Development in Business

Facts to Know About Learning and Development in Business

Learning and development strategy is the strongest pillar that establishes high performance, provides optimum results and success to the company. Millions of organisations worldwide spend a large part of their total business capital to improve skills and performance of their employees. Learning and development also serve as a catalyst to build confidence in employees to face bigger challenges in their career. So implementing a smart learning and development strategy is essential to drive effectiveness.

However, sometimes inadequate budget, project deadlines, unresponsiveness of training department, improper management and lack of initiative restrict from executing learning and development plans. In absence of professional guidance and training, an organisation faces shortcomings such as low employee performance, resources not utilised properly, inconsistency in employee outputs, less employee engagement and low employee retention rate. Employees are the most valuable asset for any business, but as a result of inadequacies, many organisations are unable to implement best practices and often end up receiving low profitability.

Developing a strong learning culture at work is really important and Shannon Pigram, a multi-talented HR executive specialising in business development and learning, talent management and employee engagement can help Australian businesses to reach that level. He has been involved in developing learning and development strategies for the past 14 years. You can get insights on his work by visiting Allihoopa and Aeriagames. Shannon understands that an organisation’s success depends entirely on being proactive with learning and development to increase the productivity of the employees and thus increase the business. Get to know more about Shannon Pigram by reading his biography or visiting Wesrch.

Here are some key considerations for a successful learning and development strategy.

  • Strategy should be aligned with business strategy

When planning out learning and development strategy ensure that it is aligned with your overall business strategy. This is important because your organisation’s learning and development needs are unique, for example, your organisation has placed priority on brand marketing strategy then you should integrate marketing courses into your L&D strategy. Subscribe to Shannon’s YouTube channel to get acquainted with the strategy.

  • Make L&D a priority

Make your learning and development strategy an organisational priority. As said before that an organisation’s success depends entirely on being proactive about L&D strategy so it is important. A senior officer, for example, a corporate learning officer or training official, should drive its development and granted adequate budget, resources and support. In case, your organisation lacks such people then you can hire an external L&D strategy developer who can help your organisation reach its full potential.

  • Conduct an internal assessment

Conducting an internal stakeholder assessment helps identify the various stakeholders and help you understand what they require from your L&D strategy. Pick up the purchase by making them a part of the process. Taking the above example of marketing and branding priority, consult the marketing team to know and incorporate their learning and development needs as well.

  • Incorporate the best learning tools

When you are planning out the learning and development strategy for your organisation, consider incorporating the best learning tools. Some of the present best tools for integrative corporate learning include leadership coaching, leadership exercises, guided case study analysis and real-world learning in global business hot-spots.

  • Think about the future

As learning and development needs of your organisation and management training tools and resources evolve and change, so should your learning and development strategy. Build your management development objectives and improvement goals into your learning and development strategy.

So, these are some of the facts you need to look into before building learning and development strategy for your organisation.

Technological Advancements

Impact of Technological Advancements on our Lifestyle

Just take a moment to look around you and observe the changes you notice in your lifestyle from say, a decade back. It is guaranteed that not many things are the same. This is because of the huge strides made in technological advancements that have touched every part of your lives. The rise of the Internet is the first defining factor, radically modifying the way you behave, pick up nuggets of information or even go on a shopping spree. Every sector, from health care to education, from beauty care to communication, literally nothing that affects your life has been left untouched. Whether everything has been for the better or for worse is a matter of debate but that lifestyles have been impacted – there can be not an iota of doubt about it.

What then are the key areas in which technological advancements have impacted lifestyles?

  • Travelling – Modern innovations have enabled people to move across national borders with ease and fast and have shrunk the world to a global village. From the times the first car rolled out in 1886 or the first powered flight took off in 1903, modes of travelling have improved at lightning speed. Today modern aircraft fly beyond the speed of sound and cars are going driverless. Traditional burning of fossil fuel has been replaced by clean electric power thereby reducing the adverse effects of global warming and pollution. Travelling times have been reduced by tunnelling through mountains and below the sea. Going distances now is no more a long and time consuming affair.
  • Beauty care – Not too long ago, even basic cosmetic surgeries were long drawn affairs requiring extensive downtime and recuperation periods. Today, invasive surgeries are mostly a thing of the past and skin rejuvenation processes and elimination of wrinkles and laugh lines with laser IPL machines are done in multiple sessions each lasting under an hour with no downtime. An Universal IPL assures permanent hair removal painlessly and quickly without any side effects, making redundant epilators, waxing or tweezing.

