Archive for the 'staff training' Category

How To Achieve Big Hairy Audacious Goals

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The Positive Training sponsored Franchise Acceleration Bootcamp

Positive Training had the privilege of sponsoring the Franchise Acceleration Bootcamp on the 17th of October held at the Beau Monde International.  The event was hosted by Tom Schaff and Scott deMoulin with Janine Allis – the founder of the ever delicious and popular Boost Juice – as keynote speaker. The secrets to psychology, leadership and affecting change were just some of the gems that these highly-qualified guests imparted on the audience.


The speakers

janine allisJanine Allis – Founder of Boost Juice

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” Janine Allis says. And this bubbly, passionate lady knows a thing or two about company culture having started and grown one of Australia’s most successful and colourful franchises. With 250 stores in 14 countries – and counting – Janine knows that it’s people that can make or break a business and, if you have a bad culture, your customers will feel it and it will eventually affect your bottom line and your future success.

As the event’s keynote speaker, 2004 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year Janine Allis was inspiring (she started the business whilst on maternity leave from her day job and is now raising 4 children), truthful (one of her marketing “P’s” in the beginning was “Petrified”) and knowledgeable (Janine says success is 10% strategy, 90% execution).

Boost Juice can credit a lot of its success to its clever marketing. With a tight marketing budget, Boost Juice is King – or is that Queen? – at cutting through the noise with fun and spirited campaigns that often spin into free publicity. Some of Boost’s campaigns have included the Whats Ya Name Game, Undie Monday and a $300,000 Boost Juice bar giveaway.

But Janine said it wasn’t all smooth sailing, with some seriously tough challenges along the way. However, she says, you learn more in the bad times than the good times and Boost Juice is better for it.

Janine imparted a ton of knowledge at the event – here are some of the highlights:

  • Remember to step away from your business every now and then, and see it as the customer would see it.
  • Take responsibility for your business – don’t blame other people, the environment or the economy for its failings. There are certain things that affect your business that you have no control over but you DO have control over how you adapt to what’s going on around you.
  • If you’re standing still, you’re going backwards.
  • Keep your franchisees fully informed and be transparent – knowledge is power. Their success is your success and vice versa.
  • Do ANYTHING to make your customers happy.
  • Don’t accept mediocrity.
  • Have a clear vision for your business and then hire people who share a similar vision – don’t just make a vision up as you go along.
  • Don’t hire yourself – find people that compliment you and have skills that you don’t.
  • Incentivise your staff. Ask them what they want – you may be surprised to learn it isn’t always just about the money. Education is also a form of recognition.

If there’s one thing we can take away from Janine Allis it’s that it’s never too late to become the person you always wanted to be.

Tom Schaff – Business Growth Expert

Tom Schaff, author and business growth expert, helped host this event together with Scott DeMoulin. Tom – who is full of energy, passion and wit – says that as a leader you need to raise your expectations when it comes to what you expect of those around you. “You make someone stronger by raising your standards of them.”

As a leader, it takes a lot of courage to stand up and make critical decisions, break a few hearts and hurt some feelings. Schaff says be firm, fair and easy. Align the skills and attributes of the job with the people for greater success, and be clear on job descriptions.

Schaff makes an important point about up-skilling your staff. “Make sure you up-skill your staff before giving promotions – don’t just assume that because your sales person is great at sales that you can promote them to a management role without training.” Often people ask “what if I invest in my staff and then they leave?” Schaff says a better question to ask is “What if I don’t invest in my staff and then they STAY?”

Scott deMoulin – Transformational Leadership Coach

Scott deMoulin is the founder of Destiny Training Systems and one of the top sales and performance trainers in America. To say he brings energy to a room is an understatement and with clients like Paramount Pictures, KPMG Consulting and the Ritz Carlton, Scott brought with him a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion.

Are you playing not to lose, or playing to win? There’s a massive difference in psychology and the difference can be seen in the success, or otherwise, of your business.

Scott had everyone look at some of their negative beliefs that may be holding them back from implementing the key distinctions learnt over the day, and in true DeMoulin style the audience was breaking wooden boards with their bare hands before you could say “own your own problems”. “Responsibility is the key to freedom,” Scott says.

Understanding your staff

There are four components that make up everyone’s behavioural style. These are:

  • Decisive – how you tend to approach problems and makes decisions.
  • Interactive – how you tend to interact with others.
  • Stabilising – how you tend to pace things in your environment.
  • Cautious – your preference for established protocol/standards.

