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Is your Learning and Development team your secret weapon when trying to level-up your Customer Experience?

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In this week's episode, Rob Flowers joins Simon and Matt to talk about the core role, culture and effectiveness of a Learning & Development (L&D) function.

Guest Speaker - Rob Flowers

Rob Flowers has worked in Contact Centers since 1996 and for the last 10 years has been leading contact centers with the purpose of enhancing customer service, increasing efficiency and developing people.

Rob enjoys transforming teams by analysing processes and customer demand.

Rob now leads the Customer Service and Fulfilment Centre for Blue Nile’s EU operations in Dublin Ireland. Connect with Rob Flowers on LinkedIn.

Generation ‘Z’ want progression, they want that development early on in their careers, and if they’re not getting it, they’ll move. So I really think that investment in L&D from day one, with the understanding at board level that they will get bang for their buck, but it’s not going to be something that’s going to happen over the next three or four months, it is a long term investment that they need to understand, will have an impact on retention and, and employee satisfaction.

Discussion Topics

  • What should the core role be of an L&D (Learning and Development) function be and how does this differ to HR?
  • What are the building blocks to getting the best out of your L&D function?
  • How do you create a collaborative culture between L&D and your operational management team?
  • How do you avoid the common problem that when things get busy development gets dropped?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of your learning program?
  • Is there fear that your L&D team will act as a conduit to the rest of the business meaning you lose your best people or is that just a fact of life?

Transcript

Simon Thorpe – Welcome to The CX Chat with Matt and Simon, the podcast series where we talk about the hottest topics in customer experience and invite special guests to join the debate. My name is Simon Thorpe and as ever I’m joined by Matthew Dyer. And for those who haven’t listened before, we like to describe ourselves as two chaps with bags of opinions and, and more importantly, loads of passion for the CX industry. Matty, how are you today?

Matt Dyer – Yeah, not too bad. It’s been a bit of a long week, but the friend of mine Rory has just cheered me up. So thanks, Rory. He sent me a little video from Twitter of this fella called Theo Santos he is about two and he’s making homemade pizza. So know what I’m doing tonight.

Simon – Are you going to get the kids involved, it’s like an instructional video.

Matt – Yeah, it looks like a lot of fun.

Simon – You’ll have to send you the link. Nice. Now before we get going to this week’s podcast, we’d like to say a big, big thank you to everyone who has downloaded and subscribed to the feed so far. We’re on all of the usual channels, Apple, Spotify, so for those of you that have listened, we really, really appreciate it. We are thrilled actually, because we’re consistently appearing in Apple’s top, top 100 list for tech podcasts. So when so yeah, big thanks to everyone for supporting us, as ever, we’d love to hear from you. So reviews, likes, subscriptions and direct messages, questions. They all give us an indication of whether the contents good, whether you like the style, whether the things that we should be covering for you, so, so please keep those coming in.

Matt – Yeah, funnily enough, my brother said that we should try and get Mr. Alex Ferguson. Sorry, Sir Alex Ferguson onto the show to talk about leadership. Nothing like having a bit of ambition. So I’ll put the feelers out. See we get on with that. And I know Simon, you probably prefer is it Bielsa at Leeds City?

Simon – Yeah, I’m not sure that i want Sir Alex as much as it’d be amazing guest I think it goes against my my Leeds allegiances, but you know, no guts, no glory, let’s say we’re going to have something to aim for.

Matt – Exactly. So if anybody’s got any thoughts and who they’d like us to get on the show, just let us know.

Simon – Talking of which should we should we crack on with this week’s thing because we’ve got a belta again. So this week we’re covering off, something that I hadn’t heard many people talk about of late and that’s ‘Is your learning and development team, your secret weapon when trying to level up your customer experience?’ And as ever, we’ve invited a special guest to help us tackle the subject matter. So I’m delighted to introduce an old pal of mine. He has a hugely enviable CV and holding CX and operational leadership roles at places like Amazon, Coca Cola, Vodafone, Wayfair. And then he’s now with Blue Nile, one of the world’s leading Fine Jewellery and diamond retailers, and so a big welcome Rob Flowers. How are you sir?

