By John Son
What is the recipe to an engaged and empowered workforce? It has a lot to do with how much you support and train your staff, as Ten7 Security is showing.
The Otara-based company has made huge efforts to put training at the heart of its culture, and the results so far prove this is a wise approach. In particular, Ten7 has invested heavily in literacy training and support. This is to make sure its staff have the reading, writing, and other fundamental skills needed to make the most of their training – a common challenge in the security industry.
Workplace Literacy Fund provider Aspire2 has been the driving force behind the initiative. Aspire2 worked with Gloria McGirr, an independent consultant and workplace assessor, to develop Ten7’s literacy programme. Combining literacy and security expertise has enabled Aspire2 to effectively deliver a uniquely customised programme to Ten7.
“Ten7 employees work through a mountain of training material that can be very daunting. I work with them to develop their confidence and understanding,” Gloria explains.
“It’s great that Ten7 really want to help their staff not only pass the compulsory security training, but also really understand what the legislation means.”
Strong foundations essential for success
Gloria says that the key to success was embedding literacy into the staff’s security training and learning material, to make it as accessible as possible for them.
“In other words, I made it clear that it was not my job to ‘teach security’, but to develop and increase the literacy capability of staff,” says Gloria.
“I became really excited as I could see Ten7 were serious about improving their staff, not just getting them their CoA (Certificate of Approval).”
But it wasn’t all just Gloria – the leaders at Ten7 also played an immense role in engaging and supporting staff with their learning, she says. Some of the steps they took include:
- Converting a storage room into a dedicated training room with new furniture and equipment
- Providing morning and afternoon tea and lunches for each training session
- Creating a company Uber account to help staff get to work if they don’t have transport
“If you look after your staff, they look after your company. We’re always thinking about how we can better support staff and what we can do to help them,” says Jagjit Singh, managing director at Ten7.
The importance of quality training in security
With health and safety still an area for improvement in the security industry, Gloria says that proper training is more important than ever. Not only must staff have the technical skills to carry out their job, they need to have the confidence and ability to understand the legislation around it.
“Many employers still need to lift their game and invest in better training,” says Gloria.
“It is one thing to do the compulsory, basic units, but if staff do not complete the foundation level security qualification, they miss out on so much valuable information.”
Jagjit agrees about the value of training, saying that a good training programme has helped the company bond closer with its staff.
“Good training builds relationships between staff and the company. We can see what they need to work on, and help them get to where they want to be,” he says.
“It also helps build their confidence, makes them feel valued, and minimises risk.”
Jagjit says that Skills has been “really helpful” in implementing the training at Ten7, with Account Manager Lothar Hartel taking the time to explain everything that was required with the training.
“It’s important to remember that the likelihood of a qualification being completed in the workplace is often directly related to the support from the ITO (industry training organisation)”, adds Gloria.
“The experience with Skills has been one of my best so far, and I’ve worked with many ITOs over the years.”
Smiles and laughter indicators of success
So how is the new training approach at Ten7 working out? According to Gloria, the faces of the staff at Ten7 give the biggest hints.
“It is obvious to me that the comprehension is increasing when I can see the confidence developing and the laughter being generated,” says Gloria.
“I’m a firm believer that if a learner laughs during a training session, they are more likely to remember what they learned that day.”
The staff at Ten7 fully endorse Gloria’s approach, giving overwhelmingly positive feedback. Learners have described her as “passionate” and “good at explaining things”, and said she makes it easy to relate the training to their everyday work. But most importantly, they all agree that she simply makes them want to come to work and do the training.
“My success is totally measured on the level of engagement I can achieve with the employees,” concludes Gloria.
“At Ten7, every one of these targets have been achieved. Full credit to them as they have totally understood the need to invest in their people – and the rewards are already showing for their company.”