I Love it Here

Exploring the Impact of Learning and Development on Employee Engagement

November 14, 2023 Caleb Foster, Paul Westlake, Jonathan Cooper Season 1 Episode 20
I Love it Here
Exploring the Impact of Learning and Development on Employee Engagement
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of the "I Love It Here" podcast, hosts Caleb Foster, Paul Westlake, and Jonathan Cooper discuss their recent activities, experiences, and gratitude. They talk about their love for coffee, the importance of keeping up with various skills in their work, and the role of learning and development in organizations. The hosts also discuss the challenge of measuring the impact of learning and development efforts. They highlight the importance of effective onboarding in organizations and the need for businesses to align with industry trends and technological advancements. The episode ends with an invitation for pioneers in the field to share their experiences on the podcast.

Mentions with timestamps:
Holy Island: 00:02:05
Pilgrims Coffee: 00:02:05
Dark Arts Coffee: 00:04:14
Fermented coffee: 00:04:19
Craft beers: 00:05:25
Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop: 00:07:58
Graphics tablet: 00:08:53
ChatGPT: 00:09:48

Connect with our hosts
If you'd like to connect with us or influence the conversations we have, reach out and connect with us:
Slack Community: https://iloveithere.slack.com
Paul Westlake: https://www.linkedin.com/in/westyphotography
Caleb Foster: https://www.linkedin.com/in/calebafoster
Jonathan Cooper: https://www.linkedin.com/in/unlearningcoach

Speaker 1 (00:00:00) - Welcome to I Love It Here, a place where we discuss and share our thoughts on various topics, all focused on making life and work a better experience for everyone.

Caleb (00:00:28) - Hello and welcome to another episode of I Love It Here. We've been away for a few weeks, but as always, your host today and myself, Caleb Foster, Paul Westlake, and Jonathan Cooper. So without further ado, let's get into this month's conversation. How are you both all right.

Paul (00:00:45) - It seems like a long time.

Caleb (00:00:47) - It does actually, doesn't it?

Paul (00:00:48) - Yeah, I've been stupidly busy, but in a good way. So having said that, it's always a pleasure to be back. So yes. Good to see you both. How are you getting on, Jonathan?

Jonathan (00:00:59) - Well, like you, I've been stupidly busy, so maybe that's the theme. Today is stupidly busy. I'm really. Well, I've been I've been having a great time with, with the work that I'm doing at the moment. I've been finding it really in a really positive way, challenging and stretching.

Jonathan (00:01:14) - And it's been I've been enjoying it very much.

Paul (00:01:17) - Yes, I've been happy. Normal work stuff going on. I actually delivered a new course over the last two days, which is obviously the the people on the other end didn't know it was the first time I'd ever delivered it. That's never part of my opening. It's like, oh, by the way, welcome. Never done this before. That's probably never a good start. And and the happy sheets at the end suggested that they didn't think that. So that was really good. But yes, I've been doing doing a lot of that stuff. And then at the same time, I know Caleb, you've been in the same world of it's award season, isn't it? And we've been judges again, so maybe, maybe we'll do. I'm not sure that's going to be part of my gratitude, to put it that way.

Caleb (00:01:57) - That's interesting. Well, on the flip side to being busy, I've actually I've had a nice break this this month. That's tastic.

Caleb (00:02:05) - Yeah. I went up to Northumberland and went on to, um. This is my gratitude actually for this month we went to Holy Island. So. Lindisfarne. Nice. Well, the weather was bloody awful, if I'm honest, but we made the most of it. Um, but there was this. So there was this walled garden and just this sort of innocuous sign going coffee shop there. We're thinking, oh, well, I was, I was this going to turn out? And Amanda stuck a red round the wall and said, oh, actually, it looks all right. Well, it was this converted. Converted shipping container with just the, you know, a couple of sort of hipster guys in there. Pilgrims coffee. It was who would just sort of had a magic roasting machine and we'd retail that and just, I mean, it was a proper trendy little place. So yeah, that was fun.

Jonathan (00:03:00) - Perhaps. Caleb, we need to, for our listeners, just indicate why coffee is such an important part of your life and why it's so important that that it's it's it's it's good.

Caleb (00:03:11) - Well, first and foremost, it just keeps me going all day. That's the matter.

Paul (00:03:16) - Caleb is fuelled by coffee. I.

Caleb (00:03:19) - I, I do love a bit of coffee. So we're, I think there's just so much deep connection there with hospitality and having a coffee shop. And my son is a barista as well. So I've also just this month been recommended Dark Arts coffee by him and In light. I like to share stuff as well. So I was talking to a client of ours the other day and she was on about this coffee. And so we sent her a great big bag of these coffee and oh my God, I wasn't expecting that. So it's good to share. But yeah, that's the I do like trying lots of different coffee. My son likes funky coffee though. And when I say funky likes it like this sort of fermented taste. Or I mean, if you've ever had fermented coffee, it does taste like a sort of a Saki sort of drink. Very different.

Jonathan (00:04:14) - How do we get hold of that? Where does one get fermented coffee from? Because I'd like to try that for, I.

Caleb (00:04:19) - Don't know, I'd Google it and just I don't know, I'll, I'll find out actually from Austin where you know what.

Paul (00:04:26) - And is that just a Nespresso collab, is it. I'm assuming you don't mix that with anything else.

Caleb (00:04:32) - No. We just I.

Paul (00:04:33) - Mean, put milk with it. Anything.

Caleb (00:04:34) - Usually you love a short, a short, yeah. Sort of taste of that. Yeah. We went to. Oh I'm trying to think it was Manchester Central exhibition. It was a, I think hotel and restaurant exhibition and we, we were showing there actually and there was a coffee coffee company just over there, you know, across the corridor from us. And Austin just kept going over there and he said, oh, just try this one on this. This is really this doesn't taste like coffee to me. This tastes more like border in a sort of a port or something like that. It was. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Really different. Yeah.

Jonathan (00:05:17) - So what happens to the flavor? Does it get deeper?

Caleb (00:05:20) - A very fruity, actually.

Caleb (00:05:23) - Sort of.