Read the full transcript

Rob Flowers – I’m good Simon, how are you?

Simon – Yeah, really good actually, really good, the sun shining. How is it in sunny Dublin today?

Rob – It’s, it’s sunny which is which is strange considering where we are so yes, we have a nice week actually. So it’s been great looking out the window and seeing the sun, hopefully long may that continue as we can use the gardens a little bit more and go on longer walks hopefully so yeah, it’s it’s fine here.

Matt – Question for you Rob. Is the Guinness as good as they say it is in Dublin because I for one am itching for a pint?

Rob – Yeah, so it’s a great question and it is so much better. It, again it’s I was actually at the Guinness Storehouse with my parents a couple of months ago they came over to visit and it was the one thing that my dad said first of all on the list you know, okay we are we want to meet meet you and the family and see how the thing is, but when can we go to the Guinness storehouse. And so we went over and yeah, he tried it there and he said It’s so much different I think you’ll get used to it. I’ve been in Ireland now for for six years. So it’s just normal for me. But for people visiting, they definitely say that they can taste the difference. And so who am I to argue with that? But it is Yeah, it’s pretty awesome over here.

Matt – Well Simon, let’s take a trip out there mate.

Simon – You’re on your own mate, I had a very bad experience, Guinness was the the the drink of choice that my dad tried to educate me on in my early years. And it’s, it’s stuck with me. So, yeah, I’ll happily take a trip over but I might be sticking to the larger I’m afraid. Anyway, should we should we crack on chaps? Because Yeah, I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into this debate today. So yeah, I suppose before we get going, I suppose we should try and think about and clarify suppose what we mean by an L&D function in the context of customer experience. And I suppose the first question I wanted to pose really was Rob your experience is there, is there a difference between L&D and maybe your classic HR function? And how do those two departments if they are on different? How do they kind of intertwine and run, collectively?

[What do we mean by an L&D function in the context of customer experience]

Rob – Yeah, it’s a great question, Simon. And I think L&D is always sort of fitted into the HR function as a whole, because when you talk about people and people development, HR seems to be the starting bit of the umbrella that then leads down into other functions. Um I think it’s established itself more as a individual process recent more recently, I think, gone are the days where L&D has become part of HR, I think HR, you know, tend to concentrate a lot more on recruitment, you know, workplace safety, employee relations, compensation, planning, all those other things. I don’t think there’s enough time in the day now for HR to really concentrate as much on the training and the leadership development side of things where I’ve seen success of learning and development departments, they’ve been their own entity. And they’ve, you know, and the most successful ones, I’ve seen it have all reported into the operations team. So, though I think historically, yes, people say, you know, HR has the ownership of a leadership development function, I’m seeing more and more companies move those to one side, and they become their own entity or reporting to the operation teams. And I think that’s where you get more success from those teams as well.

Simon – Does that mean then that you, because in my experience, having spent a fair bit of time in operations, but obviously nowhere near in terms of the management background that you have. Do you sometimes get a divide or a level of conflict between an L&D team if it’s not under an operational management kind of leadership construct, you know, if they’re if they’re running as a separate entity, can you sometimes get, you know, a culture of them and us?

Rob – Absolutely 100% and I think that stems again, from when a leadership Development Team sits in a different part of the operation, their objectives, and their focus is sometimes different to the shop floor. And I think, you know, again, where I’ve seen leadership development not be effective is when they sit you down at the start of the year. And they say, this is our roadmap for the year ahead. And it’s got nothing to do or very little to do with actually what’s required from an operational perspective. And I think that’s when you get the conflict. Um so there needs to be those conversations straight up with regards to the requirements. But if they work in silos, like I’ve seen happen, the leadership development team is ineffective, it’s busy, and it’s doing stuff, which they see as value add. But actually, when it comes to the crux of thing, it’s not supporting the operation as much as it can do and that’s why you need that partnership from day one.

Matt – Is that because the operation doesn’t actually buy into the L&D function, and cause historically it was sitting within the HR function. It was just kind of seen as right as a tick box exercise.

