Smooth operator

25 November 2015

Roger Taylor, business development director at Time Systems (UK), explains why businesses should combine training and development with monitoring if they want to see big results

To put you in the mindset behind this article think about this: a) what good are skills that are not put to use often enough? And b) how can you know when they are being used anyway?


The answers are: a) not much, and b) watch closely.


It’s the second answer that we should all be interested in as that’s where the solution to a problem lies. There are plenty of ways to monitor staff, ranging from definitely not advisable tactics of following staff as they go about their duties, through to the slightly more strategically robust options, such as implementation of a system that links more than one aspect of staff management smoothly, including monitoring.


Staff retention

When you go into more detail regarding this, it’s possible to begin aligning your training and development activities precisely with your management activities. Now that your workforce is highly trained, how are you going to ensure that they stay with your company and that they continue to contribute? It’s a fundamental part of employing somebody that in their eyes you are reliable and honest. This starts with the essentials, such as being paid the right wages at the correct time. Imagine investing thousands on training an individual, then losing them over hundreds because your payroll and shift systems aren’t up to scratch. Equally, it’s no good either to shell out for training and lose money due to inaccurate time management on the employee’s part, that doesn’t represent a sound investment. Productivity gained from training should be validated like any other improvement to your business and the only way to do it is through the accurate monitoring of output and calculation of the true number of hours worked.


Integration of processes

Development and training often link to qualification and licenses too, which in some industries can be operationally critical. Things become more serious when there are legal obligations in place. So how to best stay in complete control? Any kind of file or record will do the job for you but then there’s also the possibility of neatly tying it in with the rest of your personnel file. Which is linked to your rotas. Which is linked to your payroll. Which is linked to your time recording system. These areas are all linked, so the obvious question is why would you keep any of it separate? Once upon a time it might have been necessary to undertake each task individually. The art and science of streamlining any system of management is usually in proper integration of processes. The smoother the links in the chain, the faster and more precisely things play out.


Training and development should always feed into an ongoing plan for staff management else it’s hardly worth the time. Recording the training courses undertaken, licenses and experience of all employees with easy access to the information is an important starting point with plenty of value to offer. Subsequently, using systems to guarantee well-organised shift allocation, renewal of licenses and reliable payroll will all contribute to getting the best value from your workforce, and that is where your investment in training will yield its return rather than walking out of the door.


In summary, it’s all about having more control. Not in a power-crazed manner, but an authentic capability to carry out business administration effectively on a big scale but still playing to your strengths, eliminating risks and building a set of tools and processes that you can call on to support the fundamental ethos of the organisation.


Like following every employee around every day, it’s really quite hard to find the time to do it all yourself. That’s why there are software programs that will automate the whole process for you. So start taking advantage of them and let all those lessons learnt in training be put to good use.