Page 3: Training
Training is the process of instructing an individual about how to carry out tasks directly related to his or her current job. The purpose of training staff is to develop existing skills or gain new ones. This contrasts with development which involves helping individual employees to achieve their full potential, regardless of whether this is related to their existing position or role.
There are two main methods of training: on-the-job and off-the-job training. On-the-job training is where employees receive instruction in their workplace whilst carrying out their job. Off-the-job training is where employees receive instruction away from the workplace, for instance at a training centre, college or university.
Training brings benefits to both employees and the business. It increases the levels of skills, so improving productivity, quality and reduces the risk of injuries in the workplace. It makes employees more flexible, enabling them to respond quickly to changes in technology and demand. It also motivates employees by improving their career prospects.
For Redrow, induction training has been paramount in ensuring staff turnover rates are lower than the industry average. New recruits at all levels receive a formal induction. Induction provides initial training specific to the employee’s role as well as giving an insight into the company as a whole. This helps recruits to quickly settle into their roles.
Whilst training gives businesses the benefits of greater efficiency, improved customer service and more motivated staff it does come at a price. These include the direct costs of the training as well as potential loss of productivity during time spent away from the job. Redrow, unlike many of its competitors, feels that the benefits far outweigh the costs. For example, Redrow’s Management Development programme benefits both the company and the employee as it has proven to improve confidence and strategic thinking, resulting in a more proactive approach.
Redrow’s apprenticeship scheme is central to its workforce planning. In the early 2000’s Redrow took on around 12 apprentices per year but this has steadily increased to around 50 per year. Redrow is proud of supporting over 250 apprentices in the past 10 years, with many of them going on to very successful careers. In recent years the company has made significant improvements to its schemes, for example, it introduced regional and national awards for the top performing apprentices to provide them with a route into management. Within its apprenticeships scheme, Redrow uses placements as the main on-the-job training method:
‘Apprentices are placed with an experienced and trusted sub-contractor, where they can learn the skills required in their chosen trade while working on Redrow developments and also attending college one day a week.’
As well as its trade apprenticeships, Redrow also offers apprenticeships in office administration as part of a new bespoke training programme. Mentoring is a key element of training at Redrow. This ranges from one-to-one support to letting apprentices swap job roles with their seniors. Charlie Baker, an Apprentice Carpenter, carried out a job swap with Keith Miller, Commercial Director. Over the two day period Charlie attended top level meetings in Keith’s place, took part in site inspections and even had Keith’s office. The following day Charlie provided Keith with a varied day with plenty of hands on carpentry and joinery experience. Such training enhances staff skills, prepares them to be more effective in their roles and gives them insights into future positions they can aspire to.