Rob – Totally 100% like you’re totally right with that. It’s seen as it’s seen as an add on, it’s seen as something that’s away from the operation. It’s sometimes even seen as something that isn’t supportive of what’s required. And I hate to say this, and this might be a little bit controversial, but when you batch something, under HR function, there’s a lot of operational people who feel or fear to some degree HR as a function. And that is a totally separate entity. You know, and, and I’ve seen it not work in those in those, those areas, and operational managers are absolutely right, you know, fearful of, of what they are, what they’re going to do and what they’re going to tell you, you need rather than be part of a process where you’re discussing as a total entirety, what the department needs going forward. And I think that’s where you start to see, you know, issues and conflict amongst those two teams.

Matt – Yeah, and I guess that’s where the strategic element of HR kind of driving the business forward needs to have a strong voice to kind of say L&D needs to be front and centre of how to elevate our business.

Rob – Totally, and again, I don’t think enough companies do that. And I think, you know, I think in some areas, L&D isn’t taken isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. And I’ve worked in companies before, and I’m sure you have as well, where there is an L&D function there, but nobody really knows what they do. And nobody really understands the roadmap. They need to be front and centre, as you rightly say Matt they need to be a lot more involved in the operational processes and meetings and really understanding where the company’s going from an operational perspective. Because without that, again, their focus is taken somewhere else. And you know, you they may be delivering on certain areas, but they may not be the right areas. And I think as soon as you set up that separate entity from an L&D perspective, um you’ve probably lost it a little bit, they need to be a lot more involved.

Simon – It’s interesting you talking about that? Because we’ve covered similar sort of things on some of the podcasts we’ve done before Rob respects and I would imagine this a similar sort of area is that do L&D teams, a bit like customer experience need to show their worth to the business and almost get some quick wins some linkage to you know, profit, costs whatever the you know, the board is going to get excited about to try and get that, that reputation and and that buy in.

[Investment in L&D isn’t a short term thing]

Rob – To a degree fortunately yes, I think because I think the board will be asking for, you know, it’s not it’s not cheap, L&D is a massive investment companies need to put in and they want to they want to see the bang for the buck, as they say, don’t they, they want to see results off the back of it. But investment in L&D isn’t a short term thing. It needs to be a long term thing. And yes, I agree that, you know, if you can get some quick wins out of the door early on, then that’s that’s great. But it shouldn’t be seen as a department that’s going to is going to bring in quick wins, it should be about long term future strategy. And what when L&D teams work and they work well and they link in well with the operations, you know, the results are fantastic and you can take it back now to employee engagement. You know every single interview that i conduct pretty much the questions that come from candidates is ‘What training will I get?’, ‘What support will I get?’ And, and most companies, you know, most people turn around and say, yeah, we’ve got an L&D team, you know, you’ll have the opportunity to progress your career and to do more. But there’s a lot of companies that say that and then don’t deliver on that, you know, I’ve worked in two companies, which will remain nameless, where the L&D team was one person. So you could say, Yes, we have an L&D team, but there wasn’t enough investment in those teams to actually do much with it and, you know, with with the generation Z and and you know, how people are these days, they want that progression. They want that development early on in their careers, and if they’re not getting it, they’ll move. And so I really think that investment in in L&D from day one, um with the understanding at board level that they will get bang for their buck, but it’s not going to be something that’s going to happen over the next three or four months, it is a long term investment that they need to understand, you know, will have an impact on retention and, and employee satisfaction.

Matt – Yeah, we’ve seen that recently with a an organisation we acquired a few months ago where they’ve got kind of a drop everything and learn day that’s kind of built into their week. So they get the chance to kind of learn new technology, learn new skills, and then from a kind of an upsell and creativity and I guess, creating people’s personal brands and kind of elevating the business has worked really well for them. So I think that’s going to be sort of things that we start to see embedded within our, in our organisation as a function of that, which kind of aligns to what you’ve just mentioned.

