Today’s candidates want to join and stay with employers who will define and provide pathways for professional and personal development – including high-quality training. Dominic Weaver speaks to leaders of some of the businesses who understand this well and, with in-person courses back on the calendar, sent staff members to learn, grow and network at the recent FIDI Academy Masters in Moving and Mobility programme held in Barcelona
As shown elsewhere in this recruitment- and retention-themed issue of FIDI Focus, moving CEOs and recruiters cite personal and professional development as one of the top three must-have demands of employees today. In the current candidate-is-king jobs marketplace, companies that offer exciting opportunities for their staff to learn and grow stand a far better chance of attracting the calibre of employee they need and holding onto them. Those that do not are likely to find the recruitment process more difficult – and could face lose existing workers, too.
Of course, training and other forms of development come at a price – and usually require taking staff out of their day-to-day activities for some time, too. However, savvy managers know that sending their staff on reputable, up-to-date training programmes can yield a return worth many, many times the initial investment.
Annika Roupé, CEO of Scandinavian mover Alfa, that sent two of its employees, George Kabasele and Herman Johansson, on the FIDI MiM2 (Masters in Moving and Mobility) course in Barcelona, says training like this is the company’s way of investing in its most valuable assets.
‘Our employees are the thing that make the biggest difference to our customers’ experience, so their knowledge and competence is key to our business,’ she says. ‘Residential training allows them to focus on a theme, and with the physical distance from the office we believe that our staff also get new perspectives of their job and our business.’
Atlas International Movers with headquarters in the Netherlands also uses FIDI programmes to develop its workforce, and sent Ciska Pieterse on the Barcelona MiM2. Managing director Jan Koets says investing in its people is of the ‘highest priority’ for the company.
‘We want to invest in today’s leaders and future leaders of our company, and Academy training programmes ensure our staff receive the best industry training and that they grow in their roles,’ he says. ‘Only by training your staff can you prepare for the future and retain your talent. Not being at work for a week is not that much of an issue, as our enthusiastic team members will always cover for each other – and training benefits us all.’
Philip Wells is SVP global move management, international division, at JK Moving (USA), which invests ‘heavily’ in in-house and external training. He says that ‘while any intensive training has an upfront cost, the return on this type of investment in your staff is invaluable – to both the individual’s career growth as well as the company’s long-term growth’.
Such courses are, he says, ‘a cornerstone for our company culture and overall produce a more experienced, well-rounded, and dynamic workforce’. He adds that sending staff on formal external training provides a good opportunity to measure the results of internal learnings to date – and to identify areas where the company can improve.
At Santa Fe Group – which sent two employees to the recent MiM2 – deputy CEO Runar Nilsen says the company takes a balanced approach to training, supplementing FIDI Academy online content and webinars, as well as local courses ‘which add an extra dimension’.
‘The minute we stop training and development of our people, we start on a road to failure,’ he says. ‘The planning and following up of training is an important part of our annual development planning and performance review with all individual employees in our group.’
Roupé adds that staff also appreciate the chance to meet their industry peers face to face, create networks, and form lasting friendships.
A retention must-have
Crucially, providing high-quality training also helps offer the career development opportunities modern employees are looking for – and helps companies retain them as a result.
‘If your staff cannot see a future for themselves in your company, they will go elsewhere,’ says Wells. ‘Ongoing training is crucial to employee retention, and employee retention is vital to a company’s growth and sustainability. JK invests heavily in its staff… including defining clear career paths for employees at all levels of the company.’
JK Moving advertises its FIDI training to potential new recruits, says Wells. ‘You cannot underestimate the importance of showing both your current and potential staff that you intend to invest in them, and of course following through on that promise,’ he says.
‘These programmes are an opportunity for your staff to push themselves and excel in a new environment; and the prized goal of attending that year’s FIDI conference certainly doesn’t hurt, either.’
Roupé adds: ‘To level up staff skills is a necessity for any company that wants to stay competitive, in terms of its service to customers but also as an employer. We truly believe that investing in our leaders and staff strengthens our employee value proposition and is an important signal to the market.’