Paul (00:05:25) - Do you know what it's really as you're saying that. Sorry. And you can finish point of it. Just pick it up. That's really quite interesting for me, because what you just said there reminds me of because I'm quite I'm really into my craft beers, really like trying different things. And it really winds me up and people say, I don't like beer. And you think, how can you such a sweet, how can you possibly say that? There's, you know, are you talking about sours? Are you talking about a stout? You're talking. And what you're saying is similar to that. You can't say, I don't like coffee because.

Caleb (00:05:55) - There's so many.

Paul (00:05:57) - Must be so many, right.

Caleb (00:05:58) - And so, you know, and it's not just in the roast as well. So it's in the, in the, the type of beans that the roast and also how you put it through the, you know, the grinding will affect it and how you put it through the machine as well.

Caleb (00:06:15) - I mean, Austin, Austin was brewing some coffee a little while ago and he didn't do it quite right. He said, I don't try that because that that tastes like an old ashtray. I went, he said, I've just refined the brew beer on it and I tried it after as well. It was completely different.

Speaker 5 (00:06:38) - Wow.

Caleb (00:06:38) - Yeah. And so when you go into a coffee shop and they, you know, you see them weighing out the coffee and putting it in the machine, you think, oh, I just want a bloody coffee, for God's sake. They do it. So they repeat that process time and time again. And so they're not leaving it to chance to go. Well, if you like it, you like it. If you don't, tough, you know, it's just how it's come out. They want to repeat that every time. Because that's weird. Because you.

Paul (00:07:03) - Wouldn't you wouldn't.

Caleb (00:07:03) - Rush your time.

Paul (00:07:04) - Yeah. You wouldn't roll your eyes if you saw a baker doing that and weighing out stuff.

Paul (00:07:08) - Do you know what I mean? To make the same recipe time and time again. That's clearly what they're trying to do, right? Right.

Caleb (00:07:12) - You're right. Yeah. I mean, the world of coffee, honestly, you just go. So, I mean, it's just a niche area in it. You know, if you're whether you like drinking coffee, whether you like selling it, you know, there's so much to it. Really cool. Yeah.

Paul (00:07:28) - I didn't see that on the show. On the on the outline for the show. I didn't know where that was.

Caleb (00:07:32) - Going deep there. Yeah. Any, any, any proper person who's into coffee will go. What? He's talking bullshit here. What's in.

Jonathan (00:07:39) - My mouth?

Paul (00:07:40) - God, we were so far down that rabbit. Oh, it was never the truth. There you go.

Caleb (00:07:46) - Westie. What's your. What's your gratitude? What else you been up to?

Paul (00:07:48) - Do you know what? My gratitude. Odd one for me I'm really grateful for.

Paul (00:07:58) - Having lots of different skills and keeping up to date with things. And that sounds really bizarre, but let me explain what I mean. So we've been we've had a really big project on at work and it's been great. New client love all that stuff. But I've never spent so long in illustrator and InDesign and in Photoshop and then editing a video and then shooting some photos and then and then the client coming back because a client hasn't got it's a completely new company. I haven't got anything really. And coming back and going, yeah, I could really do a little icon for that and say, well, I can design you one of those, I could draw you one of them. So and then doing that and then I don't know, I think I've been in some ways are so spoilt. But I mean it's not really like that. So in companies I've worked with before, you would go to the marketing, go to the marketing in regards to the marketing, you'd go to the graphic guys and saying, can you design me this? Well, we haven't got that.

Paul (00:08:53) - So actually having to say, well actually I did graphic designer art college, I can, I can draw on my code. Let me, let me have a go getting the graphics tablet out, sketching something out, sending literally sending them a photo of something you've drawn and saying, here's my idea. And again, yep, love that. Do that. And then making that and then seeing that come alive in a piece of e-learning and then seeing that come alive, you know, when they're training in the restaurant and they're using those as training cards and stuff. So I'm so grateful for stuff that I guess my message is you're going to learn so much. It may not make sense right now as to why you know that, but if you keep up to date with it, you know what? When you need it, I'm so grateful. I just keep up to date stuff and absolutely loved it. Really, really love my work. Because if you ask me what my job is, who knows? Because it's changed 15 times in the last week.

Paul (00:09:46) - So yeah.

Caleb (00:09:47) - Really client needs.

Paul (00:09:48) - Yeah. I mean and and the other bit and I again here's a rabbit hole I really don't want to go down but been you know but but for each of their products they had like a, like a fun fact. Did you know facts. There was one about, I don't know, Nashville oil for example, or bike, but whatever. It was fun facts. Yeah. But then for a lot of them, they didn't have them stuff like, I know, milkshakes and ice creams or whatever. So my good friend ChatGPT comes. Now I'm saying give me some fact about, you know, chocolate milkshakes. It's like the first chocolate milkshake was invented. And I thought, God, this is so cool. And so I put these in as placeholders and they came back when love your fun facts. And I was thinking, you know, I know that sounds like, you know, the backwards and forwards would have been nuts, but the fact that it could come up with so much fun stuff and then using that and saying, make that shorter, make that more fun for me, make that UK centric or whatever it may be.

Paul (00:10:49) - So I'm so grateful for that. And I think it's fair to say it's the first time I've used AI as part of my design, where it's saved me a ton of time and I don't feel bad about it. It didn't feel like cheating, it felt like it was a tool. So I'm using illustrator to draw something. I'm using ChatGPT to give me fun facts. They're just two tools, and that's the way I looked at it. So yeah, I've had a really, really enjoyed that and been really grateful for that.

Caleb (00:11:17) - That's good. I wonder what what Rishi and Elon would have thought of when.

Paul (00:11:23) - I just up the road for me, mate? Been up the road in Bletchley. Well, I wasn't invited.

Caleb (00:11:31) - I mean, it's interesting, isn't it? You know, the sort of the two sides of that conversation going on about I. I mean, I, I'm not blind to, blind to the corruption that could happen out of that, but I firmly sit in the optimistic camp.

Paul (00:11:49) - Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think it's like anything, isn't it? You know, it's you know, I think without getting too deep and dark, you know, nuclear fusion is fantastic because it's endless energy. And what a great thing that would be. Certainly when you start using it as a weapon, it gets a bit nasty. And I, I think exactly the same if it depends what you use it for. There will be people that will be entitled to use it to the wrong thing, but that's why you need some form of regulation, I guess.

Caleb (00:12:15) - Well, control the humans.

