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Learning at Work Week

Last week I was interviewed for one of my clients, Jasmin Design, as part of the Learning at Work Week.

The interview asked me about my thoughts on training in the workplace and why it was worth doing:

Yesterday, we heard from Jo from JK Training Ltd about the one-to-one coaching she has been doing with our staff.  Today, we are pleased to share some insights from Giles Johnston, from Smartspeed consulting, who has been working with us to refine our business processes and structures to offer customers the best possible products, services and prices.


How have you been working with Jasmin?

“The main focus of my work with Jasmin has been to look at the business processes that drive order delivery: assessing everything that happens from an initial enquiry through to delivering the end product to the customer.

“The aim was to work alongside the team, look at the whole thing and identify any missing processes and where things could be done better or more efficiently.”


What did that involve?

“We found and implemented some very practical solutions, from reviewing the way the team schedules and carries out jobs, to changing the layout of the workshop to optimise efficiency, to resolving stock issues.  Working with the staff involved, we wanted to help Jasmin become ‘brilliant at the basics’

“A really important aspect for Jasmin was to review their processes around quality assurance.  The business has very stringent quality and safety standards, so they are – almost obsessively! – concerned with making sure these are always met without creating additional cost for the customer.

“So we introduced a ‘sign off’ process for every stage of the job to ensure any issues could be picked up and resolved along the way, rather than at the end of the process.”


Change can be difficult for businesses.  How did you go about making this a positive process?

“Working with a business to improve is often about helping them to see the wood for the trees. It’s often not difficult or complicated solutions – but can mean changing behaviours that have become ingrained.

“I always say it’s about doing things with people not to them. At Jasmin, the whole team were involved in the change process to ensure they fully bought into it. And it is the individual staff members who have the knowledge and understanding about the job and the business.  They are the ones that will end up coming up with the ideas and solutions.

“In the end, the important thing is how much ‘sticks’ once the consultant leaves.”


Why do you think businesses should invest in training?

“Investing in training helps businesses to drives up quality, drive down costs and improve customer satisfaction.

If you fail to train people in your business, you’re short-changing yourself in terms of the results you can achieve.

Why wouldn’t you want to invest in getting the most out of your staff and your processes?





About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.

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