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Posted 6th April 2018

The importance of training and mentoring for your business

Our HR manager, Lorraine Sutcliffe, heads up our training and development. Here, she discusses how training and continued mentoring can help to grow your business and develop your employees.

Lorraine Sutcliffe

From the start, our ethos has been to hire account managers with modest sales experience and give them a platform to launch a successful career by rising through the ranks.

Our success depends on the strength of our team, which is why we invest in our people and give them the tools to do their job properly and empower them to fulfil their potential as individuals.

Getting under the skin of the business

Supported by our experienced team of specialists, our account managers listen to each customer’s logistics needs to offer creative solutions.

But before picking up the phone, our account managers spend a full week within each department within Baxter Freight getting to know people, their roles, the company ethos and values. Account managers also listen into colleagues’ calls to understand how develop long-term relationships with customers.

After the first initial week, we offer a nine-week training period to help new recruits understand their job role, our products and services and to develop an understanding of the logistics industry.

We offer a variety of different types of training such as regular catch ups, quizzes, on-the-job coaching and research tasks. We recognise that each person prefers slightly different learning styles and techniques, therefore a range of tasks and methods helps them to retain information. We develop knowledge and skills gradually on a week-by-week basis, a layered approach allowing the training to be put into practice.

A shared effort

Everyone in the business contributes to a new recruit’s development, whether that involves the employee sitting with the operations team so they can fully understand the services we offer or spending time with an associate director to develop their knowledge of logistics.

The training programme gives the employee confidence to provide solutions for our customers – they can understand the customer’s requirements and align solutions to meet their needs. We believe this method has helped the business to grow to the size it is today.

Importance of mentoring

Account managers have regular contact with their team leader, who act like mentors by guiding and offering advice to enable new recruits to be successful. Because we have minimal hierarchy and an open-door policy, individuals are always learning from the senior leadership team.

In summary, it pays to invest in your people. We’ve created an environment where open communication and two-way feedback promotes equality of opportunity. Of course, there is pressure in every workplace but it’s about equipping our team to succeed and do their job well, investing in their future and providing excellent financial rewards.