Paul (00:12:17) - Absolutely.

Jonathan (00:12:19) - And that's another. That's another rabbit hole just waiting to be.

Caleb (00:12:23) - It is.

Paul (00:12:25) - I think we've got like, a four hour epic ahead of us.

Speaker 6 (00:12:27) - Yeah.

Caleb (00:12:28) - We'll call it the rabbit hole.

Paul (00:12:30) - Indeed. What about yourself, Jonathan? What are you grateful for this month?

Jonathan (00:12:34) - Well, very similar to you, actually. I'm really enjoying my work at the moment because it's stretching me in a whole bunch of directions, and I'm really grateful for kind of everything that I've learnt to date.

Jonathan (00:12:44) - Really, all those fantastic people that have shared stuff with me because I'm being really stretched in my, in my current in a really positive way with, with one of my clients at the moment. And I'm having to I'm having to draw on all of those different threads that I've used in the, in the past in order to, in order to, in order to keep the programme rolling along. But what's exciting is that because the appetite for it is accelerating so fast, I'm having to I'm having to move things forward from the original plan. And because the the way the programme is going, it's becoming more and more embedded into it, into the whole strategy of the organisation. So I'm working multi-level and bringing people together and generating this, this momentum, which is really fantastic. But the result is having to having to create tools that enable that, linking together of senior people and people on the people on the, on the, on the coalface, for want of a better phrase. And, and it's, it's it's not just tactical.

Jonathan (00:13:50) - It's got a real strategic intent and it's beginning to deliver that strategic intent. But I'm grateful for the fact that I've had the experiences in the past where I can I can draw those and those have influenced how I've, how I'm how I'm how I'm working. So I'm grateful for all those people that have been willing to share their knowhow with me today. And hopefully what I'm creating is something that, you know, I can share with other people going forward that will help them to to be to be great in the future.

Caleb (00:14:20) - Cool. Do you know what I want to delve into a little bit deeper? Is so the company you've been working with, Jonathan, is that is that a startup or an established business?

Jonathan (00:14:40) - Well, it's kind of a combination of the two. So it's a it's an established business, but it it's not it's not enormous by any stretch of the imagination. About 400, 500 employees. They've been around for quite some time, but they have maintained some of their entrepreneurial spirit, for want of a better phrase.

Jonathan (00:15:04) - Okay. And they're going through a period of a period of growth. And their customers are such that perhaps their customers are being more demanding of them than they were in the past.

Caleb (00:15:14) - I was just picking up on the the strategic approach to learning. And as we've sort of said before, I've had a few conversations recently where it feels like Elland are almost so subservient to the business, but they're just responding to some needs that are being thrown at them. And I wanted to sort of just think about how strategic leads approach is sometimes that and how connected is it to the the business purpose or business direction, the business mission? You know what, if a business wants to be famous for something, then how is supporting that business to be famous? Rather than going, oh, we've got a need for safeguarding training or GDPR and you know, it's a knee jerk reaction to go. We better fill a gap then. And before you know it, the syllabus and work too, bears no resemblance to the direction of travel for the business.

Caleb (00:16:22) - And I keep seeing that actually quite a lot.

Paul (00:16:25) - Is that because the lead team gets bought in sometimes as a reaction to something that's already happened, so they're always almost on the back foot. And what I mean by that is we notice I don't let's say, for example, an off top of my head in my old world sales, a drop in customer services. However, you're measuring that the customer experience is getting worse or whatever. The first place those people come back or come to is Elon. What he's. People haven't been trained. You need to train them. It's already there on the back foot. So and what I mean is I wonder how I wonder how common it is for a business to say, well, actually we need to it's quite, quite relevant actually to what we were talking about earlier. I wonder how often they think about, well, we need to train our people for a role that they haven't necessarily got yet. We need to think they need to be part of this journey and where we're going, because we need those people to have those skills when the company gets there.

Paul (00:17:19) - Whereas I still think there may be this underlying thing of, to your point, not not just for compliance, but to get willed out. Or do we come to an end when there's a problem and then it's Andy's problem to solve, because the easy knee jerk reaction to any of that is, well, obviously there's a training issue here. That's why they're not doing it.

Caleb (00:17:38) - Yeah, yeah.

Paul (00:17:40) - I have, I.

Caleb (00:17:42) - Sorry. Carry on. Johnson.

Jonathan (00:17:43) - I have some sympathy with that view, but I think that in my in my career experience and the tables were turned on me, which is why I hope that my approach is more strategic and that the business were very challenging of, of of what I put on the table, often in the sense that if it wasn't compliance and we need you to do it, then there had to be an absolute rock solid value case for delivering something different. And if there wasn't, then it didn't get delivered. So I had to develop in myself. I had to develop an approach which was consider myself and the things that and those things that were in the sweet.

Jonathan (00:18:27) - If you like the offering to the business, I had to consider myself as a supplier and almost considered myself to be an external supplier to the organization. So what is it that I've got that the business wants to buy and then, you know, once I've been able to get that, that was the word that that perspective, things began to, began to change and improve. But I think often training the training team see themselves as a training team. And if if all we're doing is delivering training, then that's transactional. That's from me to you. Yeah. Nothing is required other than that. I from a from a delegate point of view that I come and I receive and that I can perhaps answer some questions or I gain the knowledge. There's no expect. It's just in the nature of the word training. I think there's an unwritten, an unwritten expectation that I don't necessarily have to do something different when I get back to the workplace. Whereas if we talk about learning and development, if I'm learning and developing, then I'm that I'm growing and and adding some value in a different in a different way as a result.

Jonathan (00:19:34) - I hope that's kind of helpful.

Caleb (00:19:36) - And I'm I think there's semantics of the word. So I think, you know, most organizations have moved from a, you know, a training team to land or, you know, there is an onus on developing people to equip them with the right skills for today and to be prepared for the future as well, I guess. And you know that. That's right. That seems to be the bread and butter and what teams are doing. I guess it was more how much of that is just functional learning to fill a need, a perceived need, and how much effort is going in to say, say, a business says, right, we want to be the world's go to company for widgets, right? You know, it'd be great if people in the land team are going, what is it that we deliver that we support with that helps our people, you know, make the world's best widgets and challenging back everything that they're doing.