Understanding the different styles of behaviour can not only help you appreciate why you do what you do, but it can also help you understand your staff both when hiring and managing them. Tom took us through the different components as well as helped us interpret the results.

How to be a great manager

Our speakers all made some fantastic points on how to be a great leader or manager. Here are 5 nuggets worth remembering:

  1. Make sure everyone knows their job and has the right tools to do their job effectively.
  2. People don’t work for companies, they work for managers. People work for people.
  3. Measure EVERYTHING. What gets measured, gets done.
  4. Managers and leaders need to say more often, “I believe there’s more in you than you’re giving”. It raises people’s standards and belief in themselves.
  5. Courage is vital for leadership. People with courage are driven by something bigger than themselves.


Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Janine Allis said it, Tom Schaff said it and Scott DeMoulin said it – goal setting is vital. Both in business and personally, setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals is the driving force behind WHY you do what you do – and your ‘why’ will always beat your ‘how’ any day of the week.

My BHAG is to build Positive Training to $1 billion in sales, and as a key advocate, donate all proceeds to raise funds for awareness and research that will find a cure for Cerebral Palsy. What’s your Big Hairy Audacious Goal that gets you out of bed in the morning?

Great leadership, understanding people and a smart business action plan are all keys to helping you accomplish your Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

And finally…

The beauty of a franchise is that the action plan is included. But these messages are transferable across all types of businesses as people’s basic behaviours don’t change and the theories remain the same.

Learning how to manage people and guide them through complex change within a business is fundamental to being a strong leader.

So after empowering ourselves by breaking wooden boards with our bare hands, eating copious amounts of lollies from the lolly cart, devouring superb catering and learning incredible business lessons from three of the most respected authorities, the event was at an end.

And when all is said and done, Tom said it superbly when he said “People do business with people”.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

Score a FREE Ticket to the Franchise Expo & Unlock Team Culture Secrets!

Come to the Franchising Expo AUGUST 18th – 19th at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre! From insider tips to expert advice, generating extra income to a career shift, the 2012 Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo will help turn your ambition into action. There’s no other event that gives you the opportunity to talk face-to-face with leading franchisors and successful franchisees across a range of business opportunities.

James Grima will be speaking at the event, revealing the secret to driving unprecedented productivity, reducing attrition and gaining more customers can be unlocked by your business’ number 1 asset; your PEOPLE. Three key strategies to outstanding team culture.

His talk will be at the following times:

  1. Friday – 3pm
  2. Saturday – 2.30pm
  3. Sunday – 3pm

About James: A lifetime Entrepreneur, I have amassed over 20 years of hands-on successful multi-unit food retailing experience opening my first retail pizza outlet at the age of 19 and was a millionaire by 21. I cultivated the company into a chain of 12 stores, employing more than 500 staff, producing over 2 million pizzas a year and recognized by industry as having the third highest volume pizza store in Australia. I franchised the Pizza Lovers brand in 1999, which was acquired by Domino’s Pizza five years later.

We invite you to attend the expo and drop in to our booth (B36) or James’ talk – or both!. Whether you’ve just started researching franchises, or about to make your new business decision, you’ll find the Expo will help you take the next step.

First 5 people to comment will receive a FREE ticket to the Franchising Expo!

Empowering The Positive Training Team with A Gift of Love!

On the 31st of May 2012, the Positive Training team had the pleasure of attending the ‘Twinflame; Gift of Love” Cocktail Grand event! Needless to say, being a part of a celebration of life, leadership, business and success was incredibly special and insightful.

Above: The Positive Training team having a blast with the OMG Photobooth!

“Increasing conscious awarness within oneself in the areas of love, life, leadership and personal evolution through education & celebration; also strengthens the economy, our communities and Humanity” To Life, The Twinflame Partners

Everyone who attended took something away from the night. Whether it be the understanding of their leadership style and acknowledging their strengths, letting go of personal barriers inhibiting growth or realizing the power of the mind for health and wellbeing, there was something for everyone!

Amazing key speakers who discussed a variety of topics included;

  • Dr. Swan Nicole; Divine inspiration and enlightenment through activation of higher soul connection.
  • Jonathan Movitz; How to become a great leader, so other people are inspired to lead themselves.
  • Mark Bunn; Achieving success without compromising on wellbeing.
  • Sophie Trpcevski;  Maximising quality of life through your relationships.

Below are a summary of points we found especially useful and applicable!