[Continuous learning is vital in ensuring you keep staff motivated and engaged]

Rob – Yeah, that’s great. I mean, that’s great to hear. I think it’s an awesome idea. And, you know, I think there’s, again, too many organisations these days, who are very reactive within the L&D world, that they see a gap and they say, right, we need to do some training, or we need to get some people in to support us in this, rather than that continuous learning piece, that progression piece where, you know, the roadmaps been agreed with the operational team, and then they stick to it and they adhere to it and people know what’s coming. And you know, L&D, you know, and that continuous as I say, that continuous learning piece is vital in ensuring, you know, you keep the staff motivated, engaged and also, you know, people want to learn more people want to learn different things as well. And it’s a big motivator. I’ve had too many exit interviews with people, unfortunately, in my career where they’ve said, yeah, I just wasn’t developed enough. And that that, to me is a big concern and that’s why I put a lot of my time and investment in the whole learning and development piece.

Simon – Rob, how do you how do you manage this process? I’m thinking in the contact centre environment where your phone and demand is just going off the charts everything’s red. How do you how do you start, how do you kind of pull the plug on anything that isn’t bodies on the phone? Cuz that that happens all the time, doesn’t it? That’s the common problem I see time and time again around coaching and and development is that he does things get busy. That’s the first to get chopped.

[Invest in workforce management tools]

Rob – Yeah, absolutely. And you ask any any call centre professional and they say what’s the first thing to go it’s always the coaching the one to ones the development time for people. And it’s a tough one and they understand it. But at the same time, people know that this is required now, and therefore in the forecasting, and that, you know, they need to invest now a lot more in workforce management tools, so that they know these things are going to happen so that they can plan accordingly around them. You know, what I’ve noticed in a couple of big businesses that I’ve worked in, and I think this is great, because it’s being upfront and honest, there’s nothing worse than pulling learning development opportunities the day before, when people are really geared and excited about that sort of stuff, which seems to happen or sometimes, as you’ve said, Simon, actually on the day, all of a sudden, this, this 30 calls in queue and all the training, development gets pulled. You’ve got to think about the people in these circumstances that they’re wanting to be developed and pulling the rug from under their feet is not good. So it’s about proper planning. And I think you know, what I’ve done in these these two companies is we turn around to our staff and said for eight months of the year, we will put a lot of investment in your development. We will put a lot of investment in training for you. You will learn a lot. Now, there’ll be four months of the year, generally peak, um where that’s not going to happen. But you’ll be able to within those times, utilise the skills that we’ve given you in the other eight months. And I think as long as you’re honest and upfront with regards to that approach, and you’ll have that good forecasting, so you can say to people, it is going to happen, or it ain’t gonna happen at certain times, then they continue that journey with you. Um obviously, things change, you know, and all of a sudden you see spikes in certain areas. And it is the first thing to be pulled to be pulled it for me, that’s about communication. So it’s about making sure that the associates are aware that, you know, when 95% sure that this is going to go ahead, um if something happens, it won’t. But the key to that then as well, Simon is to turn around and say, it’s not gonna happen on this particular day, but what it is, but it is going to happen on this particular day. So, you know, again, I’ve seen a lot of scenarios where people have just said, right, we need to pull that training, and no one’s then rebook that training in at a further date and it’s just gone by the wayside. We have to be consistent with regards to making sure that he gets done.

Matt – Just on that point, actually, Rob. Are you starting to see more organisation using kind of micro movement training in the kind of approach to I guess conflict or CSAT so from an agent’s repetitively having bad calls, it kind of is an opportunity then to surface up a specific piece of training for at that point in time, so that the next time they take a call is actually been trained on the fly, so they can actually deliver a better service because to me, that feels like while you might pool specific types of training, that sort of training seems really important,

[Micro feedback, more companies should be doing it and the technology is there]

