Relationships at Work | Episode 3 | Recruitment and Beyond Podcast | Eden Scott

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Relationships at Work | Episode 3 | Recruitment and Beyond Podcast

Relationships at work

 



In Episode Three, Ewan and Natalie delve into the often complex topic of office romance and the relationships that blossom at work.  

Obviously very topical right now, but how do HR teams manage the relationships and any potential fallout from the situation? How do they navigate the fine line between private life and work life? 

It is not an easy solution. In America, they take a relatively straightforward approach and require a 'love contract' to be signed. That won't fly here, but getting the right policy in place is critical. 

Find out the best way to approach it in your HR Team. 

Episode Transcript

Ewan:
Hi, and welcome along to Episode Three of our podcast, Recruitment and Beyond. I'm Ewan Anderson.

Natalie:
I'm Natalie O'Hare.

Ewan:
And today we're going to talk about training and development strategies to help your team grow.

Today we're going to chat a little bit about strategies for training and development. Basically developing your team, ensuring that the people you've got in your business are going to stay with you long term and develop with the business, but also that they can develop themselves personally. So yeah. Natalie, do you want to give us a few ideas about where are people with training development just now? Is it in big demand? Is there a certain generational change? Is there a generational gap that some people like it and some people don't?

Natalie:
Yep. Training, I guess, used to be something that maybe was not seen as a strategic and operational objective, but certainly now it's becoming more and more of a necessity. We talked earlier on one of our podcasts about people will leave if they're not learning. Now that statement for me is very powerful, but what are we doing to do that? Skills gap analysis through technology, et cetera. But there are lots of, and we'll touch on that in a moment, but yeah, what are we doing? And certainly as we go down the younger workforce to the Gen Zs, the Millennials, they need to be learning. They don't want to be learning. They need to be learning. But also let's not just take this as our responsibility as an employer and a business owner, but they need to be able to drive that as well.

Ewan:
They're part of it too.

Natalie:
They need to be able to drive that to say, "Listen, I want to do this, I want to do this, or I've got a gap here. But certainly as a business, how are we identifying the gaps as well?

Ewan:
So is there, you touched on there, a bit of a gap analysis. Is that where you start? Do a bit of gap analysis, look at where the skills that we need and maybe even use some of the AI that we talked about in our first podcast, about what skills are we going to need in two years time? Is that the sort of thing we're looking at? And then developing that team?

Natalie:
Absolutely. But there might be things that are completely, things that we've not talked about or that are looming that we are not prepared for or ready for, that employees may know or something outside of the bag. Or resilience training, for example. It's not going to be on really any skills gap analysis, but we know that we need the softer skills as well. The value culture piece, is that written down anywhere as well? So we can use the tech to analyze some of the gaps, but also let's find out from the employees what they're missing. But for a business there has to be some sort of return on investment for training and how do we measure that would you be the biggest task at the moment.

Ewan:
Yeah, how do you measure that? It's a challenge, isn't it? But the soft skills, just to touch on that, you mentioned this, and this is something we've written about quite a bit and we've talked about quite a bit, but it's something that's really important now with technology coming in and doing some of the traditional jobs, I suppose, people need those soft skills, but do they know they need them? I suppose that's the question, isn't it? Do you know you need better communication skills? Do you know do you need better strategic mindset? How do people know that? Is that back to that skills gap analysis?

Natalie:
Maybe something a bit more further than skills gap at that particular time. Maybe it's along the lines of the 360 feedback. They only know what they know, but actually when many people around them above, below, and to the side, their peers, maybe identify some traits that they have or some things that they're missing, then that's quite a powerful tool as well. 360 is still used a lot in business to get feedback from the whole circle, to find out actually what are you good at doing and what are you not so good? And you might not even have a clue that you're not great at X, Y, and Z. But that tool can certainly help us move the way, identify the trends as well. It might be a whole management team thing. It might just be one individual in isolation, but it can certainly have a wee look at trends and patterns as well for 360.