Paul (00:20:52) - But also kind of the you're right, the the business missing for me, in my experience of being in that world is that we would write that course right now, and then I deliver it for the next 3 or 4 years.

Paul (00:21:07) - But in the next 3 or 4 years, the company has changed and the direction has changed and the industry has changed. And how often do we actually then go back and say, actually, is this still fit for purpose for what we're doing right now? And we almost want to move away from compliance? I think because you know what? Stuff changes in compliance and we do that. And for me, you know, compliance learning is a bit of a tick box so that when something goes horribly wrong, we can say people knew. And I know it sounds very you know, maybe that's me being cynical, but ultimately I genuinely believe to a certain extent we need to know that 10,000 people have done food safety. So when we kill someone, it's not really our fault. So, you know, there's that bit. But if land aren't being bought in to the strategic conversations and don't understand where the business is going, maybe what could be the outcome of that? What's the risk to the business? Or more importantly, what's the risk to the employees of them not being bought in? I mean, surely we're delivering training courses that.

Paul (00:22:13) - I mean, mixed message at best, but potentially just don't back up what they're hearing elsewhere in the company. We just looked attached.

Caleb (00:22:21) - Well, I think there's something in that actually. So this is what got me thinking right is so just back to my theoretical company that, you know, we want to be the world's best company, you know, making widgets. But there's another level to that. Because go, okay, there's a load of competitors that are building the world's best widget. So what's our differentiator. And and for example, they might say we want to do it in the most, you know, environmentally, you know, sound way. So does is everyone on board with that. Does everyone understand that message or is it just the C-suite that that sort of, you know, talk about that and therefore it could be quite subtle that everything all the messaging is geared up to have the least amount of impactful, you know, environment impact and the subtle messaging. But I guess the point that I'm trying to drive is, are those subtleties really clear in every offer? Does it come through because I should sit in a training session, say for, as you say, food safety or making a widget and come out and go, what sort of knew that they made widgets? But I feel really connected now with what the purpose is and what the values are of that organization.

Caleb (00:23:49) - And and that for me would then go, right, we're all moving in the same direction.

Paul (00:23:57) - Yeah. I mean, you're absolutely right. It's it's that whole starting with the white bit isn't it? It's like I'm teaching I'm teaching you this course today because as a company this is and that should absolutely back up. This is what we stand for. This is the way we work. This is and by doing this piece of training, I'm going to help you work in that way. Whereas I wonder if someone else is further up. The food chain knows the why, and I'm just there to make sure that they push that button and make that widget each time and push it hard enough.

Speaker 6 (00:24:28) - But I'm going to I'm going to.

Jonathan (00:24:29) - I'm going to question whether the purpose of trading is that we can make the best widgets and whether that's the purpose of process and plant, and actually whether the purpose of trading is that enable us to make even better widgets. So and again, this might be semantic, but if, if our processes in plant are not or whatever the our process is and, and our ways of working and not are not such that they enable everyone to deliver the standard.

Jonathan (00:24:58) - And training is always about getting training then becomes about can either then be about I'm not being get my words mapped my my mouth. We get those processes. We learn those processes. There's a level of assurance then quality assurance in the way that we work that we're going to deliver the same thing the same over and over again. Training is involved to get us there, but actually that should be part of just the way that a function, a business unit works that should be established within the business unit itself in a large cut, in my view, in a large corporate organization, the role of learning and development then is to is to enable those functions to improve the manufacture of those widgets and take them to the to the next level. So I think, you know, and I don't always see that there's that level of clarity within and functions that perhaps sometimes their, their aim is to enable people to make achieve the standard. Well, that's in my view, that should be taking place in the business unit.

Speaker 5 (00:26:02) - Yeah.

Jonathan (00:26:02) - The function is the land function is a strategic one that then enables the stretch. Otherwise, Allende are only ever making and developing interventions that enable us to continuous to us to be as good as we are now, as opposed to enabling us to get better and better and better.

Speaker 5 (00:26:20) - Yeah.

Jonathan (00:26:21) - So one's proactive and one's reactive because.

Caleb (00:26:26) - I mean, I an amazing conversation with someone the other day that was sort of that couldn't quite see the difference. And, you know, they're very much tied in the process. And actually the way I explained it is that the best learning for me was influence in our minds. So it was connecting with, why am I doing this? Why should I care about doing this? And and being inspired to then do something different tomorrow than I'm doing today and. And it almost needed quite a bit of explaining to get to that for them to go. I get it, you know, I, I understand that now, but what's the blocker in many organizations to how are.

Paul (00:27:12) - You measuring that? How are you measuring the hearts and minds bit. How are you measuring whether someone cares? How are you measuring it? Is that not part of the problem? As in, is that what's stopping them? Because, you know, if I can prove 10,000 people have done this course and the number of accidents has reduced, and I've done a great job, and I'm playing devil's advocate here, obviously, but but you're right, it's when we're trying to get an emotional connection with people, and we're trying to get them to buy into our culture and the way we work and to how are you going to measure that?

Caleb (00:27:43) - And I think some of that. So I mean, it's a it goes on, doesn't it? It goes on in every business. And just going back to Jonathan's point about adding value, you know, and there's a, you know, straight away you've put something there to go, oh we better we better measure value then how are we getting value. But yeah that might not be immediate.

Caleb (00:28:04) - So the immediate value add could be we. Do you know what our retention of people has gone up over the over the last 12 months. You know that might not be a direct correlation. But all those factors that are measuring people connection, what they're doing in the business, you can't just say, oh, it's a direct connection, but it's an influencer.

Jonathan (00:28:30) - I genuinely I strongly believe that Allen, for the most part, needs to be future focused, because if we focus on trying to get to a standard today, today's gone by the end of today that we need to be focused on some line in the future where we where we have an ambition to be. And I can give you an example of this and why it's important. So in past lives, I've developed and delivered an engineering apprenticeship. And you go out to an engineering is a massive field, and there's a lot, you know, when you're when you're introducing young people into a, into into that field, there's a lot of history.