BUSINESS

Being an Exceptional Leader, Jonathan Movitz

A true leader has the ability to inspire and gain respect while setting and achieving goals. The Positive Training Team shared with Jonathan terms to describe a true leader which included Self awareness, Integrity, Courage, Vision, Innovation, Passion, Enthusiasm, Humbleness, Adaptability and Respect.

Jonathan encouraged us to discover our natural leadership style and qualities. By completing a personality assessment, we were able to analyse our strengths and weaknesses hence realize what qualities can be developed into tangible skills to help us become exceptional leaders. Jonathan’s insightful talk got us thinking about what areas we could focus on to enhance our leadership abilities.

HEALTH

Importance of the Sun and Vitamin D, Mark Bunn

Mark provided amazing insight into a holistic view of skin cancer and importance of sunlight exposure for our general well being. People are often lead to believe the sun is out to ‘get us’ and exposing oneself to the sun without sunscreen will automatically lead to cancer. This myth is completely false. Healthy and safe sun exposure is one of the best methods of protecting ourselves from disease and cancers. Our bodies need Vitamin D as it plays a major role in our vital bodily functions. Direct sunlight exposure aids in fighting infections, stimulating brain chemistry to elevate the mood, regulating the internal body clock, weight management as well as aiding in calcium absorption, bone health, cell replication and gene expression. Today, due to our indoor lifestyles, we are not getting enough Vitamin D. Most of us work in an office with little to no sunlight exposure.

Not getting enough Vitamin D can lead to a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, cancers, auto immune diseases and more. Research is also showing that chemical based sunscreens can be toxic to our bodies and may even promote skin cancer.

In short, Mark recommends safe exposure to the sun for optimal health. Make sure you first understand the right amount of exposure for your body before getting your tan on! Your performance professionally is reflected through your general well being. Learn more here.


LIFE & BUSINESS

Set and Achieve Goals to Avoid Being Overworked, Sophie Trpcevski

Sophie’s talk was aimed at busy women who spend their days rushing from task to task without a set plan in place. She identified that this can lead to:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated
  • Not enough time spent with loved ones
  • Feeling ‘stuck’
  • No time to focus on things they’re passionate about

Women who learn how to make plans and stick to them, become empowered, more efficient and able to create the life they have always dreamed of but never thought possible.

Sophie recommends doing a ‘life audit’ to discover which areas of your life need attention in order to create greater balance and success. Once you have identified which areas of your life need changing first, you can then set strategic goals. Read more about The Goal Spot for Women and plan your life today!

Been to an amazing event?

Share with us what events you have been to that have given you or your team new insight.

Why should your workplace be different?

One of the greatest things about the world that we live in is its diversity.

Diversity in business is important because…

…through different experiences, people gain different perspectives, understanding and knowledge that they can bring to your business. With no one customer being exactly the same, it makes good business sense to ensure your staff can meet the needs of diverse consumers.

The modern workplace is made up of a variety of people from different cultures, religions and backgrounds with varying degrees of abilities and, in some cases, disabilities.

What is a disability?

A disability can be anything from mental illness to a physical disability, and everything in between. Some disabilities are obvious while others are invisible.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in five Australians are reported as having a disability, with mental illness being the most prevalent. Having a disability doesn’t mean that a person isn’t productive or can’t be employed; it just means that sometimes they have to find alternative ways of going about doing things.

Employment to a person with a disability is essential as it provides them with their own money, enables them to feel valued, enhances social status and increases self-esteem. Being employed enables the person to feel a sense of identity and assists in raising their standard of living. In fact, these are same reasons everyone has a job!

Is training adaptive?

As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), we train people with disabilities just like we would anyone else. They have a pre-training review where we assess their capacity to learn as well as determine what type of learner they are. An assessment is made as to whether they need extra support such as a translator or specific equipment to assist them in carrying out their job.

Where necessary, the training is modified to allow for differences in learning styles and abilities.

The person before the disability

Some people are uncomfortable around people with a disability. They’re scared they are going to “say the wrong thing” or may feel sorry for the person with the disability and mistakenly assume that the person is resentful about their disability.

It may be that people aren’t sure what terminology to use when referring to the person with a disability. The golden rule is always put the person before the disability and if you are still unsure about what terminology to use, just ask them!

Set a good example

Like any great leader, set a good example for your staff by being open and accepting of all staff (and customers) regardless of their size, shape, gender, similarities or differences. Not only is it the law that you can’t discriminate against people, but if you did discriminate you could potentially be missing out on creating the best possible team for your business.

