Workforce Development Creates New Opportunities
Franchisees in Hawkes Bay are hoping to improve their business management skills through a special programme with Workforce Development.
Communications, computers, business development, how to complete forms and meet deadlines, and improving English skills, are all part of the specially designed course.
“We’ve had three sessions with Angela Sparks and so far the feedback has been really good. She is going to keep it fun and I have structured the course to best suit my teams and our industry,” says Regional Manager Abby Latu.
The opportunity arose incidentally when Abby was cold-calling potential customers to discuss Crest’s cleaning services. She rang the local Workforce Development office, which is a government-funded programme that provides education and career development. When she learned more about what they offered and that they’d be willing to tailor a free programme to meet the needs of her Crest Franchisees, she decided to go for it.
“I have a Team Meeting every two months and I had a representative from Workforce Development come and give a spiel about what they do. Right away, six franchisees put their hands up and said, ‘Yes, I really want to do it.’ I was thrilled,” recalls Abby.
Every week for the next 3-4 months, her franchisees will meet with instructors from Workforce Development who will guide them in methods to improve their computer literacy, how to enhance communications with customers, and ways they can grow their businesses.
“I’m expecting them to be more comfortable with themselves, talking to clients and when they’re out seeking new contracts. There are a lot of things that seem simple, like how to reply to emails and how to keep communications strong, that can be a challenge for Franchisees with English as their second language, and this course will help them with that,” says Abby.
“And it will improve their confidence. I’m all about empowering my teams to be excellent business owners,” she adds. “It’s about education. You’re developing your skills not just for and within your Crest Franchise, but with your family, your friends and your community.”