Jonathan (00:29:13) - There's 200 years of engineering history almost to, to to get under somebody, into somebody's consciousness in a relatively short period of time. But while you're trying to do that, technology is also moving on. So and particularly in, in organizations that are investing in plant and equipment at a rate, often a plant will look very different. At the end of an apprenticeship to what it was at the start of an apprenticeship, the technology will have changed significantly. And so when I've done that in the past, I've had to I've had to take the the engineering leadership team and the production leadership team and, and encourage them to think about what the end point of the apprenticeship is, what, in four years time, when that person walks out of their apprenticeship and they've got their they've got their notional papers, what do we need them to do? Because it won't be the same as what we need them to do today. And if we focus, if our programme is based on what we need them to do today, when they come out in four years time, the skill set that we've enabled them to develop will be redundant because we'll have a different we'll have a different plant, we'll have different expectations.

Jonathan (00:30:17) - So if that program is to be successful, we have to think about the future. And that's no different to any other aspect of of of of of learning in my view. Because if we try to, if we try to fill a gap, we end up just. Moving out. You know the gap continues to grow. Yeah. We haven't, we haven't. If that makes some kind of sense. No.

Paul (00:30:42) - Absolutely. That makes sense. I mean, and I'm, I'm thinking of it. And what you've said makes absolute sense. Part of the problem with that is that I've then got to go to the business and ask for a budget to train something that may or may not happen in however many years time. You're absolutely right. And I think I still go back to the point I made earlier, I think, and still in many cases operate almost in isolation from other departments. I think we.

Speaker 6 (00:31:12) - Might. Yeah.

Paul (00:31:14) - And I think because they do that, they can become misaligned with the business strategy, as in the business strategy is made and then given to Elon to say, yeah, you need to go and train this, but I haven't necessarily been invited to that party in the first place.

Paul (00:31:28) - And because they don't have that collaboration and communication with the other functions, whether it be H.R operations, probably the senior leadership team, you know, therefore it's almost like, well, we've decided that and now you go and train it. Whereas I think they do need to be heavily involved. They need to be invited to the table. But to your point, we've talked about earlier, Jonathan, why are they waiting to be invited? They've got to absolutely say, by the way, I need to be at this table.

Caleb (00:31:57) - How do you know? How do you know what your what you're trying to achieve, unless you've already forced yourself to have, you know, to be party to that, I mean that. So maybe there's some of the challenge because, you know, the purpose of direction, the mesh and what what the culture, you know, or the aspiration of how people behave. And, you know, the feeling that you get in an organisation of operating in there, that none of that should be secret, right? That that should be shared across everyone.

Caleb (00:32:30) - And that's something that you get a feeling because, I mean, I was also thinking about onboarding, right? And having a conversation with lots of people on onboarding. And how many people that have said to me, oh, day one, it's about GDPR, it's about safeguarding, it's about food safety. And you go, oh, hold on a second. What how that's that's already defined the culture in your organisation. It's a compliance organisation that values you sitting in front of a computer for a day. I don't, you know, wear rose tinted glasses all the time. And I get that this stuff is important for the you know to. For claims, defence ability and to make sure that your people are skilled up. But there's a part of that that also says you're on board in is to make sure that we're delivering the promises that we set out. When we interviewed you, when we told you how great our business was, when we told you the direction of it. And this almost got me spinning into a thought process to go.

Caleb (00:33:34) - How often does that permeate into learning? Six months down the line to go? Don't forget you join this great business six months ago. You've had a great onboarding and this learning just compounds that also to go this is this is the values in this organization. We do it in a different way. So like sorry I'm on a soapbox now. But if you're like if you're if you're getting trained in using SAP right. The overwhelming feeling you should get was what an amazing organization I've joined. And the reason why I'm using this tool is because they've got our aspiration to grow. But you know, when you step out of it going, I sort of know how to use this little bit of sap. You know, it didn't feel like I got I got coached in that. It felt like I was just being arms being wrapped around me and supported on it, as opposed to how many times have we turned up to a training session? You go, oh God, sap, and you get bored to tears by it.

Caleb (00:34:37) - And then at some point there's a PowerPoint slide that goes these as a company values, you go, oh yeah, great. And that, you know, it got me thinking about so many different things about that learning and development training. Whatever semantics we use, it should not just be functional. It's it's it's an opportunity to get people together and, and still reinforce what an amazing place it should be. Whatever organization.

Jonathan (00:35:07) - Absolutely. I've had a I've had an experience of onboarding over the last few weeks where I've been working with a, with a, an organization who have been saying they've had high labor turnover of people within their within their probationary period. And guess what? When you dig into how they do their onboarding, there was a limited amount of structure to how onboarding was done. Not only was there a limited amount of structure that every person that they met had got a different view as to how to do the same task. So the pour new starter was coming to work, all enthusiastic about having got the new job, and then they were bombarded with all these different views as to how to do some quite complex things.

Jonathan (00:35:50) - And in the end, their heads have been mashed for 13 weeks. And I've decided that actually this.

Caleb (00:35:55) - Isn't for them. Business for me.

Jonathan (00:35:56) - Yeah. And and that and and all that. I say all that, that required. But all that, that required was simply for a group of people to sit down and understand, just to grade the task that they were asking people to do into some form of priority and complexity, and then to build a, then to build a program that was enabling somebody at the end of every 3 to 4 weeks to be able to do some stuff and contribute so that they felt like they were making a contribution to that organization before moving on to the next four weeks of doing that. And it's and as I say it, I think, well, that's not that's not to me that doesn't seem that difficult. But clearly in that environment where those people were rushed and it felt like they were busy being busy, that didn't feel like a priority. But the result was every time they recruited somebody, they were wasting finance and time on training people.

Jonathan (00:36:54) - And then they were, then they were leaving. So I often think that the, the imperative for doing it well is not understood enough. You know, we worked at how much it was costing for that for, for, for that 13 to 13 to 26 weeks. People come in and go in and we're talking you know, large sums of money and all the time it was it.

Speaker 6 (00:37:16) - Was.

Jonathan (00:37:17) - Not great. And so I'm not I forget where that started. Well, but that onboarding, that onboarding process is absolutely critical. And we should be onboarding people, thinking about their experience of us because we're still selling ourselves to them as much as.

Caleb (00:37:32) - Absolutely. I mean, the there's a few things in there because I absolutely love onboarding. And, you know, working on onboarding the metric usually is that for every new starter, it generally costs an organization three and a half times their salary to, you know, recruit them. And, you know, if you're paying someone circa £50,000, you know, to lose three and a half times that salary.