Employees with disabilities are just as reliable and hardworking as employees without a disability and a person’s value as an employee should be based on their work ethic, their values being aligned with the values of your business and the ability to contribute to your team.

Yes, some people ARE different but that’s what makes our world enriching and interesting. By being open to the diversity our society has to offer means you have the chance to build and maintain a strong and powerful team, and meet some amazing people along the way.

The Trouble With Staff

When we ask our clients what their biggest challenge is, they all reply “STAFF”.

From the time-consuming task of hiring a new staff member to the painful “we have to let you go” speech – and everything in between – here are some of the most common problems faced by modern-day businesses.

Finding the right person for the job

Hiring the right person with the right set of skills – and a great attitude to match – can be a daunting and time-consuming task, but the rewards are worth it. The consequences of hiring the wrong person however, can be extremely detrimental to your business.

Be clear about who your company is and what it stands for so you can attract the kind of people that can relate to your company’s philosophy. Clearly define the kind of person that would fit into the culture of your business, be specific about the position on offer and the values required.

With an employee costing you 3 to 5 times their wages for you to replace them when they leave, it makes sense to take your time and be clear about who would be perfect for the job. This could significantly reduce the risk of having problems at a later date.

Keeping them there

After weeks (sometimes months) of searching and interviewing for the perfect candidate, you want to make sure you retain them.

Employees actually want to develop their existing skills as well as learn new skills and expand their experience. Unfortunately, being bored is one of the top 10 reasons for resignation.

According to Dan Pink at RSA, if you don’t pay people enough, they won’t be motivated. But if you pay your staff well and they still aren’t engaging, then consider these 3 things:

  • People like to have the opportunity to work autonomously;
  • People like to be challenged and then gain satisfaction from continuing improvements;
  • People like to feel valued.

Business growth specialist, Catherine Palin-Binkworth says customer service personnel are often under-valued and under-trained so therefore they lose interest easily and move on. This brings up a key point to consider if your staff aren’t performing well: people don’t know what they don’t know.

Ensure that your staff are properly trained, feel confident in their role and then remember to show them they are respected and appreciated.

Bumps in the road

From time to time, even the most respected staff member can disappoint you.

Problems can range from tardiness to poor work performance but whatever the problem, you need to have a discussion with the employee, in private, about the issue as soon as possible.

Perhaps they have personal problems, are unwell, or you could find out that they don’t understand their role properly and as a result aren’t enjoying their job. This can lead to some really productive discussions: they may need more training or guidance, a new challenge or just some understanding while they go through a difficult time.

Remember: people are your greatest asset.

Any last requests? (Facing the firing squad)

Regrettably, sometimes it doesn’t matter how much effort you put into training or supporting a staff member, you may have to let them go. Not only does this undoubtedly cause you great emotional stress, but there are now very stringent laws in place regarding dismissing an employee that can add more pressure to an already stressful situation.

No one ever wants to be in the position where they have to fire one of their staff. So by finding the right person, retaining them via an empowering and supportive environment – as well as instantly addressing any little bumps in the road– you should be able to avoid that awkward last conversation and enjoy a long and happy working relationship.

Some Pointers for Good Customer Service

With each generation, the concepts of customer service have undergone huge change. Today, the products should not only be effective and affordable, the condition is to ensure satisfaction of the consumer. More than 50 percent of world’s population can disclose bad experiences regarding customer service. A sale does not get closure only with purchase, but with enhanced service from the staff.

With competition around every nook and corner, it is essential to essay customer service along with products which would assure regular comebacks on the part of the clientele. This makes customer service a vital component for any successful enterprise. So what makes any restaurant more flourishing than others? Is it the attitude combined with professionalism conveyed in each gesture? Or is it just the mere products?

Interaction is the stepping stone which lays the foundation of a strong relationship. Open communication channels and easy accessibility, can make customers acknowledge the venture and appreciate them. Enlisted are some common suggestions which when incorporated guarantees excellent service and satisfied customers.