Rob – It’s vital and there’s nothing worse than getting feedback from a QA process at the end of the month saying that you’ve said that you’ve made the same mistake five times. You know, it is about fixing that root cause as and when I’m seeing more companies do it, I don’t think it happens enough still. And I think the technology is absolutely out there now with with call recording and, and other systems, which are absolutely allowing that immediate feedback to be to be given but again Matt, we need to make sure that we’re given the time for the associates to review that, and that, again, comes to the workforce planning piece. So I think more companies are using it. I think more companies should. Um I think what happens when you get that immediate feedback, if there is issues, the tendency to get that problem fixed is there, because I think we’ve all sat down, we’ve all done QA sessions, we’re turning around saying, you listen to this call, you took this nine weeks ago, can you remember it? This is what you did wrong, you know, no one remembers necessarily a call that they did nine weeks ago. But if you’re giving that micro feedback, you know, within an hour of them actually taking the call is going to resonate, and they’re going to do something about it. So more more companies should be doing it and the technology’s there. I don’t think enough companies are investing in that at the moment.

Matt – I just wonder now that a lot more agents are going to be being remote moving forward, the necessity to kind of support them because they probably know that they’ve not had a great call. And they’re probably feeling the stress around that. So I wonder if if this is going to be a kind of a trigger and drive more micro movement training?

Rob – Yeah, I think so I think with the world changing as it is doing it, the pace it is doing as well. Um, and it’s obviously more difficult when you’re in a remote environment to be on top of everything at all times any sort of technology support that you can get is going to help. Um I think, you know, the responsibility of the associate is is a lot higher, they have to be a lot more self motivated to work when they’re in their own environment to a degree. And so being able to provide that level of interaction, you know, after each and each and every call, but after after any issues with regards to cause I think absolutely, absolutely key and I think we will see a growth in that as the remote working expands as much as it is doing at the moment.

Simon – I just want to take a step, step back a second from something you were saying, Rob, but I’m interested to get your thoughts on this matter as well. So when, when you say when you’re talking about exit interviews and people saying well, how wasn’t developed what what are the themes do you think that people are particularly interested in, I mean is it, the reason I’m asking this question is we know that lots of contact centres in particular, tend to have this this perception of transient labour and people using it as a springboard into the wider operation. So if they’re saying, look, I wasn’t developed enough, are they asking for development around contact centre capabilities or or things that might help them progress in the operation? Or is it more generalist skills that they’re feeling could’ve it help them adapt in the wider business. Matty I’ll come to you first, what do you think?

Matt – Yeah, I think it’s a challenge that they don’t actually ask the staff what they want from training and allied to that as they don’t ask how they want to consume it either. So it could be that if I’m new into the business of 21 year old, maybe I wanted to do it via via virtual reality or augmented reality, but you’re probably not going to get asked that question. You then get demotivated or turned off from it and then yeah, you’re gonna kind of think, well, I’m not gonna hang about.

Simon – Ummm? What do you think Rob?

Rob – Yeah, I agree totally with with Matt, I think we don’t have enough conversations with associates in those in those first few weeks. I think as I said earlier, you know, the expectations of new hire now is that they want to immulse themselves and engage themselves in so many different things. Um, you know, it’s difficult to, to do it individually with people. But I think I think again, it’s about being honest and upfront with people from from day one, that we are going to train you, we are going to develop you, we are going to have the conversations with regards to the skills that that you need and require, I think there is a tendency Simon to always go down the route of, you’re going to be a contact centre for the rest of your life, so I’m going to give you the skills to be really good in the contact centre. When actually there’s definitely more that we can get out of people if we do more stuff on the behavioural pieces. And again, I think, you know, an effective learning and development programme gives both it gives it gives the skills to do the job that they’re paid for, to do better. But it also gives him that some of all those those life skills as well. Because, you know, I think we all know, you know, is a, you know, people who go into contact centres generally, you know, the straight out of university, you know that they’re looking at that first step on the on the ladder. And I think we owe it to them putting that investment in both both sides of the understanding and being able to do the job better, but also some life skills as well.

Matt – Yeah, I think if organisations are looking to differentiate from a CX perspective, if the learning and development function isn’t enabling, I guess their staff to move within the business, they’re probably not doing their role correctly. So I think it’s a kind of a probably a good metric for L&D teams to kind of look at to see how many people are leaving the contact centre floor?

