managers were to invest just two minutes of their time into asking the right questions, they could empower individuals to come to their own conclusions.”

Who should be a coach?

If you are looking to embed coaching within your organisation, you may be wondering where this capability would be best placed. Which managers would benefit most from the skill, or which teams would benefit most from having a manager with coaching abilities?

Matt Driscoll doesn’t believe it should be a case of singling out specific managers or leaders within the business, but rather a trait that exists throughout. “Every leader or manager should be a coach,” he says. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to have had formal coaching training. An effective, low-cost solution could be to provide managers with key coaching texts, such as ‘Coaching for Performance’ by Sir John Whitmore, or setting up a peer support network.”

Coaching within our own business

Having seen the benefits of coaching on many of the organisations we work with, we’ve actually taken steps to implement that capability within our own business. Dale Kirk, Principle Consultant at Thales Learning & Development, recently worked with a number of our L&D consultants and senior staff, helping them develop their own coaching skills. The results have been incredibly positive. Most importantly, there has been a noticeable, lasting impact on both managers and individuals.

Speaking about the benefits of the sessions, Mandy Smithson, Head of Business Development at Thales Learning and Development, who was one of the attendees, said:

“As a manager, it’s great to have a wide range of tools to choose from. Through coaching, I can enable my team to take personal responsibility and feel empowered in a high-pressure environment. It gives them a sense of ownership.”

What do you think? How powerful is coaching when it comes to empowering employees and developing skills, knowledge and confidence? Could your organisation benefit from a coaching culture?

The true cost of cutting your training budget

Mark-EagleWe all know businesses are operating in tough economic times; no doubt you’re tired of hearing it. But regardless of that much-played out fact, research we undertook earlier this year suggested that, for many organisations, L&D budgets are actually on the move (and in the right direction, too). 30% said their L&D budget would increase, while 50% said it would remain stable, meaning only a fifth of those surveyed were expecting their budget to actually shrink. When it came to successful implementation of L&D, however, budget constraint was still cited as the primary hurdle.

Clearly there is some headway still to be made, then, when it comes to the perceived value of impactful learning. When lowering costs is a key priority, L&D budgets have historically been one of the first areas to take the hit. The justification is, always, that L&D is not one of the most business-critical costs, and therefore not an essential cost. That logic is fundamentally flawed, though. It is during the lean times that you need your teams to be at their most productive. The right L&D, delivered in the right way, can, and should, drive performance, from an individual right up to an organisational level. The answer to whether L&D is business critical, then, is ‘very much so.’

L&D should be an integral part of your overall business strategy, not simply a dispensable side-project. In fact, not investing enough into the development of your people could do more harm than good. Let’s take a look at the true cost of cutting your training budget.

A drop in productivity

L&D has been proven to boost productivity. By cutting your training budget you are making a quick saving. What you are losing however, is the benefit of having your people being as effective as possible in their roles. The effect of that loss varies depending on the level, and specific job role, of the employees in questions. Cut back on sales training, for example, and you may not realise the full potential revenue that those teams could be bringing in. Cut back on customer service training, and your customer satisfaction scores could drop, which ultimately reflects your brand and company reputation. Reduce IT training, and the efficiency with which people work may decline.

When profits are strained and costs need to be cut, people tend to make the mistake of thinking training is an expense that can be cut without having to worry about ‘business as usual’ being affected. But this approach is counterproductive. By improving productivity, the right L&D can actually have a direct impact on the bottom line of your business.

An increase in staff turnover (and what that costs)

Training your staff not only shows that you value them – because you’re willing to invest time and money into their development – but it also makes them feel positive about their future in the business. Positive, optimistic and motivated workers are far less likely to leave than those who feel undervalued, or simply at a dead end. They are also likely to perform better. Neglect to invest in people’s development and you run the risk of not only staff who are not working at full productivity, but also of losing them altogether.

Is staff turnover such a worry, though? The answer is, of course, yes. Research published earlier this year by global forecasting firm Oxford Economics showed that staff turnover costs the UK economy at least £4.13bn each year. That figure is undeniably huge. Let’s take a look at how it is broken down.

Logistics

For every new hire, there are generally advertising and recruitment agency costs involved. The average figure for those two combined? £5,433. And that is before the person has even started.

Wages during period of low productivity

Whatever your role, we all know that there’s a period of time from your start date during which you don’t fully know what you’re doing. That length of time obviously varies depending on the role, the organisation, and how much time you need in order to get up to speed, but according to Oxford Economics’ research, the average time it takes to reach optimum productivity is 28 weeks. The average cost in wages, therefore, comes to £25,182.

