Stannah Lift Services are celebrating their success at the National Training Awards for the South East Region where they won the award for training development in the large company category.
Darren Cooper, Service Operations Manager, was delighted to receive the Award from TVs Fred Dineage, on behalf of Stannah Lift Services Limited, part of the Stannah Group of Companies and comments: This award is true recognition of the hard work that has been undertaken in our organisation. We know that the National Training Awards (NTA) identify and celebrate organisations and individuals that have achieved really outstanding business and personal success through investment in training and Stannah are proud to have received this recognition.
Training has helped keep family principles at the forefront of the way Stannah Lift Services does business. And the manufacturing company, which has grown from a small family business to a worldwide brand, says increased investment in training mirrors a growth in profits that has come despite the financial downturn.
Managing Director, Jon Stannah, is the fifth generation of the Stannah family to run the business. He says: We have strong values, passed down through generations that are based on treating our people with respect and ensuring we take full responsibility for quality of product design, product safety and customer service. These values have become part of our brand experience and need to be protected and developed. To ensure these principles are supported consistently, in what is now a large and complex business, it is necessary to provide clear guidance supported by training.
A uniform management development programme was put in place in the services division of Stannah Lift Services after directors found that management training, often carried out on an ad hoc basis, varied between the eleven different regional branches. There was a need to standardise in order to maintain the value of the brand for customers. The decision was taken to train all managers and supervisors who did not have management qualifications to level NVQ 3 or 4 in management, depending on their role. The company was keen that the training delivered a high level of customer service and supported the Stannah brand. With this in mind, a bespoke management development programme based on the NVQ in management was designed and also delivered by training provider Training Alternatives, in consultation with the senior management team.
The course was delivered over 20 to 30 hours, coaching trainees to manage and motivate teams. They were encouraged to work smart, innovate and have the confidence to challenge the way things are done as well as learning to write a business plan. The companys overall aim was to improve customer feedback and to boost the bottom line.
The first trainees were a group of 10 branch managers and supervisors from across the UK. A year was allowed for the original programme, which started in 2006, but it soon became ongoing.
So far 50 candidates have been trained, at a cost of £80,000. Train to Gain funding halved the cost of an NVQ level three in the last 24 months. But money spent has been outstripped by the returns, since between 2006 and 2008, growth in the services division has run at more than 10% a year. That growth is attributed at least in part to this initiative. Another unexpected result of the training has been an increase in staff retention. Five out of the last six branch managers appointed were internal candidates who had completed the management development programme. Improvements in performance and increased manager confidence have also been identified through 360 degree feedback exercises.
The development is now a key part of Stannah Lift Services strategy, included in the company business action plans and training policy as a minimum requirement.