Take the case of tattoos which were once impressions that had to be carried around for life. However, go to a top of the line beauty clinic with a tattoo laser removal machine and any tattoo irrespective of its colour, size or ink density can be eliminated. Such advanced equipment is a by-product of latest technological innovations made in this field.

  • Communication – Nowhere has hi-tech advancements made a greater impact than in the area of communication. Email, satellite phones that work from remote corners of the world and the Internet have made communication quicker, easier and seamless across continents. Business meetings where executives had to travel long distances is no longer required – video conferencing, voice mails and Skype has taken the load off them, saving substantial time and money. It has impacted education and children today can avail of the Internet to gain in-depth knowledge in various fields of education.
  • Entertainment – Home entertainment systems have come a long way from the phonographs and the radio. The Internet can be directly accessed through LED TVs bringing entertainment from all corners of the planet directly into the living room without the need for a medium such as satellite antenna or a receiver. Music is now digital and the beat and tempo of a track can be adjusted with specialised software.

These are some areas where technological advancements have greatly affected and impacted lifestyles of the common man.

Lighting Company

Requirements to Start LED Lighting Company

LED lighting is the current rage today for a number of benefits it has to offer. LEDs consume less energy and are thus cheaper to maintain, especially in indoor areas like shopping malls and restaurants where lights might be on up to 20 hours per day. LEDs are also available in an almost unlimited range from small single bulb units with high luminosity to decorative lights. Finally, LEDs have the latest technological innovations in-built in them and can be controlled from a remote as well as dimmed or increased to meet specific requirements. With all these advantages, it is natural that there is a booming demand for LEDs today and those getting into this business are bound to reap rich dividends in future.

What then are the requirements to start a LED lighting company?

  • Studying the market – LED lighting is a gradually evolving market and hence, there will not be many empirical studies on it regarding profitability and other operational factors. Hence it is advisable to acquire firsthand knowledge of the industry before getting into manufacturing. Start a distributorship on a small scale and know about the different types of LEDs, which ones have more demand than others, sources of supply of raw materials and purchasers of finished goods.
  • Deciding the quantum of investment – There is no limit to the scale that you can start any business and LED lighting is no exception. However, start small and expand as you get more orders. You can start on a limited scale as large scale investments are not required. LEDs (the main component in the lights), casing and the power drivers do not cost much. Quantum of finances required for purchasing land and setting up a manufacturing unit will depend on the location selected by you. However do not choose a remote location as the charges for transportation will be substantial.
  • Hiring skilled and unskilled personnel – This can turn out to be a time consuming affair for you and hence outsource this activity to specialised labour hire agencies that can get the right employees for you quickly. Make sure that those whom you hire have the required experience in manufacturing of LED lights.
  • Selecting suppliers and distributors – These are the two crucial components on which your business growth will largely bank on. Make a market survey and prefer suppliers of raw materials that have market reputation for dependability. Similarly, be careful while finalising a distributor for your products as your sales and revenue will fully depend on this alone. From them you will be able to know market demand for specific products. For example if you find that commercial festoon lighting or Starlight lighting has a high share of the overall LED market, you can plan your manufacturing schedule accordingly.
  • Getting statutory clearances – This point is given at the end but is of primary importance. Make sure that you have secured all the statutory and regulatory clearances from controlling authorities before you set up shop. You would surely not want inspections and unwarranted litigation to disrupt your business at a later stage.

Follow these simple points and you should be on your way to a flourishing LED lighting business.

Environmental Problems and their Effect on Global Business

The world is beset with numerous problems too many to list out here. Rising unemployment, the ugly head of terrorism and economic recession are some of them but without doubt the number one priority is to tackle the environmental problems that are after all a man made issue in the first place. Large scale tree removal and deforestation for developmental projects and setting up plants and factories have only compounded the problems. A rising awareness among the present generation of the harmful effects of pollution and global warming have led to measures being adopted to lessen its impact on various facets of life. However, the sector worst affected by adverse environmental issues is trade, commerce and businesses at large.