  • Greet everyone with a smile. Even while conversing on a telephone, smile. Make the consumer aware that you are happy to serve them. The greetings should be crisp, and not gender-based or too colloquial to sound rude.
  • Simple friendly gesture and easy accessibility is a must. The procedure is to stay available and attentive and not interfering.
  • Don’t walk away, ignore, or be in a telephone call. Attending the customer should be your main objective.
  • It’s best to not be judgemental. All clients deserve your equal attention irrespective of gender, caste, race, age or appearance.
  • Breaks are essential but the consumers do not need to know about your refreshment time. All telephone calls should be attended at this time. No food or beverage should leave the break area.
  • The answer should never be, “I don’t know” unless followed with “I will try my best to find it out”. Go the extra mile and check with the stockists to provide the customer with the latest update. Understand the client’s body language and offer aid as necessary.
  • Chatty customers tend to engage your time. Attend others and call for immediate backup if there are queues which have started forming.
  • Credit cards have a limit. Some clientele are not aware and the result is credit card declination. Be discreet and offer other modes of payment.
  • Discussing other customers in front of others can harm all sorts of consumer relationship. Avoid discussing as this leads to misunderstanding.
  • Confirm the merchandise about the authenticity of the products bought. Make sure that the customer receives all that he pays for. Close the sale with a smile and encourage them for further visits.

Following the tips enlisted here, consistently will definitely carve bright prospects for any organisation. A little encouragement and effective training of the employees can ensure success.

Scrapping of Incentives for Retail Traineeships

The Australian Government has recently made two significant changes to the financial incentives offered to employers.
1. The first involves the $1,250 commencement incentive for Certificate II, it now no longer exists. Gone with the wind!
2. The second relates to the Victorian Completion Bonus of $1,300. This is in the final stages of being paid and will only be paid for trainees who have enrolled into their course prior to the 30th June, 2011.

Less of this is available to employers.

Less of this is available to employers.

The Australian Government provides financial assistance for retail traineeships. If you’re arranging your retail traineeships through Positive Training, we’ll take care of the paperwork for you. If you’re not, the assistance is available through the Australian Apprenticeships Centre (AAC) which will provide all the necessary application and claim forms, and any assistance you may need in regards to funding or traineeships in general.

There are various financial incentives for companies that offer retail traineeships and if you’re making your own application you would need to contact the AAC to see which ones you may be eligible for.

With regard to apprenticeships and traineeships (including retail traineeships) – Australian Government incentives include:

- Commencement incentive for Certificate II – $1,250 (Redundant from 16th May 2011)
- Commencement incentives for Certificate III – $1,500
- Re-commencement incentive for employers who recommence a trainee at the Certificate III level – $750.
- Completion incentives for Certificate III  - $2500
- Victorian Completion Bonus – $1300 (Ending 30th June, 2011)

Special incentives include:

- Innovation incentive for commencement of certain areas of innovation – $1,100.
- Additional recommencement incentive for an employer for Australia school-based Apprenticeship at Certificate level II, III and IV – $750.
- Rural and Regional Skill Shortage special commencement incentive – for Certificate III  (relating to skill-shortage area) – $1,000.
- Additional completion incentives – for Mature Aged Worker – $750.
- Additional commencement incentive – for women in non-traditional apprenticeships – $1,000.
- Additional commencement incentive – for current “Exceptional Circumstances Drought Declared Area” certificate – $1,500.

Other benefits pertaining to Apprenticeships, traineeships or retail traineeships may include:

- Wage support.
- Mentor, tutorial and interpreter services.
- Workplace modification assistance.

In addition, State and Territory Governments may offer further training related incentives. For information contact your State Training Authority (STA).

Waiting periods

There is a three-month waiting period to apply for incentives with the Australian Government, as the retail traineeship contract must be formally approved before the employer can apply for incentives. When applying, the trainee must still be employed by the same employer, and have commenced training in line with the approved retail traineeship training program. The employer may submit a claim at the end of the three-month waiting period and within any other required time limit. The AAC will advise of time limits for applying.

When you choose Positive Training to undertake your retail traineeship training on your organisation’s behalf, we’ll take care of the paperwork for you, so if you’d like further information, speak to us about your training requirements today. Call James Grima directly on 1300 767 484, that’s 1300 POSITIVE.

Workplace Training – the benefits of becoming a ‘Learning Culture’

Workplace Training – the benefits of becoming a ‘Learning Culture’

In industry, a ‘learning culture’ is an organisation that is committed to a process of continuous learning. In this competitive and rapidly changing world, businesses need to constantly adapt; to change and alter their work practices to survive and thrive. Fostering a learning culture is part of this process.

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An attitude of ‘learning’ means that individuals and organisations can continually challenge their ways of doing things. This continuous monitoring and learning allows for improvement, flexibility and a better capacity to adapt and change.