Caleb (00:38:00) - And I was having a conversation around this the other day with someone to say, listen, I imagine onboarding is a bit like going out for a day, would you? Go on the day. Pay for the meal. Say the meals. £50. You want that to go right? You know, you wouldn't say I'm going to. I could possibly lose for £50 out of there, because the easiest way to lose £350 on that new day is to start asking about, you know, their Social Security standing. You know what's there, you know, all the data, you know of your, of your locked your iPhone. Do you use face recognition because they'll think you're absolutely bonkers. What they're actually looking for is the real you. And for a deeper, meaningful connection to stick around and then you go, oh, actually, I've only spent £50, but I've got a long term relationship here rather than someone that's going to be fleeting because I think I'm absolutely bonkers. And this, you know, if we came back to this, do I just need a challenging conversation as an and professional to go, what are we trying to achieve here on each of these interventions? It doesn't matter if it's on boarding or development, but if people what what you generally get from directors is we want a robust workforce, are deeply connected with us, understand what we're trying to achieve, that their behaviours, their positive behaviours are more important than their, you know, the actual transactional stuff they're going to do.

Caleb (00:39:29) - And and you go, yeah, that all makes sense. And most people say that. Then we bombard everyone with transactional training because we think that's what we should be doing. And then that's where it's you just get this big melting pot of people moving around because they're unhappy with what they've been oversold, something they've underdelivered. And I don't know what the solution is other than those really sort of obvious and challenging conversations like, hold on a second, this is what you're actually doing to our people. This is what you want to happen to our people.

Jonathan (00:40:04) - I don't. And what, to your point, I don't understand why it's so difficult to understand, because I think if everyone took a step back and looked at it, they go, oh yeah, it's not like it's not. It's not like it's not obvious. But for whatever reason you wouldn't do it in a, in a, in.

Speaker 6 (00:40:23) - A in another.

Jonathan (00:40:24) - Context, you wouldn't exhibit the same behaviors when you were when you were wanting to engage in a relationship and encourage somebody to be part of what you were doing.

Jonathan (00:40:34) - You wouldn't do that if you were if you were trying to create a great football team, you know, at any level, you wouldn't do that. And yet somehow in a commercial environment, and I think some of it's down to very few of us have actually experienced what, what, what great looks like. We don't have anything to benchmark it. We simply do what was done to us.

Caleb (00:40:56) - And it may be going.

Jonathan (00:40:57) - To take a few really inspirational and innovative people to to stand up and be counted and to do it differently and prove that it works.

Caleb (00:41:05) - And they are there, aren't they? And I think you know it just echoing what Westy said as well. It's it's transactional. It's people justifying budgetary spend. It's, you know, it's passing, passing the baton to another team. You know, if it all goes horribly wrong and, you know, those are artificially created because we've always done it. And actually it's the businesses that we go are they're the brave businesses. They're not. They're just in tuned with their people.

Caleb (00:41:33) - And actually what motivates people in their organization to stay to go. They they might not even have an end function, right? They might just have great leaders and great, you know, support managers that go. We just have a great laugh here. You know, I might be building utopia here, but, you know, that's that's the reality of when you stay.

Paul (00:41:58) - I think part of it is the it's the juxtaposition between what they were promised at onboarding to then what they experience. So you and I know, Caleb, in the hospitality industry particular, one of the key measures is 90 day turnover. Because to your point, you know, you've brought these people on. They've charged we pay a fortune to get them up to speed, and then they leave within 90 days. And I wonder how much of that is to do with. They've been promised everything. They've been promised autonomy. You can choose and do whatever you like. You can bring, you know, do whatever courses you want to do and all of the rest of it.

Paul (00:42:33) - And then we say, all right, you ten people have all got to go on that course now, and we're going to teach you in exactly the same way as we taught everyone for the last five years, despite the company moving on. And I don't know what the answer to that bit is. And then them saying, well, actually, can I do that because I'm interested in that. No, no, no, no, you can't do that because you're not at that level yet or that's not your job role. So we promise a lot. And yet if you speak to the company, they'll tell you it's all about we want you to be yourself. We want personality. We want you to, you know, be self-starting and all of that good stuff. So that's not lads fault per se. I don't think. But I think Elon could be better at saying no. We need to be more involved in some of this stuff. We need to be more involved in writing some of this stuff.

Paul (00:43:15) - And maybe one of the ways they can do that is by keeping abreast of industry trends, technological enhancements. What can they bring that the rest of the company haven't seen and saying, actually, we should be delivering this on our courses. So, you know, I've looked at this company and this company and this company or this is the way the direction is going at the moment. For example, off completely off the top of my head. How many businesses do you think are teaching anything around the use of AI in, in, in industry? Very, very few, because everyone's scared of it and they wouldn't know where to go, wouldn't know what to say. If you think that's not going to be part of the business world in the next 4 or 5 years, and you're absolutely mad because it absolutely is. So maybe Elon needs to be more involved in in some of this stuff.

Caleb (00:44:01) - I, I think there's a great example there of are we should we be teaching there or should we be driving a culture of curiosity to enable people to feel empowered to go, can we start trying this? Can we, you know, and and then the business, being comfortable when things do work or don't go to plan necessarily, but it's building that whole thing up.

Caleb (00:44:25) - And I think the thing you said about it's not necessarily Elon Ds4, I think there's I think everyone takes a responsibility in this, and this is why I keep saying that actually, what you want is really curious people that are going to stick their nose in things and ask the awkward questions to say, why? Why are we doing that? How does that fit with this model of, you know, how we want our business to be and how we want people to feel in our organization rather than just go, oh, okay. So because you can imagine the conversations, right? When people leave and they go, oh, it's not the. Unless it's a line manager, we better do some 1 to 1 training for.

Paul (00:45:08) - There you go. We're going.

Caleb (00:45:08) - Full circle. You go. No. Hold on. Let's like, we could do that because we've got we've got trainers that can really deliver face to face training. They can design great workshops. But is that the solution to it? Because all we're doing is putting a sticking plaster and going on this, you know, this hamster wheel all the time.

