Anyone in the security industry or indeed any other trades are always commenting on the lack of skilled staff, this has certainly been an ongoing issue for TEC Fire and Security for many years.
With all of the stresses individuals face today in the UK, unemployment, oil prices going sky high, tumbling stock prices, and healthcare concerns, businesses may unknowingly add stress to their staff and new talent coming back into the workplace especially if they do not have the right experience. As businesses face financial setbacks and struggles, many times there are no other options than to downsize or lay-off a particular number of new staff whom lack the right experience. This, many times, adds to the workload and burdens those left with a job to pick up the pieces and continue by taking on new roles and duties without any structured or formal training.
Unfortunately, the success of the business not only comes from the executive or entrepreneur level down, but success is also driven from the front-line upward. Over time, as the business again gains momentum, the front-line focus becomes reactive to the staffing shortages and frustrations from additional tasks and roles. When new talent is brought back into the firm, these untrained individuals, lacking clear expectations and duties often are their first-hand trainers. A cyclical spiral ensues which must be addressed to breathe life back into the front line.
We made a decision early last year in 2016 to employ Luke to train up and show the skills and knowledge we have gained over the years in this industry. This decision was made after lots of thought and eventually through sheer lack of frustration of ever finding an engineer within the area with the correct skill set to help take the business forward.
It can be argued that the largest contributor to workplace stress is role ambiguity. This role ambiguity comes through poor management and (ultimately) poor training. But, with the right methods, talented individuals can be set up for success in their new roles and careers, and existing staff members can be realigned with company values. With a successful start, these individuals will support the organisation for future growth. So, what does it take to successfully develop a training program?
When we employed Luke, We had to overcome the so called fears of; Can they get out of bed? Once trained; will they leave for another company? How much will it cost and how much time will we have to spend on training. All these things were praying on our minds as being a small company this needed to be the right decision and one that would not consume time and money only to end up with us back to square one.
Providing appropriate initial and ongoing training for new staff members is essential, not only in terms of preparing individuals for their new position, it will also help in retaining them for a long period of time. Trained staff members are more knowledgeable and possess a diverse array of skills, enabling them to provide quality services that help the organisation accomplish its mission. We at TEC started to believe that staff members who receive proper training will have good thought and kind heart for their choice of career, they will fit in faster with their colleagues and also be ready to contribute new ideas to the growth of the company. Properly oriented employees will also speak well about your company to their family and close friends. They will represent your company more confidently with customers, business partners and suppliers.
We set up our own training plan with targets to monitor performance. We sent Luke on manufacturers training courses for access control and cctv, and there are many online training modules available for engineers to help their understanding of products. Luke says “ I had previously done some electrical training and then was approached by Tec to train up as a security engineer. I have learnt many skills since starting including access control, intruder alarms and cctv systems. Having to learn all 3 disciplines took a while to get used to and every day you learn something new. I have also learnt how to interact with clients and learnt about on site health and safety. I am now looking forward to being in my own van and increasing my knowledge”
Whilst many managers agree a good training program is critical, very few invest the time and interest necessary to make certain it is accomplished properly and continues. The time, money and human resources you dedicate to your new employee training can be one of the best steps you take in your long-term corporate investments. Make sure your training program is thoughtfully designed, carefully delivered, continuously upgraded and improved as we have learned a lot from this experience.
Luke has got to a point through hard work and a willingness to learn as much as possible that he is now going into his own vehicle to start working more independently. This is a great achievement in a short space of time and he will continue to receive ongoing training, and the experience he will now build up whilst having to tackle and overcome day to day technical problems, we believe will help to raise his confidence and help him become a more rounded engineer. So now a year on from the decision we made, we are very justified in the action we took as a company to address the skills shortage and are proud to say we have taken the first step in introducing a new fantastic future star engineer into the industry.
Here are some questions you should ask. How does your current training program measure up? What is being done well? What is engaging, motivating and effective? Is anything boring, tedious or out-of-date? What else should be included and taken out? Ask the participants for suggestions to make your staff training program even better. Keep adapting, keep improving. Keep it up!
If TEC Fire and Security can achieve this then all companies can. We cannot simply stand by and say there is no one skilled to do the work year after year, the issue needs to be addressed in the security industry as well as many other skilled sectors.
We can say with honesty that employing a trainee is our best company decision to date and will be fundamental in the growth of our company.
Now we are on the lookout for another candidate so we can repeat the process.