Some advantages:

Businesses need to be productive as well as competitive and adaptive to their environment, both locally and globally. A business with a learning culture may achieve superior performance, better quality in terms of products and customer satisfaction, and have a more committed workforce and a better capacity to adapt.

Staff benefits:

A learning environment is more flexible, allowing skills of employees to be extended. This may enable them to grow and reach personal goals in partnership with the organisational goals. A workforce that is educated is more likely to welcome improved new ways of doing things as well as new materials and technology.

This leads to greater career flexibility, improved skills (further training in their field), personal satisfaction and higher salaries. Happier employees are easier to manage and usually display more loyalty.

How to become a learning culture:

The traditional way of doing business is ‘divided’ – different departments handling different facets of the business, and a common goal may be lacking. Communication also may not be ideal between departments and divisions.

To develop a learning culture, you need to picture your business in a new way, as a whole. A major aim is to create a workforce ‘team’ in which individuals have goals in common and function together to produce fantastic results.

According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) there are five disciplines involved in becoming a learning culture:

-          System theory: the ability to see the organisation in terms of the ‘big picture’.

-          Personal mastery: creation of an environment that encourages individual and organisational goals to be realised and to work in partnership with each other.

-          Mental models: the idea that employees’ internal picture of their environment affects their decisions and behaviour.

-          Shared vision: involves building group commitment through shared visions and images for the future.

-          Team learning: a form of synergy, which basically means that the capacity of the team is greater than the sum total of its individual parts. Collective thinking skills allow the team to develop greater intelligence and thinking capacity.

- A learning culture is one that is able to remain open to change and to adapt to its environment and even anticipate and welcome change. Businesses that can achieve an attitude of learning are more likely to survive in the modern competitive rapidly changing world.

Traditionally, retail food service businesses have a high turnover of staff compared to other types of business. That’s partly because jobs are often part time or casual, and young adults use these positions to earn while they learn (at high school or university) or until they’re able to secure a job in their desired field. However, it’s also because not all retail food businesses have a solid training program in place or a structure that encourages learning and offers opportunities for promotion.

Does your retail food organisation have a learning culture? If not, developing one may help you train and retain excellent employees and take your business to a new level. Speak to us today about a tailored training program for your business.

The Gargantuan Importance of Staff Development

Yes ‘Gargantuan’ is a very big word, and staff development is a very big issue…..

Research shows that staff development and training are important things to do if you want to motivate and retain staff. With good quality targeted training programs, employees may become more confident, loyal, innovative, and of course have better sets of skills.

Staff Development Plan

Developing the skills of your employees does not have to be a big expensive exercise. Even in a recession or downturn it is still possible to maintain staff development. Here are some ways to do this:

• Train people in areas that will improve the bottom line. In retail for instance, use targeted training in areas of customer service and sales techniques, communication skills, technology and store management. In finance, targeted training might include better ways of handling cost and credit control.

• Understand that staff development means more than just training. It helps to empower your employees and improve the overall professionalism of your business, and helps to build a ‘learning culture’ where people are more open to finding new and better ways of doing things. Communicate and promote this understanding to your staff.

• If the budget is tight, look out for subsidised courses that are available for businesses to utilise. Many of these provide quality up-to-date training at a low cost. Amongst these are Retail Traineeship and/or Certificate III in Retail courses which do not involve a classroom setting, but where staff have access to regular visits from an industry trainer whilst they progress through a Nationally Recognized Qualification.

• Consider using online learning as a means of staff development, or even developing your own suite of training programs, customised for your own business.

• Don’t overlook the talent pool in your own office. Consider internal ‘knowledge sharing’. This might be done through classroom settings or mentoring programs developed within the organisation. This may help to develop a culture of continuous learning.

• Allow your employees time to do their own research online or through reading. Set them tasks to find information. Many employees might enjoy this kind of challenge.

• For development in the management area, consider online conferencing. In these days of the Internet there is often no need to spend vast sums on interstate travel and accommodation for learning and development.

Training and staff development should always be priorities in your business, if you want to grow your employees and reduce the costly exercise of staff turnover. These exercises not only improve the skills of your employees but also help to develop a business where goals are shared between management and employees, and this in turn helps build better relationships in the workplace. This can have the flow-on effect of improved morale and trickle down to better service for your clients.

If you’re in the retail food industry why not speak to us about staff development and training that is flexible and tailored to suit the practical needs of your enterprise? In most instances the Government grants negate any expense to your business.