There may come a point in time when you need to expand your T&C Scheme, whether this is through additional members as the business grows, taking on an additional scheme, or expanding the scope and activities of the existing scheme.
At the time of writing this, all three of the above are embedded on my radar. This is going to be one big piece of work. So, what are my plans to get everything up and running?
The current scheme membership will increase significantly, partly due to the business taking on additional staff, and partly due to the inclusion of our support team into the Scheme, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. This has now made been made much simpler through a revision of the current roles within the support team. There’s also a plan to take on another scheme from another area of the business that will involve a merger of similar activities within the schemes.
Key to a successful implementation will be good planning. With an expected launch date for the changes just over three months away, the more time spent working on this through the better the outcome. So, I need to plan the time in and prioritise it over some of my other more routine tasks. I also need to present the new Scheme to senior management to get sign off earlier than normal, since this is usually at the end of each Scheme year and before we launch the next Scheme year.
we have doubled the Scheme membership almost every other year and the new year will add a further twenty-five percent to the membership, so spreadsheets are not going to work.
Call it old fashioned, but currently I run the Scheme using several spreadsheets, and have done so for about ten years for this Scheme. That said, we have doubled the Scheme membership almost every other year and the new year will add a further twenty-five percent to the membership, so spreadsheets are not going to work. Well, at least not to cover everything.
Technology must be the answer, and last year I found a suitable solution to meet the Scheme’s requirements to deliver, monitor, and record CPD. With 2020 being, to use one of many definitions, an “interesting” year, the solution wasn’t implemented. But it has been signed off for 2022. This will eliminate two of my spreadsheets. One of which I use to record the CPD logged for each member month by month, and CPD type (general, IDD, and PTS) month by month. The other spreadsheet records the CPD that I have sourced, and who attends the sessions. Also of significant benefit is that the solution automatically creates CPD Logs and reports which will save considerable time, both for the Scheme members who will no longer have to record their own logs, and for me as I won’t have to check, record, and file the logs in the T&C files.
Technology will also help with some of the other elements, such as recording different KPI’s such as file check results, client servicing monitoring, and 121 meeting notes. I’m planning on recording all of this in one place, making it easily accessible to the management team, and in a continuous format to eliminate the volume of different documents we currently use.
I also plan to deliver and record specific training more efficiently and effectively, across a much wider area of the business. Communication and coordination are key here. Historically the different teams have run their own training programmes but going forward this will all be centralised allowing training to be offered to consultants and even other support staff, for example specific product training arranged by the para-planning team could be made available to consultants. It could even be offered to other areas of the business.
Our Support team have never been included in the Scheme; however, I plan to change this. After all, we all work as a team, and everybody is needed throughout the sales process. So why not include our administrators? We have been building better career paths over the last couple of years, so an administrator can progress into para-planning and then into consulting. But we also need to have career paths within each team to allow progression for those who don’t want to take the route into research or advice. To achieve this, we are utilising the industry Apprenticeship programme together with a more defined on the job training programme. Although not finalised, it may be that we will ask the Support team to undertake CPD, or at the very least involve them by inviting them to specific CPD events.
Finally, I mentioned earlier the possibility of taking on an additional scheme. This is for a different area of the business, and currently run separately, although I do have some oversight on it. The thoughts are that in 2022 it will remain a separate scheme, but I will run it alongside my existing Scheme. This has the benefit of co-ordinating activities and knowledge, whilst helping bring both departments closer for the benefit of the individuals and the business.
And the main benefit? There are several. Firstly, time. Most of us have all gained time over the last year or more, so why not make even more time available for other activities. If you, as a manager, suddenly gained just two hours a week, what would you do with it? Efficiency is another benefit by making everything more streamlined. And a third benefit. Learning. Make our people are better informed and knowledgeable. All this points to a better service for our clients, which points to a more productive proposition for us.