The rapid expansion of internet-based travel services continues to put pressure on staff in bricks and mortar agencies. The difference between the unlimited information available online to clients and your bricks and mortar business is…your staff. Research shows that staff engagement in technology is a key factor driving customer engagement. Staff engagement in technology and customer engagement act together to improve staff productivity and as a result business profits.
A key to staff engagement that heavily influences productivity is staff training and resources. A staff member’s level of training and their access to resources is directly proportional to their level of engagement, enablement and as a result success. Like creating a positive work environment, properly training and resourcing staff is about improving self-confidence.
In the words of General Electric’s famous CEO and staff management expert Jack Welch “Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do, because then they will act.” Training opportunities for staff need to be budgeted for and scheduled into a monthly calendar. A tiered approach to training helps align staff skill gaps to your program, offering basic skill updates, business technology training (GDS & mid-office) and basic Dashboard training (e.g. understanding their monthly sales and commission performance) through to more advanced Dashboard training such as preferred sales management.
The final level of training which can be beneficial for improving staff retention, is offering Professional Development that specifically looks to extend new roles to promising employees, to build upon their experience and challenge them. Offering promising and vital staff members training opportunities in management, bookkeeping or even marketing, through Tafe or Open Universities can both improve your profits and also ensure that the employee does not lose interest in their role and look elsewhere for new challenges. A lack of challenges, particularly for long-term performing staff is a serious factor to retention.
From a resourcing perspective, staff members need to be provided with continuous access to Dashboard training and key mid-office technology tools that can streamline their work and make them faster and more effective workers.
Also, having access to travel industry bulletins, magazines and or industry research material is an easy way to improve staff expertise. Perhaps one of the most emergent resourcing and technological changes companies have been making for the last 3-5 years is the practice of dual monitors for computers. In industries where a huge proportion of time is spent browsing databases, the internet and comparing and contrasting such as the travel industry, a second monitor can reduce the painful process or minimizing, alt -tabbing and window-swapping. A relatively simple technological improvement which comes with an initial cost of a second monitor, that will overtime be more than made up for by the seconds, minutes and hours gained by employees more effectively able to carry out their jobs.
By encouraging and enabling our team members to become ‘techno-savvy’, including around the use of Dashboard, we are increasing the value of our employees to ourselves as business owners.
If you would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact the Resurg Group for further information.