Rob – You’re absolutely right. And I’ve certainly worked in a company where the L&D targets and the metrics that they were managed to was was around attrition, but it was attrition to other departments within the company and they were given a target that they wanted to see year on year that number increase so that more and more people were staying with the company and doing bigger and bigger and better things, which is which is an awesome thing to have as a goal, I think and okay, you’re gonna have people leave, you know, that’s just just natural. Um but at the same time really having that focus on internal placements and internal movements, I think it’s really key for an L&D department to have as it’s, it’s one of its major goals.

[Internal placements and internal movements]

Simon – It’s not a massive pain in the backside for you, though, Rob, if you’re running the operation, I mean, if I’m looking at my my recruitment budget, every year and and thinking people are just using me as the springboard, that’s that’s gonna knark me I would have thought after a while if I’m constantly losing my best people, or is it just a fact of life? Have you just got to accept it?

Rob – Yeah, I think if you ask the question to my superiors, they’d be disappointed with the response that I’m going to give. [LAUGHTER] In this in the sense that I love to see people get on and it is part of is one of the things why I’ve been in the industry so long to see people come into an organisation with very little skills, very little experience and to see them develop and move on and to make a career for themselves, whether that be with me within the organisation that I’m in, or externally or within a different department that, for me is a massive motivational factor for me. And I think you just have to take it on the chin, I think if you’re doing your job properly, um you’re seeing people move up the ladder, and also you then have the confidence, Simon, that when new people come in, you know that you’ve got an L&D team and a support service, which will get those people up to the same standard within a short period of time. So, you know, as long as you’ve got that structure in place, you know, I think I think that sort of attrition is really, really positive in the sense of it shows that you’re doing something right, so it shows that you’re doing something well and that you’re focusing on the right things.

Matt – Yeah. And from a naive view perspective it might be a good way to leverage to get more budget for the following year.

Rob – Absolutely. Look at all these… hey, finance, look at all these people I’m developing give me give me more money and I’ll do it to more people and stuff like that. So, and we’ve seen actually on the on the flip side, you know, and again, I think this, this shows when when you’ve got a strong L&D team, where people are being developed, you know, people always say that, you know, working in a contact centre is sort of like the starting room. I’ve seen people move from other departments into customer service, because they’ve seen this sort of development that those people get. So a lot of people assume that, you know, it is that startup and you just lose people to different roles or externally to different jobs. But actually, if you’ve got a really strong department, delivering great customer service, and giving people the opportunity to learn and develop, you can actually bring people in from other functions, and I’ve seen that work really well.

Simon – That is such a good point, Rob. And you’re right there isn’t that that perception at all. And it’s interesting actually, years ago, I used to run and actually, about the time when you and I first met Rob, I used to run a C-level dinner, once a quarter with people from not just customer experience, actually from, from all walks of life through the media business I used to work out, and, and it was amazing how many of those people that sat in board level positions had started in either a contact centre or frontline service role. And every single one of them was a huge advocate to say, whenever you start, if you’ve got the capability to put them in the front facing customer facing role, you learn more about what’s going on than you will in any other function

Rob – Totally 100%  and, you know, I think we’re all the same. I started off how many years ago um working for an airline, you know, selling flights, you know, that was my first job 12 hour shifts 10 till 10 working for an airline and I’ve always been, you know, an advocate, anyone who joins the company in whatever level you know, come and listen to calls come listen to what our customers are saying. And you know, my I got an email from my VP this morning. He was actually taking calls last night. He was taking calls and he was doing some online chat with customers to keep him ahead of the you know of the game. And that’s so refreshing for someone like me and for my staff to see that the VP is getting his hands dirty at what’s a busy time for us at the moment and actually taking course now he’s email did say apologies can somebody clear up the mess that I’ve made? [LAUGHTER] And yeah, he was given away six carat diamonds for 400Euro, no he wasn’t quite wasn’t quite that bad. But you know, everyone who joins a company you know they have to within their induction go and listen to calls go and spend some time you know and and sit with the associates who are experts in their job to see what our customers are saying and see what reaction we’re getting from our customers, it’s a vital part of an induction.