Paul (00:45:28) - I think there's also there's also the problem, I'll call it a problem. That is a problem. There's also the problem of us saying one thing and actually not necessarily meaning it. So for example, you know, the amount of amount of businesses I've worked in when I said, no, no, we want you to explore. We want you to be curious. We want you to go and find stuff and and. Yeah. Can I access I found this bit of train on YouTube. You go, oh no, no, no, we're locking that down. Why are we looking that down? Because you you've got to find it anyway. So if you're saying that if that is your culture. Yeah, you have to absolutely live that you have you have to be brave enough to say. Because you know what? I know this sounds flippant, but those people are doing that anyway, so you might as well might as well embrace that. You might as well make it easy for them to go and find this stuff, if that's what they're doing, or more importantly, if that's what they're doing, and that's where they think they're going to find a solutions.

Paul (00:46:23) - That should be the biggest red flag ever to say we're not teaching them the right stuff, or we're not trying to teach them the stuff they're interested in, or we're not giving them the help they need because they haven't to go and find it themselves. The whole social learning thing is another huge can of worms, because the amount of businesses who say they want that and they they want it as look, it's like it's that.

Caleb (00:46:47) - They they want.

Paul (00:46:48) - Spontaneity. That's exactly what it is. You do anything you like as long as it's in this box, you know?

Caleb (00:46:53) - Come on. You just reminded me we used to have this phrase in I mean, anyone from coming to that, my reference to it. We used to have a phrase called freedom in a framework. And that's exactly right. Exactly that. Do whatever you bloody want as long as it's within this framework as you go. I have it's a framework there. It's really fucking tight. Yeah.

Paul (00:47:15) - It's fun. Absolutely.

Speaker 7 (00:47:18) - Yeah.

Caleb (00:47:19) - But then, you know, you could carry on and go, well, I think that that's where those conversations have to come in.

Caleb (00:47:26) - Somebody has got to step out and go, hold on. We are like, this is a bit like having a social media presence and going, this, this is what our company looks like. And then you step into it and it's just not a reality. Somebody has got to call that out. And and then if it doesn't go anywhere after you've called it out, then you go, do you know what? This is probably not the business for me because your values are misaligned there.

Paul (00:47:53) - And I wonder just just in summary, I wonder if Elon have a huge part to play in that now, because the amount of companies that want to have that psychological safety, we're all talking about in a moment when it's this idea of, no, I want you to ask questions. I want you to be curious. I want you to push back. Training courses have always been designed like that. The amount of times we open a training course going, hey, it's a safe environment. This is your environment to practice this, if you're not doing that and you want everyone to be psychological safe, what a weird mix that is.

Paul (00:48:24) - And that's a massively confusing thing for everyone.

Jonathan (00:48:27) - So I think what we're saying is that what what what this whole thing needs is we're putting out a clarion call to to Elon Pioneers to be doing things differently. We're looking for some pioneering and people who who really see what the future is for them. And they're their organisations and they're working hard not to not to fill the gaps for the past, but to to enable the to enable the future. And it would be wouldn't it be amazing if as a result of this show, we had some of those pioneers contacting us, wanting to wanting to share those experiences and and tell the rest of the world how they going about it so other people can learn.

Paul (00:49:08) - That's going to be like a new pair of shoes, Jonathan. It's going to pinch like hell at first, but so you need to stick with it. Some people, some leaders are going to be massively they're going to resist this. They don't want new initiatives. They the fear of change, the lack of buy in from everyone else.

Paul (00:49:24) - So.

Caleb (00:49:24) - Well, I think there's there's two types of businesses in the future, isn't there. There's those that adapt and flex around that and encourage that. And and then there's nobody else actually.

Paul (00:49:37) - Yeah. And then there's everyone else. Yeah. No you're correct.

Caleb (00:49:47) - I just want to wrap up with just what's on your playlist at the minute. Jonathan, what you got on your playlist at the minute?

Jonathan (00:49:55) - Gosh, I have not been I have not been listening or listening to anything recently I did watch, so I'm prepared. I mean, I like The Crown. I don't know what it is about the Netflix series The Crown. I started to watch series five. I got all the way through and that two and a half episodes left. So at two and a half episodes left, knowing that the the new one is coming up. I watched half the last 20 minutes of episode five last night so I could catch up before the new one starts, and I'm also reading. I think I've mentioned this before.

Jonathan (00:50:25) - I'm reading a book called Dominion by an author called C.J. Samson, which is the premise of which is the the history doesn't go as it did. Churchill's not my prime minister. And and the Second World War ends in a completely in a completely different way. And so this book takes that premise and then explores that. And I didn't finish it, and I've started it again, and I've got further this time.

Paul (00:50:52) - Which just have interest with The Crown. Jonathan, which which series do you prefer? Do you prefer the old ones you knew nothing about? Because I find the modern ones are a bit like, I think I know the history, if that makes sense.

Jonathan (00:51:04) - Yeah, I didn't, I've not enjoyed series five as much just because I kind of know much more what's going to happen. I did feel like in the early earlier series, even though it's fictional, I was getting to know the characters a bit more and it was. Yeah, I enjoyed the earlier ones much more.

Paul (00:51:19) - So fact, isn't it?

Speaker 6 (00:51:22) - Is it?

Jonathan (00:51:23) - It's like a documentary.

Paul (00:51:25) - I thought it was.

Speaker 6 (00:51:27) - Is it? It's not. It's not a documentary. Oh, you've.

Jonathan (00:51:32) - Ruined it for me.

Speaker 6 (00:51:33) - Well sorry, mate. Spoiler.

Jonathan (00:51:36) - It's not real.

Caleb (00:51:37) - Well, what about you wasting.

Paul (00:51:41) - No, I've got one for you, Caleb. So we were watching something called the bear. I don't know if you've heard of the bear. So it's. It's on Disney Plus, I love it. Oh, have you seen it? Have you? Yeah. If if anybody who hasn't seen it, it's a there's a young chef, a guy called Carmen, brilliant young chef, fine dining world and all the rest of it. And he basically comes back to run his family's sandwich shop because he's brother commits suicide, and it sounds really quite dark, and they call it a comedy drama, but I'd say it's it's sort of quirky, relatively short episodes, and I know it's been been nominated for tons of awards, but I can only imagine. I haven't got your experience of working in catering, but I can imagine it being pretty close to what's really going on, and that the characters in the kitchen are just brilliant, absolutely brilliant, obstinate staff family.

