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By Clare Jupp

In the aftermath of Brexit and the whole referendum debacle, the themes of ‘going it alone’ and ‘splitting from the pack’ have been upheld by some as symbols of strength; something ‘preferred’ and something ‘desirable’.

In my ‘training and development world’ however, and as far as the whole people development agenda is concerned, I remain a strong and passionate advocate of the team-approach and in the ideals of partnership and collaboration: ‘strength in numbers’, ‘when one person teaches, two people learn’ and so forth.

I was reminded of my belief in the strength of sharing and collaboration in a recent visit to our friends at Kensington Mortgages who are based in Maidenhead not far ’round the M25 from our Billericay hub. The visit was both enlightening and inspiring, providing some very interesting and innovative ideas about use of space, furniture and set-up in terms of the actual building and its layout, but also providing an excellent opportunity to talk all things people development including staff engagement, performance improvement programmes, succession management and staff retention.

On a similar note, our interactions with MAB are almost daily, whether it be through social media, through meetings and communications or ‘exchange’ visits. We hold high regard for the work that they do in the name of people development and so we seek opportunities to work together and to share good practice.

With industry recruitment being a widely discussed topic at present, it has been equally useful to seek counsel from more learned colleagues surrounding the topic of apprenticeships and internships. Furthermore, gaining insights from those whom have experience and thus valid and credible opinion of these schemes has been crucial to our own training and development plans. With meetings and conversations already completed with the likes of our friends at Simply Biz, Borro, Amicus, Together and Atom Bank, naturally, I feel far better informed and more confident about our next steps at Brightstar. Therefore, this collaborative approach can only be beneficial to all concerned and enhances partnership and a sense of ‘winning together’: it’s not a game of poker after all.

On the same theme, when there have been gaps in knowledge and skills to deliver training from within for our teams, we have looked to industry colleagues for help and support. Blacks, for example, delivered a key session on legals and conveyancing for our business teams, enabling them to gain a more thorough understanding of the requirements and possible pitfalls.

But Brightstar, of course, are not just ‘takers’ in this pursuit. Moreover, as an Investors in People Gold organisation with a huge commitment to people development, we pride ourselves on supporting others (within and beyond our business) to achieve their best, in championing training and development and in fulfilling the roles of both ‘teachers’ and ‘learners’. With this in mind, we have willingly opened the doors and received our visiting industry colleagues with welcome arms, being only too happy to help others and their organisations to get better, stronger, wiser.

Of course we don’t pretend to know all of the answers where people development is concerned, but we are passionate about what we do and we believe that this is infectious. Therefore, our enthusiasm for people development has been shared, discussed and hopefully emulated in one form or another in other businesses across the sector. Furthermore, we’ve been very happy to host brokerages, networks, solicitor firms and lenders to share our practice and offer our experiences and expertise and we have found this to be both motivating and energising.

In our book, it’s about sharing not hiding, being overt not covert and about working together to raise standards across the entire sector for the common-good…