Managing change through training
fmME speaks to Alan Millin about the training of FM professionals
fmME speaks to Alan Millin about the requirement for training FM professionals, engendering loyalty from staff and enhancing the career growth of employees
"I don’t like to train my staff because they will leave.” How many times have we heard comments like that from managers?
The reality is the greater danger lies in not training staff and they stay with the company.
The good news is many FM firms in the GCC are currently investing in people, enhancing organisational capability while contributing significantly to personal development. But what happens after trainees finish a training course?
Training is a tool to deliver change but all too often delegates attend a course, return to their companies and do not get the opportunity to put their new knowledge and ideas into practice while everything is still fresh in their minds.
Trainees need to use what they have learned to embed new practices effectively. The potential for maximised return on training Dirhams, Dinars or Riyals reduces if they do not.
To get the most out of training, managers should be prepared to create an environment, if it does not already exist, in which staff can put learning into practice. Lack of opportunity to use newly-developed/acquired skills presents a real obstacle to successful knowledge transfer.
Post-training mentoring or coaching may often be needed to help people realise their full potential. Of course there are risks. While training can help reduce errors, newly trained staff may still make some mistakes, but then so do experienced FM practitioners.
The newly trained staff member may well be a little over-enthusiastic and slip up occasionally. There might be information recall issues as the person attempts to apply the wrong solution to a problem. Alert managers will expect the unexpected; they know there are not many who can remember everything with total accuracy.
We need to actively encourage staff to grow and, in doing so, acknowledge they will make mistakes. The impact of those errors will be limited by good management but the value gained can be considerable. Remember that the person who makes no mistakes probably does nothing anyway.
Leaders that motivate and inspire will create the environment needed for development and creativity. The more transactional a leader is, the less inspired and creative the workforce will be.
A company that implements a comprehensive development program, that allows staff members to see and agree their own development path, should be well-positioned to retain key staff.
Again, the environment has to exist. Managers who agree to a certain career path have a responsibility to create and maintain an environment that supports the staff member’s growth. Those firms that show no interest in development may find loyalty difficult to generate.
To reap maximum benefit requires active management to implement and lead change through training. This is not a one-off task. As staff members develop, so should managers. As managers have certain expectations of team members, the team members have certain expectations, and indeed requirements, of their managers.
Alan Millin is a Dubai Knowledge Village-registered trainer.