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As a netballer and netball coach I have always been keen to develop my abilities and my team mates
to improve performance and contribution to the team. Learning new skills is vital to a netballer and
can also relate to the Learning and Development functions in HR. For example, as a coach my role would be to develop and
improve the player’s individual skills such as pass accuracy or defending. In order to do this I would
set up and build new training sessions and plays that would challenge these skills, teaching them
how to improve personally as well as with the team. This will not only help the team goal but also
develop their individual skills and in turn, their career potential.
The same applies with learning and development within the workplace. Creating a ‘learning culture’
is very different to teaching employees the rules; it is the process of facilitating personal and
professional development. Learning and development affects the performance of any organisation;
it creates an environment where employees feel valued and are more satisfied. It also aids staff
retention which in turn lowers costs as well as increasing productivity of employees.
This happens on a daily basis, members of staff struggling with a particular task, workload, strategy
etc. This could be seen as an L&D approach that benefits everyone so why not take advantage of it.
Teaching a member of staff how to improve and develop their expertise is not time wasted. They will
not only improve personally but also the proficiency of the team as a whole.
As netballers we generally have a specific suit/play that we are stronger at for example shooting.
This requires accuracy, power and strength. If you are coaching a strong GS (goal shooter) does this
mean they do not require development in other areas? Should you only train their shooting skills?
Of course not, netball is a 360 game and involves all of the team players. This means that
everyone needs training not only on their specific areas of expertise but to also be knowledgeable
about what another team member brings, similar to the workplace. It not only means that
there is team collaboration but the more understanding someone has of a team mate or colleague
and their role, the more they can meaningfully contribute and help to add value all round.
Learning and Development is an essential part of any business in the same way it is to netball.
Developing skills is just as important as learning new ones and can develop a team as a whole or an
individual. The more input into learning and development, whether that be physical like in netball or
training the different teams throughout a business, the more output you will get. The benefits are
substantial not only to your staff, but to your business as a whole. Reputation is key and without
learning and development a business can run the risk of becoming irrelevant and you will lose
attraction for talent. Ensure your business keeps up with the pace of change and attitude towards
learning and development and your business will flourish, L&D is only going to accelerate.
Blog written by: Amy Noon, HR Recruitment Consultant at Williams Kent Ltd
11th January 2018
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