UAP: Investing in People
Published on 14 May, 2020Latest News
UAP have implemented a phased return to work scheme which has this week seen all our staff back to working from home until it’s possible to return to our company base in Whitefield. Before it was time to get back to our makeshift home offices, a number of staff were placed on furlough as part of the government scheme to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic.
During the time when UAP temporarily closed its doors, furloughed staff took part in weekly Zoom training sessions ran by business consultant Nicola John as part of UAP’s Academy of Excellence, a scheme put together to give every member of UAP the skills and knowledge they need to be the highest performers in their field and as a result, UAP can become the biggest source of expertise and resources in the industry.
From the training, staff learned how to use SMART goals to set realistic, measurable and achievable goals for their work and personal lives. The aim of this was to build on and contribute to the high performance culture at UAP even as we work independently. Staff at UAP wanted to continue to learn and achieve whatever goals are possible under the current circumstances, however small.
Also covered was time management skills to help staff make the most of their days working from home since it can be harder to structure your time out of the office. Working from home introduces a whole host of new distractions and inconveniences, and so implementing smart time management techniques is essential. This included using Pomodoro timers and the Eisenhower matrix, which both add a bit of structure and some clear priorities to an otherwise likely irregular and open-ended daily routine.
Effective communication skills were another focus, informing staff how to build upon their verbal and non-verbal interpersonal skills. Active listening was explained as a vital way to better understand those we interact with, both at work and in our personal lives, as we can more readily remember information, details, verbal and non-verbal cues communicated to us and build relationships if we are able to listen actively – we have learned that this is something most people tend to think they do well but could actually improve!
Staff have also been developing documentation of their own personal work journeys by creating personal development logs to keep track of their training, achievements, and so on throughout their careers.
Ultimately, the time spent during furlough was a chance for us to take a step back, regroup, and develop insights into what we can do to improve the way we work once we’re fully back up and running. We’re confident that when that time comes (or now that we’re all back to work in our own homes) we can use our time in the Academy of Excellence training to provide our customers with the best possible customer service and act as the go-to fountain of knowledge for our industry.