Customers have a choice on when, where and with who they want to spend their hard-earned cash. The best businesses/organisations have recognised this and upped their game on pricing and, most importantly, customer care.
Excellence in service is the key whether an organisation has contact with their customers via the internet or face to face and that comes down to training. One key measure of high standards of staff training and professionalism is the Investors in People programme.
The accreditation programme specialises in transforming business performance through people. At the heart of Investors in People is a framework of best practice that's outcome focused: it outlines what the organisation needs to achieve. The framework is sector specific with appropriate business priorities. To date, 26% of the UK workforce is employed by organisations that have the Investors in People accreditation or are working towards it so word is spreading about the scheme.
One example of this is a community project in Suffolk has focused on its commitment to training and customer care. Months of intensive effort have paid off and the organisation has just won Investors in People status. It now has the right to use the coveted IIP logo on its stationery and websites so potential tenants, supplies and government agencies know they are dealing with a highly professional organisation.
Businesses which sign up for the programme are assessed. This includes confidential interviews with staff to measure their perception of the oganisation’
Many companies find their staff take great pride in working for a business with IIP status.
The readiness of businesses to invest in training despite the recession is in sharp contrast to previous downturns. It was reflected in a study by the Institute of Directors (IoD) of almost 1,000 business leaders. The study found that 80% of directors said that their organisations had either maintained or increased investment in training.
In previous recessions this commitment to skills was lacking and training was one of the first areas to be cut. This was often because it was seen by senior managers and finance managers as a cost rather than an investment.
The IoD is a signatory, along with the other major employer representative bodies, of the “Now is the time” campaign which encourages employers to maintain investment in training during the recession. The campaign recognises both that skills have never been more important to the UK’s competitiveness and also that investing in skills in the downturn can help to put businesses in a better position to gain competitive advantage in recovery.
So it seems investing in people and their training is a must for businesses and organisations despite the difficult economic climate.
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