The total amount of money a business needs to spend, then, on average, before a new employee is able to contribute to the success of the organisation, is a staggering £30,615. That certainly puts the price of developing existing talent into perspective, and should, perhaps, make employers think twice before thinking of L&D only as a cost.

If you have to cut down, try coaching

If you really do need to cut your training budget, look at ways you can save on costs but still deliver effective learning rather than simply removing L&D from your strategy altogether. In the CIPD Learning and Development survey undertaken earlier this year, respondents were asked which talent management activities had the biggest impact in their experience. 46% said coaching – the top result by some distance.

Coaching not only creates an environment in which staff take ownership of their own development, but it also helps pinpoint specific training needs, which means any L&D investment will be better targeted and, ultimately, money better spent. In a financially tight environment, this approach enables you to continue developing your people effectively without incurring large costs.

L&D as a strategic business tool

The driving point here is that L&D – provided it is done in the right way and following thorough consultation – is much more than simply an extra cost, and it is dangerous to think that you can cut back on its implementation without having an impact on the business. Even if you don’t believe that cutting your training budget would actually have a negative impact, you would still be missing out on the significant positive impact that L&D could bring.

With its ability to boost productivity, improve employee engagement and turnover and ultimately have a positive impact on your organisation’s bottom line, L&D should be a key part of your overall strategy. The decision to cut it from your budget, therefore, should be taken as seriously as any other business function.

Mark Eagle is a Management and Leadership L&D Consultant at Thales Learning & Development. Having spent time training large teams for big businesses such as Virgin Atlantic and BUPA, Mark is now responsible for delivering TLD’s suite of management and leadership programmes.

Project Management – it’s not just for the construction or IT industries

Project-Management-Blog-ImageOver the last decade or so the project management profession has evolved as projects have become a more significant part of organisations in our complex and fast-changing business environments. Regardless of the industry sector, project management is a useful discipline to employ whenever an organisation needs to look at implementing, improving or developing a solution to identified needs.

Project management started to be used in the 1960’s as businesses began to recognise the benefits of planning work activities more thoroughly, communicating more effectively and collaborating with different departments and companies. Projects were typically time bound and had a beginning a middle and an end. Nowadays, although many projects still adhere to this definition, many others are on-going and cyclical in their nature.

Project management has been used widely in the construction industry where it has been proved beneficial to have a project team that is specifically focused on understanding customer requirements and can, therefore, deliver on those requirements within an agreed upon budget and timescale.

However, project management is equally advantageous within other sectors, such as services, to manage very large, complex projects which encompass the integration of multiple work products.

Some of the most project intensive sectors such as manufacturing and construction have discovered that using approaches such as PRINCE2® and tools such as Primavera, combined with the professional competence frameworks supported by qualifications from the Association for Project Management (APM) have been massively beneficial in a variety of business environments. For an introduction to Primavera, read the first issue of Enhance magazine from Thales L&D.

Latest research conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) estimates that 15.7 million project management positions will have been created worldwide before the end of this decade. It cites the seven highest project-intensive industries as: construction, finance, insurance, information systems, utilities, oil & gas and manufacturing. Clearly project management is an integral part of most business operations, and is becoming more prevalent within the service industry.

The benefits of great project management are numerous but organisations who fail to develop exceptional project managers are putting themselves at a disadvantage. Project management is serious profession that needs a professional approach to managing and delivering projects and this can only be achieved by delivering a programme of continuous development.

Thales Learning & Development provides a range of state of the art project management courses including accredited PRINCE2®, APM training and Primavera courses. These courses are designed to get you up to speed with the latest industry thinking and equip you the highest level of skill in order to turbo boost your project management career. Please call us on 0800 138 7640 for more information.

A Guide to Graduate Development

Hiring graduates can be an incredibly worthwhile investment. They are an ideal resource for organisations looking to grow their talent pool, bring in new skills and innovative ideas, and work towards future proofing their business. However, attracting, identifying and retaining high quality graduate candidates can be a difficult thing to achieve. But with the right strategies in place it is far from impossible, and once you get it right, the positive outcomes are certainly worth it.

This guide will explore the numerous benefits of hiring graduates, and help identify the most effective strategies to ensure your graduate recruitment and development schemes are successful and beneficial for all involved.

You’ll learn:

  • Why graduates are worth hiring, and some of the potential problems you may face
  • What steps to take to attract the right candidates for your organisation
  • How to identify the best people during the recruitment stage
  • The steps you need to take to develop your graduates for maximum effectiveness
  • How to ensure the long term success of your graduates

Click read to open the TL&D guide in your browser and feel free to download and save for a future date. We’ll be uploading more each month, so make sure you check back for the next in our series!

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