The top environmental issues are all related to climatic changes. Global warming that has resulted from greenhouse gas emissions has given rise to a number of effects that have impacted the business communities at large and thereby by default the consumers. What then are the primary areas in this regard –

  • Rising sea levels is one of the most crucial of causes that is affecting businesses around the world. Organisations target consumers in different demographic segments and this is mainly the foundation of all marketing strategies. Now if the population shifts constantly, this exercise becomes extremely difficult. This is what is happening today and putting most businesses in a bind. Rising ocean levels and the increasing threat of floods due to global warming and melting of the polar ice caps are making populations in coastal areas migrate inland thereby reducing client base and necessitating constantly evolving marketing approaches. On the flip side, severe drought has the same effects further eroding consumer markets.
  • Two of the heavily climate dependant necessities of man is agriculture and fisheries. Shifting ocean eco-systems resulting from warming of sea water is playing havoc with marine food supply chain. This is especially disastrous for owners of sea food restaurants as they face a scarcity of shellfish, tuna, salmon and other ocean catches. Hence they are being forced to make changes to their menu and finding it difficult to cater to patrons with a taste for sea food. The same holds true for agriculture too. An example will illustrate this point better. Global warming it is predicted by experts will bring the wine industry to its knees in the not too distant future as grapes are extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

Agriculture too will be badly hit. Drought conditions will force farmers to shun the traditional cropping patterns and opt for others that require less water to cultivate. This again will result in a radical shift in food chain supply and negatively impact industries dependant on it.

  • Many businesses especially those engaged in manufacturing have to go through additional expenses to upgrade machinery and equipment. It is to stay within stipulated emission levels, both in terms of gases discharged in the air and effluents discharged through the drainage systems. These entail significant investments without any tangible returns on profits. Other businesses such as the logistics and the delivery sector will have to replace conventional vehicles with hybrid or electric ones to reduce emissions. All this is a costly proposition that eats into profitability thereby affecting business growth and development.

To avert this environmental crisis that has struck businesses the world over and is in fact threatening to get worse, it is necessary for everyone to contribute their mite to saving planet Earth from disaster. Alternative options should be considered at every step. Tree pruning in Melbourne or wherever else for that matter or strengthening trees with cables and bracing may be a substitute for total tree removal. Again shifting to clean fuels and electric cars may be made mandatory in specific commercial instances. All these should bear fruit and halt the earth’s slide towards disaster.

Business growth

Take Your Business to the Next Level by Following these Simple Strategies

Taking a business from the start-up stage to a profit making entity is definitely not easy. Optimised marketing strategies have to be implemented and provision for adequate finances has to be made. Once the business reaches a stable keel it is the natural tendency of a business owner to let things remain at status quo. However, after some time it results in stagnating sales and falling profits. Before this can happen it is necessary to devise ways and means and simple plans that can give the business an impetus and take it to the next operational level where there will be exponential growth and development.

What then are the steps that you can take to prepare your business for the next high growth stage?

  • Define your goals – You cannot just say that I want high growth for my business while not having fixed goals and targets. You must clearly know to what levels you need to take your business to. On this will depend the marketing plans that you have to now structure including repackaging of existing products, launching new ones or creating new pricing policies. You have to arrange enough finance to take care of your expansion plans. Hence what you decide and make preparations for will rest solely on the levels that you want to take your business to.

  • Hire experienced consultants – While it is true that you might have experienced and qualified executives heading different departments, it has to be remembered that they have their own pockets of work. To take your business to the next level it is necessary that you hire a consultant who can get a broad unequivocal picture of your whole setup thereby being the best person to guide you in this regard. A business consultant has rich industry experience and is highly trained in their respective field. Once you hire one, he/she will spend time studying your organisation and will offer a business plan that will help you reach your goals. This business plan will have competitor analysis, new marketing approach and means to get fresh financial outlays.

One of the leading business consultants in Australia is TR Consulting. They have long years of experience and generally take a personalised approach that assures guaranteed results. Reach them at


  • Prepare staff to meet new challenges – For any expansion and growth plans you have to carry your staff with you. They should have clearly defined targets and most crucially be in the know of your strategies. Working as a team is very important. It is possible that you might have to conduct extra training programs, external and internal, so that they are ready to face impending work challenges through enhanced skill sets. Open clear lines of communication with your employees, inform them of your objectives and explicitly lay down their roles in achieving it. Further, explain how your plans will benefit them through new and better career opportunities.

  • Increase product range – Increase the variety of your products on offer, focussing primarily on those that add value to the existing ones. For example, if you are selling espresso machines, why not add sachets or jars of coffee powder to your range. Establish your own brand and push sales for them simultaneously. Customers who bought machines from you and consumables from another source will shift wholly to you. Hence, your sales and profitability will increase simultaneously.

All of these are straightforward strategies that do not need large scale investments or drastic operational changes. Yet there is more than only an assurance that these simple steps will take your business to the next level.