Ewan:
And do people learn in different ways, I guess? Is there a different approach to this now? Do people prefer online training or classroom or how do you find that breakdown now?

Natalie:
Again, back to Gen Z, Millennials, we're very clear on what they need. They are online learners mainly.

Ewan:
Right, okay.

Natalie:
But that might not always suit. We do, there's still a place for that classroom training. It's definitely the place that people still are best learning in. But for others it's on the job training, physically doing it. But it would be great to have a whole bank of resources and different learning techniques. How do we cater for those with disabilities, for example, as well? They might not be great at online learners. Is it by video? Is it visual, is it audio? How do people learn? And actually, if people are able to tell us that, then we can help and point them in the right direction for what it would be. But Gen Z and Millennials are very specific in their learning approach and they will tell you how they learn.

But as we get maybe further up the chain, then it may sprout off at different approaches. These people have been given technology and used technology, but further up the chain, maybe not so much and they want the human contact, they want the "Can I ask a question?" They want to see physical resources in front of them. But other people might just want to sit in a room with a tablet or an iPad and learn that way.

Ewan:
Actually, you kind of touched on this, was the fact that if people don't see the opportunity for training development, they're either going to come and tell you or they might not even apply for the job. Is that the case? Is that what you're finding now?

Natalie:
Certainly trends have emerged. So the Gen Z and Millennials, they need it. They will probably tell you they need it and they will demand it. And they'll also maybe ask at interview as well. Regardless of generations, those that have a particular interest will be scanning your job advert for it, will be asking you at interview what you're providing, but let's not wait till someone asks about it. Let's remember people leave if they're not learning. So what are we doing as an organization and as a business and as a company, what are we doing to shout about the things that we are doing or what the budget is? Or what is our commitment to training? Is it an hour a week? What is that? What are we looking at? So let's shout about these things. But yeah, if people have two jobs in front of them, depending on what type of person or individual, salary is one thing, but also what is my potential for learning, might be a factor as to what position they might want to go for as well. Okay.

Ewan:
And are we upskilling people now or is that the right terminology? Is that what we're doing in terms of training?

Natalie:
What's upskilling? Is it upskilling or is it right-skilling? Yes so are we upskilling or are we looking at career progression where people are going and getting the right skills in place? Or are we developing people because they don't currently have those skills? So right-skilling for me is a much better terminology right now. We can upskill anybody, but are we right-skilling? Are we putting the resources in the right place? So that would definitely be something that I would be saying. Look at the individual, look at the job post, look at the gaps. And are we right-skilling or are we just upskilling?

Ewan:
And is the fear, I suppose, for a lot of businesses that we invest in all this training and then you walk out the door. Is that one of the challenges you're finding the businesses are coming to you with?

Natalie:
Absolutely. They're fearful of that. But on the flip side of that, if we don't right-skill and we don't train them, people will leave anyway. So it's great, isn't it good when someone moves on and thanks you for the opportunity, and you think, oh great, I've just spent X amount of time on them, they were my next manager, they were the next person for the role and they've taken it away. So I guess there's a flip for both of those.

Ewan:
Yeah. And getting that return on investment as well, I suppose. Because once you've invested in that training, you want to ensure they stay and help the company and develop the company. Is there ways, is there things, is there strategies to help people ensure that they remain part of the business? Is it about relationship building then? It's not necessarily about putting in things to say you need to stay on for this length of time. It's actually about building relationships. That's where the strength comes, isn't it?

Natalie:
Absolutely. I mean, you can put a bit of paper in front of anybody in a training agreement and getting them to have a certain obligation, but how much better would it be to make someone feel really valued and get them on a career path and get them on a roadmap and measure their return in training and get them equipped and just get them, keep learning rather than enforcing a bit of paper for how much they owe you back. It's about making them feel part of the team and what you're giving them is going to be a path to the next point in their journey or wherever that may take them. But getting the person to feel that there's been real benefit in it as well, rather than trying to claw back any monies that you've maybe lost from, but those still have their place, absolutely.

