Danielle MacLeod, Peter Vardy head of people and change, said: “We didn’t cut training during the recession, we actually increased it.
“We set the commitment for each staff member for at least one day of learning each month and that could be one-on-one coaching, seminars, interior or exterior training sessions.
“We want to employ people that are interested in personal development throughout their career.”
Peter Vardy has also started to take on paid graduate interns in all areas of the business for summer placements.
MacLeod told AM: “We’re taking on interns in accounts, human resources and aftersales. There are often opportunities for them in the business once they’ve graduated.”
Peter Vardy puts most of its focus on measuring how its staff and customers feel about working for the company and then look at the end result. Colleague satisfaction meetings are held with staff twice a year to make sure development needs are being met.
MacLeod said: “You have to be realistic when measuring improvements from training. You have to believe that investing in your people and teaching staff is mutually beneficial for all parties involved. ”
Benfield Motor Group makes sure its staff understand what their coll-eagues are going through with development days.
Pat Harvey, Benfield Motor Group, aftersales development manager, said: “All our non-technical staff get a full day of technical training, the hands-on touchy-feely stuff.
“So far 350 people have been through that within the business and that’s top level management down to valeters.”
Harvey said it had helped employees understand how technologically advanced the products are.
He said: “We have to understand how these products work because if we don’t, how are we supposed to explain it to the customer?”
Benfield also puts customer service standards in place for technical employees.
Technicians spend a day with service advisers to help them understand what they have to go through when talking to customers.
Harvey told AM: “The only problem is taking that technician away from the workshop for eight hours, but I think it’s necessary.”