Creative Employees

Benefits of Hiring Creative Employees

For employers, choosing experience over anything else when hiring is a natural inclination. There is a general perception that experienced employees bring to the table additional skills and familiarity about the work on hand and therefore by default require less supervision and monitoring. However, this is not entirely true and sacrificing some quantum of experience for creativity in employees can bring in rich dividends for employers.

What then are the benefits of hiring creative employees?

  • Fresh perspective – An employee with a creative bend of mind brings a fresh perspective and line of thinking to a business. This is more so when there is a recurring problem and an employer has run out of options. A creative employee will not be bogged down with routine solutions, he/she will have out-of-the-box ideas that few others would have thought of. Innovative thinkers scale yet unreached heights and offer exclusive and unique answers to a crisis.

  • Structuring new opportunities – It is seen that creative employees rarely follow set work patterns and schedules as they are constantly trying to evolve new methodologies in the work environment. They will go off the beaten track and will always try to explore new avenues to quickly and effectively complete the tasks allotted to them. Further, by working beyond their key responsibility areas (KRAs) they give a boost to the organisation, helping it to achieve exponential business growth and development.

  • Flexible approach – Since creative employees do not let themselves be tied down to regular everyday routine, they can easily handle fresh challenges that require adopting new and exclusive methods to solve. This is a great benefit for businesses and employers as they do not get bogged down and stagnant when any type of adverse situations crop up. With creative employees offering fresh resolutions to any problem, the business growth curve is hardly ever affected. Further, such employees will also inspire others to set fresh work goals and go out of their way to achieve them. This automatically lifts the overall development of the enterprise.

Labour recruitment agencies now-a-days give a lot of emphasis on this characteristic when including aspiring employees in their database for reference to companies. Hence, firms that take help of such a recruitment agency in Melbourne or anywhere else for that matter stand to gain a lot.

  • Remain a step ahead – Creative employees look at areas that others would never think of. This helps companies get a fresh perspective to a product much before its launch. By asking questions ahead of customers they help to fine tune a product to perfection. Further such employees are detailed in their assessments and are never afraid to give their honest opinion on any aspect. This is a boon for business owners and quality control executives as they can iron out any issues before the product reaches the markets.

  • Multiple approaches – No two creative thinkers and employees will have the same solutions to a problem. This ensures that when any issue comes up, the company has the option and luxury of getting multiple perspectives and thoughts on how to meet a challenge. By weighing the pros and cons a perfect answer can be easily arrived at.

It is therefore always preferable for employers to keep these points in mind when hiring for their organisations.

Staff Development

The Many Benefits of Staff Development Programmes and Leadership Training

Staff development and leadership training are almost mandatory in today’s business environment. Skill levels of staff have to be constantly updated both for the benefit of the organisation as well as the employees who can then chart the course of their career advancement. It helps staff reach their full potential, using their improved abilities for development of their companies. Most ventures have specialised training personnel who are themselves industry experts in their respective fields.

How can training and staff development contribute to all round growth of an employee –

High job performance – There is in the present business scenario, a continuous evolution of methods to optimise functioning of any venture, irrespective of the industry it is related to. Most of these are about improving operational and cost efficiencies. To update skills and improve work knowledge so that these objectives can be achieved, it is necessary that quality training is imparted to the employees. It also helps in developing professional qualities that will ensure that the organisation gains as a whole from better skill sets of employees.

Enhanced working relationships – Leadership training and staff development programmes help to boost confidence levels to a great extent. This results in increased working abilities. More importantly, there is a betterment of management and leadership skills that makes sure of not only a steep personal growth of the employee but also that of the company.

Personal wellness – Strange as it may sound, leadership skills improve personal wellness making for a happy and contented employee. This definitely rubs off on the quality of work at office. It is one reason why companies are introducing development training that also focuses on the psychological aspects of a staff member. Emotional stability is as important as high skills if an employee has to perform well.

While staff development programmes concentrate on improving skills and job knowledge, leadership training provides specific tools to the employee to take up highly effective management functions. These include taking and leading the company through organisational changes and being an expert on negotiation strategies – all hallmarks off an exceptional leader.

Staff development programmes and leadership training can either be in-house or external. In the first case, industry experienced professionals and experts are called to impart training to the employees. Preparing and supplying course materials are also a part of their duties. For external training schedules, employees are deputed to courses conducted by professional management training colleges and institutes. Both types are highly effective in improving job knowledge and skills of employees.