Paul (00:52:38) - If you haven't seen it, we literally got a Disney+ subscription because we'd heard about it, watched it, and then cancelled it afterwards because it's that good.

Speaker 8 (00:52:46) - Wow.

Caleb (00:52:47) - I mean, I it was a slow burner for me, if I'm honest, because the first episode is just bonkers. It's just like so much going on, people shouting like crap going on. It was like, I just, I can't, it's a noise.

Paul (00:53:05) - Yeah, yeah.

Caleb (00:53:06) - It's just so much going on. And I persevered with it and I absolutely loved it. Actually. I'm yeah, I think just anything like foodie, I think I really sort of like anyway. But then you get really deep into the characters and, and I think, you know, you realise how fragile people are during it. Do you.

Paul (00:53:29) - Know what? Absolutely. Absolutely. Right. I think the The Fragile was absolutely the word I was going to say the, the, the star, if you like. The main character is so vulnerable throughout the whole thing.

Paul (00:53:42) - Yeah. And I think that's why you buy into it. You buy into how difficult. It's fantastic. Absolutely loved.

Caleb (00:53:49) - It. Really good watch actually and I do on the back of that. I do keep meaning to watch the, the sort of the UK style one with Stephen Gray or Boiling Point.

Paul (00:53:59) - Yeah. But there was a film first, is that right? You have to see the film first. We couldn't find the film anywhere and they were talking about, oh, you know what happened before? And I was thinking, well, no, because I haven't seen the film.

Caleb (00:54:09) - Yeah. I mean, I started watching that and sort of struggled to get into it. I need to get over that bit of the the chaos and the yeah, I'm trying to calm stuff down. But anyway.

Jonathan (00:54:22) - We found boiling Point really stressful.

Speaker 5 (00:54:25) - Yeah.

Speaker 6 (00:54:25) - Really.

Jonathan (00:54:26) - We watched it all the way through, but we watched it kind of early evening. So we had an opportunity to calm down because if we watched it late, we'd have been up till the Westport.

Caleb (00:54:35) - Thinking of a career in hospitality.

Paul (00:54:37) - Don't don't watch our shows.

Speaker 6 (00:54:38) - Yeah.

Paul (00:54:39) - And one very other very, very quick one. Bodies on Netflix. I'm not going to say it's great and I'm not saying watch it, but if you do watch it all the way through, can you explain to me what the hell was going on, please? Because I've got so well.

Caleb (00:54:54) - That that's taken from a graphic novel as well. It is a comic book as well. I mean, I really like it, I think. You've got to be able to keep up with what's going on because it's like, I think it's either 4 or 5 different times.

Paul (00:55:08) - Yes. Full time zones.

Caleb (00:55:09) - Yeah. And if you like low key on and Disney Marvel you'll like that as well because it sort of starts going back and forward in time.

Paul (00:55:23) - I found it really hard to follow. Not only did I find it hard to follow, but I thought when I nailed it and I got it.

Caleb (00:55:30) - You didn't and.

Paul (00:55:31) - Then I didn't.

Paul (00:55:32) - And then right in I live right here. My wife went. How can she be there? Because surely she's still be stuck in the past. I said, don't make me think about it. It reminded me of family Guy. I'm a huge family Guy fan, and the fact that only Brian and Stewie can talk to each other, no one else can hear him. I get that. Then, every now and again, Stewie will say something and somebody else will answer. And I'm thinking, what? Don't they make no sense? And that's what it felt like with this, because he knows. How can he hear Stewie? No one can. History. But anyway, there you go. What about yourself, Caleb?

Caleb (00:56:00) - Well, my internet connection.

Paul (00:56:01) - No problem.

Caleb (00:56:02) - Mine is not a listen or watch. Mine's a play in it the minute, actually. So I've been playing cyberpunk 2077. And if if you're new to gaming, right, don't start on this game because there's so much in it.

Caleb (00:56:16) - But now I've been playing it, I love it. It's set in the future, obviously. Cyberpunk 2077, and everyone has got sort of robotic implants in them, but the game is so deep, so you have to build your character with different implants so they can do different stuff and it's all open world. I cannot recommend this game enough if you're a gamer because I just I like the idea of, you know, you just sort of you, you have to go to something called a repair doc to get new implants and stuff, but you can only get enough. They call it Edy's as well. That's the global currency to buy new stuff. And the rip, I love it, I'm just so into it.

Paul (00:56:58) - I actually got a beginning in middle and end because I want a lot of these games now, completely free range. And you go wherever you like, wherever you like.

Caleb (00:57:05) - There's so much of the story. Basically, you've had this implant, this rogue implant put in your head. And so you've now got these two personalities, one of which is the character is called Johnny Silverhand, who's played by Keanu Reeves.

Caleb (00:57:23) - It's really quite good.

Speaker 9 (00:57:26) - Nice.

Caleb (00:57:27) - Yeah, that's that's what I'm playing. I mean, so if I get a spare sort of ten minutes, it's like I jump on that and see if I can earn some more eddies to go to the Ripper doctor.

Paul (00:57:39) - And then ten minutes and an hour later, you're still there, I reckon.

Speaker 6 (00:57:43) - Yeah.

Speaker 7 (00:57:43) - Yeah. It's interesting. Yeah, that's keeping me amused. Anyway.

Caleb (00:57:49) - Anyway, Jonathan, take us home.

Jonathan (00:57:52) - Well, what a fantastic conversation we've had. We've talked about the two of you.

Speaker 6 (00:57:56) - I've you. Well, you've you've.

Jonathan (00:57:59) - Been involved too.

Paul (00:58:00) - Yeah. In my own time zone, ironically.

Jonathan (00:58:05) - And we didn't reach any conclusions. But what we did, what we did, what we did conclude. Would it be really amazing? I'll re assert the invitation. If there are any pioneers out there who believe they're doing fantastic, future focused work and supporting their organization to to make progress into the future, we would love to hear from you, because you'd be very welcome to come and talk to us about it on on here.

Jonathan (00:58:31) - We would love to hear about how you're helping your people to say, I love it here more often. Thank you for listening. You can contact us through the usual channels. Goodbye and see you soon.