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Use free support to build a plan for investment in leadership and people management skills (yes, it’s actually free)

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

This blog post is part of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s 2019 Growth Through People campaign. Growth Through People is the annual Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity through improved leadership and people management skills. Delivered by the GBCC with a range of partners, it includes free training sessions, workshops and events alongside research and thought leadership content. This year, the campaign ran from 25th February – 22nd March 2019. 500 delegates attended 16 free events. Click here to find out more and don’t forget to join the conversation on social media with #GTP19.

In Short:

Use free support to build a plan for investment in leadership and people management skills that aligns with the strategic aims of your organisation –its genuinely free and could add more value than you expect.

In Full:

We know that budgets are increasingly tight

While budgets for investments are understandably tight in the current climate, businesses are encouraged to utilise free support to develop a manageable plan for investment in leadership and people management skills that aligns with the strategic aims of their business.

Surveying Growth Through People delegates found that a lack of budget for training is the most frequently encountered barrier to increasing investment in leadership and/or people management skills and training.

46% of businesses surveyed perceived a lack of budget for training as a barrier to increasing investment in leadership and/or people management skills and training, making it the most frequently cited barrier.

And the issue is being exacerbated by constraints on investment seen across the business community in the face of prevailing Brexit uncertainty.

This barrier – a lack of budget for training - was identified by a comparative 31% of organisations in 2018.

The importance of a plan

Developing a plan for investment in leadership and/or people management training was a recommendation arising from our 2018 campaign. In 2018, 98% of those surveyed believed that investment in leadership and people management skills have a positive impact on productivity at an organisation level.

Sir Charlie Mayfield’s How good your business is really? (here) reiterates this idea: “Organisational capability is the foundation for all businesses in seeking to drive up their productivity… Changing business practice doesn’t have to be costly but can have lasting effects on business performance. For businesses, an obvious starting point is to reflect on how current practice fares against best practice in making plans, setting targets, and managing performance, and how they can do better.”

Campaign sponsor, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published similar guidance (here), advising that “Properly planned, structured and evaluated management development built around the needs of the organisation can make a critical difference as it builds the capability of the individual in a way that contributes to sustained organisation performance.”

According to research from the CMI (here); organisations with effective management and leadership development programmes have on average 23% better results and are 32% more productive.

Having a plan for investing time and/or money in leadership and/or people management skills and training, with measurable targets and flexibility to suitably adapt to the needs of your business, demonstrates a genuine commitment to your staff, and allows you to test what works with individual team members before making larger investment decisions.

Where can I find free support?

Since the 2018 Growth Through People campaign, the GBCC has teamed up with the CIPD to secure Funding from the Government's Business Basics Fund for a pilot project, People Skills, which provides free HR and people management support to help improve the performance of small firms.

The People Skills project will enable businesses in Birmingham that employ up to 50 people to access up to two days of face-to-face and telephone HR advice and online support.

This offers an opportunity to save budget and staff time on administrative work required to build a plan and set up suitable leadership and/or people management training. Click here for information on the People Skills Pilot.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce CEO Paul Faulkner and Founder of Bass Clusker Consulting, Dr. Andrew Bass, have also published a free report during the 2019 Growth Through People campaign, entitled ‘Multiplying Value: Improving the Productivity of Your People and Your Business Using What You’ve Already Got,’ (click here) for those businesses looking to get more out of staff but struggling with a lack of budget for training.

And of course, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the 2020 Growth Through People campaign, which once again, will be packed full of free events, blogs, podcasts and videos offering expert guidance on various aspects of leadership and people management. The easiest way to stay up to date on the latest news from the chamber and our members, is to sign up to receive our daily enewsletter, here.

Emily Stubbs
Policy and Patron Advisor
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce