Posted by Andrew Ralston | Posted on 01.03.19

While being a bit of a cliché, we really believe that our colleagues are the most important part of our company.  Finding good people takes time, training them to our standard takes a great deal of time and money, it’s probably the biggest investment our company makes.  I saw a quote recently which really resonated with me…

CFO asks CEO “what if we invest in developing our people and they leave?”

CEO responds, “what if we don’t and they stay?”

In any organisation the people are the ones at the ‘coal face’, the ones dealing with your customers every day, producing the products, despatching and packing the goods, chasing payment and everything else in-between.  If you don’t invest time and money in developing your people, then you only have yourself to blame when they don’t act in the way you expect.

I’ve spoken to Managing Directors who clearly felt that people were dispensable, a commodity.  This view doesn’t sit well with me, your colleague are real people, they have their families and, believe it or not, really do have a life outside of work.  Another great quote linked to this can be attributed to Sir Richard Branson no less…

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

We’re absolutely not perfect and never will be, but we do our best to continue to improve, to be a little bit better today than we were yesterday, small, manageable steps to continually improve.  In sport this is sometimes called marginal gains and is widely used in cycling…finding lots of 1% improvements has a big effect overall.  I believe that this policy of taking small manageable steps gives a much better chance of changing culture.  Big, sweeping changes are great on the face of it, but if your colleagues don’t understand why they are making the changes, if they don’t have some part in deciding what those changes should be, you’ll never really get buy in….simply people doing what they are told to do because someone with authority over them told them to do it.

We always have training on-going, some recent examples of this are…

  • Internal technical training (we’re 10 parts in but have over 50 planned)
  • External and internal Atex training (a colleague went out to an external training provider and came back to teach us all about it)
  • AAT Accountancy training
  • External spray paint training (by an ex RAF painter no less)
  • Principles of Risk Assessment
  • First Aid at Work
  • Principles of Fire Risk Assessment
  • Engineering qualifications on day release
  • IOSH H&S Training

We try to make training open to all, for example our in-house technical training, which goes on every Friday is attended by colleagues from throughout the company…not just those who may deal with the situation’s day to day (our Finance Manager particularly enjoys calculating winch drives).

We’re building for the future, we’re not trying to be the biggest company…we just want to work hard every day to be the very best that we can be!  We’re just trying to be a little better today than we were yesterday!

Get in touch today to see what STM UK can do for you!!