Experience a different way to learn

Monday, November 25, 2019

Did you know in a national survey of over 400 employees, 70% indicated that job-related training and development opportunities influenced their decision to stay at their job?

Learning and development might be a term you’ve seen banded around but it has been known to improve staff retention rates and boost morale, as having these development opportunities in place helps employees feel like they’re reaching their full potential.

This is certainly true at Health-on-Line. Earlier this year over 300 employees completed a staff survey which revealed that 52% of employees wanted to see more opportunities to develop leadership and management skills.

Well, we’ve listened. Fast-forward to now and we’re ready to launch the Learning & Development strategy which proves that learning is about so much more than the traditional classroom session or e-learning module.

Charity challenge

To kick things off, and to give a taster of our L&D offering which is launching the beginning of December, our employees embarked on an Apprentice-style charity challenge.

Two teams were created and split in half, with one half being tasked with taking over both Dorset Children’s Foundations charity shops in Boscombe and Southbourne, and the other raising funds internally for Dorset Mind.

Raffles, pie a manager, pick and mix, push-up challenges and homemade cakes for sale were just some of the things on offer internally to both raise vital funds for Dorset Mind, but to also help add to the team’s totals.

Health-on-Line internal event

Health-on-Line charity event

Charity shop takeovers

Those tasked with taking over the two Dorset Children’s Foundation charity shops were given free rein to decorate and draw in customers any way they wished, in the hopes of beating the other team’s total (calculated from takings through the till and stock for future sales).  

Wil, one of the participants who was part of the charity store takeover, said of the day: “Our day in Boscombe at the Dorset Children’s Foundation was an unknown in terms of what to expect and the challenges to come… but also the rewards to be won, both in terms of financial benefit to the charity and the fulfilment we’d feel.

“In order to publicise our event we posted on the DCF Facebook site and came up with the concept of up-selling through advertising a chance to win a Christmas hamper to anyone who spent over £3.

“We then capitalised on this by leafleting the raffle at the nearby weekly market in Boscombe - this paid off as the footfall increased significantly after each round of leafleting!

“At day’s end, we had exceeded the normal daily amount taken through the till and even received a generous donation.

“However, this was just a by-product when set against the sense of accomplishment and achievement we had forged as a team – something that I shall look back on, and forward to, for inspiration.”

Charity challenge team photo

Both teams did incredibly well with Patsy Hallmey, co-founder of the Dorset Children’s Foundation, saying she’d “welcome them back any time.”

She said: “We had an absolutely fantastic experience with the staff from Health-on-Line. Their enthusiasm and genuine desire to help ran through every single member of staff. They had put a great deal of thought into the day and hours of preparation time, which was evident with the huge amount they raised.”

Developing as individuals

The challenge tested the individuals in more than just teamwork. They had minimal time to create pitches and present ideas, come up with a strategy and stay on budget all whilst thinking about any designs for promotion and then selling internally and externally on event day.

Many were pushed out of their comfort zone but all were eager to learn:

  • “I feel this will help me develop some skills which I ordinarily wouldn’t get a chance to work on in my normal job role.”
  • “I am keen to take the bull by the horns and give it my best shot! Experiences like this don’t come around every day and I want to make the most of it, developing my leadership and management skills whilst forming new relationships around the business.”
  • “To better me as a person and to help my career progress”

Jo McGowan, Training and Development Manager said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the 2 teams of new and aspiring managers who took part. They have pushed themselves well beyond their comfort zones and it’s been great to support their journey, as they’ve grown and developed through the challenge.”

With the UK's top performing businesses putting employee learning and development at the heart of their strategies, this was the first event created by our Learning and Development team and taster of what is to come for 2020 and beyond.

Find out more about the charity events that our employees have undertaken, in order to raise money for our charity partners each year. 

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