Last week exhibited at the East Midlands Expo and what a great time we had. Like any exhibition it provided us with an excellent opportunity to network with local engineering companies across the Midlands.
Attending allowed us to reach a specific audience which our training is extremely relevant to. It also gave us the opportunity to network, enhance our reputation as a leading training provider and ultimately provide companies with the knowledge on how to upskill their workforce.
Why were we at the Expo? Let’s just say, we know our facts.
An abundance of engineering companies are predominantly Midlands based. High value engineering constitutes 6% of employees in the region and 19.5% of the working population in the UK, making the sector one of great importance. It has however, been identified that there are skill shortages within the engineering sector, particularly in the following; research and development and problem solving.
According to The IET annual survey, the “skills gap” has worsened for the ninth year in a row. This gap has not gone unnoticed either, having since become an important economic issue and one of the reasons for Britain’s strained productivity. Bridging the skills gap is therefore required in order to equip engineers with the essential skills that will ultimately help businesses plan for a sustainable future, progression and survival.
Managers, take note.
Managerial skills are also a very important factor within the sector. Selecting and developing the correct people to run a business is crucial. Paired with practical knowledge, skills such as leading change, performance management and practical problem solving are very important.
With the skills shortage threatening the sustainability of businesses nationwide, it is paramount that businesses upskill their workforce in order to lead effectively. The overwhelming consensus among employers is that too many employees lack skills such as; critical thinking and problem solving, collaborative/teamwork, communication, adaptability/managing multiple priorities, planning/organisation.
It has been reported that Britain only produces around 25,000 engineering graduates per year, however Sir James Dyson has said that he would require 3000 if his company is able to expand further. A shortage of engineers and necessary skills can have a detrimental effect to economic sustainability of engineering employers, with many companies having reportedly said that the shortage could be “a threat to their business in the UK”.
Without transferring and developing knowledge, there is a risk that a huge amount of experience will be lost to the industry within the years to come. The importance of engineering is significant not only to the economy but also with regards to employment. Every new engineering role, creates an additional two jobs within the economy, therefore make it a priority to upskill.
Team building activities are often favoured by many businesses as they increase morale, improve productivity and develop team skills. One of the many ways employees benefit from completing a team away day is through a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Team building also allows employees to return to the office feeling reinvigorated, often with a new set of problem-solving skills and improved working relationships.
Improve Communication Skills
Team building is incredibly useful for strengthening existing relationships and welcoming new colleagues. By working through an activity as a group, it allows people to apply their skills and break down any barriers between individuals.
People who are not used to working together get a chance to work as part of a team and by working through a task, the wealth of skills within the team is highlighted and the group learns new and varied ways of working together.
Develop team roles
Each team member has the opportunity to take ownership in a team away day. It provides individuals with a platform to focus and develop on what they are best at, and allows them to find their niche within a team so that everyone can best contribute as an individual while still performing together.
Often, an advantage to a company team away day, is that you will be able to get to know your employees better and tap into their potential. Part of participating in a team building day, is that you can learn new things about yourself and others that you may not have previously realised.
In a busy, high-pressured environment, it can be often difficult for employees to find time to develop new skills and relationships. Away from the office, team building activities allow each member of the team a chance to get to know one another and their strengths and weaknesses.
Team building is invaluable, especially because it promotes better working relationships, offers a shared positive experience and allows people to better understand their strengths and weakness. Once these have been identified, you can then look to improve weaknesses.
Team building provides an opportunity for the team to participate in activities together in an experience where everyone starts with an equal level of knowledge about the given tasks. The day often requires people to use their initiative in order to complete the task successfully. Working on task together, helps to develop relationships quickly, as well as boost morale.
Value your employees
Team building events and away days are among the most effective ways of increasing levels of engagement within an organisation. If employees feel that their contribution is valued, they will be more encouraged to demonstrate effort and commitment to the organisation.
If your team are looking participate in a team away day experience, we can help whatever your location or goals.
The changing seasons can often have an effect on workplace productivity, however by noticing what makes people happy as well as successful in their careers, leaders can help both themselves and their employees towards greater productivity within the workplace.
Here are four simple tips to create positive environments that promote wellbeing, energy and happiness.
Give people the opportunity to take a break from tasks as this will keep their energy high. Breaks lead to fresher minds, greater problem-solving and improved creative thinking. Encourage employees to take breaks whenever they see fit (within reason). Set up a dedicated break room, and fill it with things that will take your employees minds off their work for a few minutes - complimentary coffee, fruit or even a game.
Recognise achievements and embrace them! Whenever a team or individual hits a major goal, or when the business reaches a milestone, treat them. You don’t have to spend vast amounts of money or for it even to take up a lot of time, but hosting a mini gathering makes a big impact. It helps people to reflect on their hard work, spend time together and feel good about the progress the business has made.
Ensuring employees develop new skills and hone expertise is both rewarding and profitable, and proves an excellent way to boost engagement.
Get people to take ownership and invest in their own skills, with training and creative sessions that provide a break from the admin that often dominates workloads. This can be in the form of a bespoke training programme, spending the day out of the office learning a different skill or a team building exercise.
Share with your team
Creating a collaborative process with your team has wide-ranging effects, and all are positive. When leaders share ideas and updates with their employees, open communication becomes second nature, and everyone feels equally invested in the company’s overall goals and values.
When all ideas are heard and considered, each member of the team feels valued, and ultimately more satisfied with the workplace. Include your employees in decisions and discussions whenever possible, and try to be transparent about the reasoning behind your decisions.
When leaders are transparent about the current health and future goals of the company, employees often have an improved understanding of their role within the bigger picture. This can lead to innovative solutions and problem-solving. Leaders should also promote a culture of continuous improvement where it's common practice for everyone to give and receive feedback.