(Voice of the Employee)

Simon – Absolutely agree. And we’ve certainly talked about it on the podcast previously as well as, as well as sitting with your frontline people, you know, ask them for their input their their ideas or suggestions on how to improve things from a CX process procedure point of view because they will know better than anyone what upsets customers so, again, that voice of the employee, in tapping into those ideas is so few and far used which is a real shame.

Rob – It is and and, you know, for easy improvement in engagement scores, it’s the way that companies need to go walk around, talk to the staff, I mean, Amazon are great at the whole gemba process of looking at process improvements and ideas. And there’s nothing better and I’ve experienced this myself where, you know, an associate whose six months in the door had wrote up on a whiteboard, an idea for a process improvement that we then, no one else had thought about, that we then took away and started to look at, and we got that employee involved in the project. You know, so got them time off the phones to come and talk about their idea and their thoughts. And then to see that being implemented and the impact that it had on the rest of that person’s team, but also themselves, to see them, you know, grow and be so motivated. The fact that these people have come up with these ideas and we’ve actually then gone around with it is phenomenal, and it is brilliant. You can’t, you can’t pay for that and it’s awesome to see.

Simon – Hallelujah, sir. Yes, I wish. Yeah. I mean, you just said it absolutely perfectly. There is so much power in that. Hey, listen, this is this is such a good topic. I know we could go on for hours and hours and hours, but sadly we can’t. So we what we do on every podcast is we finish and leave the listeners with three take homes that they can hopefully take back to their operations, maybe think about things differently, have a read of something, whatever that might be. So um so and so let’s let’s leave the listeners with some of these take homes. What do you think Rob?

Rob – So for me, a big take out and great learning for me is get L&D involved in early doors don’t don’t use them as an afterthought or something six weeks into a project where you think you need to get L&D involved. There’s so much they can offer and so much difference that they can bring to the table as well. So think L&D when you’re thinking about any project and how much they can give you.

Simon – Fantastic. What about you, Matty?

Matt – Yeah, I think a big one for me is making sure you got a framework in place. So from an learning and development perspective, think about the task, the outcome that you’re looking for, then from that you can research what’s the most effective content strategy to deliver an outcome? So that’d be the key one for me.

Simon – Yeah, like it like it. I think for me, I’m gonna go back to something you said earlier, Matty about asking your frontline staff, what kind of things that they want to learn what, you know, what do they want to be developed in? You know, giving him some control over that, or certainly some input. I think he’s a really engaging idea. So love to see more of that. Um as I said, before, we can go on and on but um, but huge thank you to Rob Flowers for joining us today. You’ve been an exemplary guest Rob, have you errr, have you enjoyed jumping on the pod with us?

Rob – It’s been it’s been great. And like I say, I could talk for another another six hours on this subject. It’s fascinating and it’s great. It’s great to be able to talk to you guys about this.

Simon – Well listen, we really appreciate it and your input from some of the places you’ve worked, I’m sure people want to follow up with you. Um, we obviously in the, in the promotional social media piece that we put out we’ll, we’ll add Rob’s bio in there, Rob best best way to contact you, is it through LinkedIn?

Rob – Yeah, absolutely, people have contacted me on on LinkedIn or Twitter @RobertFlowers um yeah, more than happy to answer any questions or speak to anyone about this subject or more.

Simon – Fantastic. Thank you, Rob. Matty been a good one today.

Matt – Yeah, really enjoyed it. As always learned a lot of new things.

Simon – And most importantly, we want that trip to er Dublin next, don’t we?

Matt – Yeah, I’d like to sample a pint of Guinness.

Rob – Absolutely. We have to wait a little bit till the pubs are open again I’m afraid. We’ll get it sorted.

Matt – Well, we’ll be darkening your door don’t worry about that.

Rob – Not a problem, you’re more than welcome.

Simon – Matty it’s been a pleasure as always, um and a big thank you to all of our listeners. As we said at the top of this podcast we are thrilled to get the feedback you’ve given us so far, but keep that coming in. Thanks for listening. Stay safe and well until next time, goodbye.

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