Ewan:
Yeah. I suppose you need to protect it to some level, but you do want to be building that relationship with all your staff to say, look, you're part of this business. We're investing in your training, but we're investing in you because we see you as part of this journey and you're going to be with us in the long term so ...

Natalie:
Absolutely. And I think it's people, if you ask someone what training have you had in the last 12 months, they might struggle to tell you, but are companies doing learning logs? Are they doing learning passports? Are they doing these things where someone can have a look and go, "Actually that did count as part of ..." or "This is what I've done." Or is there budgets? Is there that hour of learning a week maybe that a company will commit to? It's quite strong and powerful when you see that a company says, "We'll give every employee an hour a week, an hour a month." It has to work obviously as well. And don't just say it, but it has to follow through and do. But the employee has to make that happen as well. Blanking out the time, making sure it happens. But a company that's really keen on learning and development will have that as part of their shout-out in terms of what their offering is as well.

Ewan:
Yeah, I suppose there's responsibility on both sides, isn't it? Because you're right. I think everybody's focused on delivering and getting the job done and so on, but training's part of your job. It's part of you've got to take responsibility as an employee to say, "I'm going to put in place an hour and I will commit to that hour." And I think that's sometimes something that needs to be encouraged and not people not to be fearful of the fact that I'm taking time out to learn. It's part of my job. It is part of the job, isn't it?

Natalie:
It's part of the job, but it's also part of you and part of your future. And it's about doing the right thing. If someone's just kind of faffing for an hour, they're not going to really put, but if they've got maybe, if the employer has pointed some resources or some ways and means of learning that's truly valuable or the employee sees it's not just about scheduling time out in the diary and doing something. It's about doing the right thing at the right time as well.

Ewan:
It's not an hour off.

Natalie:
Having value. It's not an hour off, it's having value. It's doing that piece of research that they've never got to do. It's doing that hour course or speaking to a mentor for an hour or doing a 360 feedback exercise. It's whatever that looks like to ... There has to be value.

Ewan:
So in terms of that training, I suppose, is there gaps in terms of managers and how they're developing their teams and how they see it? Is there gaps there that people need to be filling?

Natalie:
Absolutely. For managers, the biggest thing that is emerging is the ability to have those difficult conversations. So maximizing productivity, telling someone when they're not doing a particularly great job, not in those words obviously, but for me that that's a massive gap at the moment. And getting managers to know their team, to have those conversations as well. During the pandemic, people were definitely assessing their own personal development. And there has been a lot's came back in terms of having those difficult conversations that managers are shying away from.

Ewan:
They were shying away from it during the pandemic or they're shying away or just continued on?

Natalie:
Now. Yeah, continued on. Pandemic was challenging times. So that really did put together, it set apart the managers that are having the ability to deal with those difficult conversations. But moving forward, that's part of a manager's role, but how many have had training on it? How many are confident in having those discussions as well? So that's something that's really came up as a trend for us in terms of how do we make that happen? Is a manager equipped to have those conversations or do they go home at night saying, "I wish I'd spoken to them." Or the main thing that's happening now is maybe four months later, the person's not performing but the manager's failed because they've not had those discussions. But maybe they've lacked confidence or they don't know how to reach the subject. But getting some advice and some training would change those conversations and make it, overall business performance would be better.

Ewan:
Now. That's good. That's a good discussion actually. So as usual, we like to give people kind of three takeaways. So what would be our three takeaways for this?

Natalie:
Listen to the fact that people will leave if they're not learning. Tailor, tailor training to individual needs as well, and develop your managers. Give them the ability to have those difficult conversations.

Ewan:
Perfect.

Natalie:
Thanks for listening. Make sure you subscribe to our podcast and leave us a five star review.

Ewan:
And if you're watching on YouTube, like and subscribe. And if there are any topics you'd like us to discuss, just get in touch.



 

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