The key to retaining good staff is to make sure that you encourage their professional development and training. Looking after your staff has so many more benefits than ticking off the RTO Standards. When your employees can see ways to improve themselves, or improve their position, or salary whilst in employment with you, they are likely to have high job satisfaction. This benefits you and your RTO through increased productivity and concern about quality. Your whole Human Resource management process is important within your RTO, as in any business, it brings unimaginable benefits. People are essential to the success of any business, and especially so in an RTO, where you need trainers and assessors. Getting the right people are key to your success, and the reason students rave about you. So often this part of the RTO gets neglected. The performance of employees can be a liability or asset to a company. They can really big the difference between getting new students, and filling courses, or not. I recall an RTO I was called in to help when they had a complaint emailed to them about one of their trainers. Now this RTO actually had known this trainer was saying inappropriate things for about 12 months before an actual complaint was made. What made this complaint so bad was it was from a client who never wanted to deal with them again. The client made up 80% of their business. We worked together on solutions, and rectifications, and thankfully we were able to bring back the business, even if they said they would never have this particular person back on their site. Bad huh? Yes. What I found even worse, was that they actually knew about the behaviour 12 months before, and had not done anything about it. That mistake could have cost them 80% of their business. Having an RTO is just not about meeting compliance, it is about running a business that truly looks out for all the stakeholders. Reviewing your Human Resource processes is just as important as reviewing your validation schedule, your customer service and your enrolment data. Although Staff Training is just a small part of the Human Resource process, it is really interesting to take a close look at it. This includes looking at the following key areas: Recruitment and selection Performance management Learning & professional development Succession planning Compensation and benefits Human Resources Information Systems The above are all basic areas, yet sadly I see they are being neglected within RTOs, as they actually are not specified within the RTO Standards. By recruiting well, and then on-boarding the team member allows them to understand your business, and most importantly allows them to perform at their best. This is a win for you. Once the employees are on board, and they’ve been given all the necessary help to know the job, the next step is having an effective performance management process. This is not just a once a year catch up. It is about understanding the employees, talking to them often, and getting feedback from them, and from others who work with them. Employees who are empowered to their full potential, improve the efficiency, sustainability, and profit margin of any business. By making this a continuous process you are able to see employees who consistently underperform. Sometimes they may not be a good fit for their role, or the RTO culture. When you’ve tried strategies to work with them with no success, then maybe these employees need to be let go. Training can improve business performance, profit and staff morale. Advantages to your business include: You choose what new skills your workforce acquires. You can target skills to meet the needs of your business for now and in the future You may be able to get government funding to help meet training costs Training your staff can result in better customer service, better work safety practices and productivity improvements You have longevity of staff showing you value them enough to invest in them. Training has many benefits for your staff They acquire new skills, increasing their contribution to the business and building their self-esteem The training they do can take them into other positions within the organisation – positions with better prospects and/or better pay They’re motivated and come with fresh ideas When they’re being trained on your time, they see that you value them enough to invest in them. You become a valued employer. A good company is seen as one that retrains rather than churns. Succession planning helps you and your students so that you are ready with contingencies in case of key employees leaving the business. If, for example, a crucial trainer quits his/her job, having someone who can step up will guarantee continuity and can save the RTO significant money. Retaining and motivating staff is key for your RTO. One of the areas that needs to be addressed is ensuring equity and fairness of pay within the RTO and considering external factors. Obviously this must be balanced with the RTO budget and profit margins. Pay increases need to be monitored on occasions conduct a pay audit. Keeping track of your employees in a digital format supports the business. For me it’s a no brainer as I’ve been working with HR system for over 30 years (yes, OK that is for some time!). I can’t work without them. So I’m just saying they add value, and save you time. Think of these basics as building blocks that all contribute to each other. Collectively, these HR fundamentals enable your RTO workforce to perform at its very best. Enabling you to increase your targets and bottom line results.
Reflections And Insights
From The RTO Mentor & Business coach Couch