At Santa Fe, Nilsen adds: ‘Continuous training and development is key to attracting and retaining the best people and giving internal career opportunities.’
Why the FIDI Academy?
So, of the many training programmes available, why did these businesses opt to send their staff on a FIDI Academy one in particular?
Nilsen continues: ‘Our inboxes are overflowing with all kind of training offers, so we are very selective. We chose FIDI because the industry input and experience from FIDI staff and colleagues was important to us, along with the more technical content of the agenda.
‘This type of external training was of course very limited during the COVID years, so we wanted to offer our participants something broader than our own focused training, and to give them the opportunity to meet colleagues from the industry and learn from them – not only from the FIDI lecturers.’
Wells agrees that staff get more when they take part in external FIDI training.
‘The FIDI EiM and MiM2 take staff out of their day-to-day comfort zone and push their boundaries,’ he says. ‘They are exposed to networking opportunities, given the ability to share ideas and challenges with their peers, while simultaneously being challenged by experienced industry trainers from the FIDI Academy.
‘The MiM2, in particular, is an ideal environment for a manager of any level in our industry, whether they are brand new to their management role, or have years of experience. There will always be a different view gained, perspective shared, or technique learned, and this is only possible in the environment that FIDI creates.’
Roupé says, as an Affiliate, a FIDI course is a ‘natural choice for the business’. ‘It is the best in its category.’ The company has recently decided to increase the number of staff its sends on both virtual and face-to-face FIDI Academy programmes.
‘Our experience with FIDI training has been fantastic and many of us at Atlas have enjoyed and benefited over the years,’ says Koets. ‘Ciska is at a phase in her career and holds a leadership role within Atlas that requires the skill MiM2 has to offer. The MiM2 training was the perfect way to further increase Ciska’s knowledge and to assist her with her further growth and development within our organisation.’
So, what did they think? Feedback from students from the Barcelona MiM2
Maud Juzio, Santa Fe
‘It was a very valuable, intense, and fun week. I really appreciated getting trained on management and leadership topics by industry colleagues, rather than a “standard” trainer with a cookie-cutter approach. After two years of online interactions, it was really refreshing to have some face-to-face time with my peers. It was an unforgettable experience.’
George Kabasele, Alfa Moving
‘The course was intense, but very interesting, very enriching and well structured. There was a lot to take away from the course that will be used in different aspects of my work. I would recommend it to anyone who can attend.’
Ciska Pieterse, Atlas International Movers
‘The MiM2 was a great experience. It was an intense week with a lot of theory, but there were many exercises to bring this into practice together with our fellow students. It was a good opportunity to discuss industry problems and to learn from each other. It definitely gave me some ideas to bring the theory into practice within our company. It was great to meet industry peers and extend my global network.’
Jackie Stouffer, JK Moving
‘I was originally registered for the MiM2 two years ago when I was new to managing a team. Since then, my goals have completely changed. MiM2 is invaluable for all levels of experience. Back then, I hoped to learn the basics of being a manager. Today, my goal was to share experiences and gain insights and bring some of this back to JK. The MiM2 is intense, but the more you participate, the more you will take away.’
FIDI online Academy course promotion
Of course, while in-person learning is incredibly valuable and fun, there are times when online courses can offer an effective alternative.
FIDI is running two ongoing promotions on its online training modules – see below. Benefits to your company include:
- Lower cost to the in-person training
- Allows you to offer a unique ongoing learning programme to your staff
- Flexibility for employees to learn at their desks, available 24/7
- Short but complete induction programmes to your newcomers
- Offers a wide range of topics for move coordinators, salespeople, quality managers and anyone involved in the moving or relocation process
The current FIDI Academy promotional options are:
- 12 months unlimited access to ALL FIDI Academy online training:
- 12 months unlimited access to ALL recorded webinars: €1,000/branch
FIDI’s next 2023 MiM will take place in Barcelona. Here are the key 2023 dates for your diary:
- Opening dinner: Sunday 17 September
- 5-day seminar: Monday 18-Friday 22 September
- Final evening dinner: Friday 22 September
- Departure: Saturday 23 September
If you are interested in participating in the next MiM² session, please contact Chantal Fera at firstname.lastname@example.org