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Adapting and Learning During a Crisis

At NorDan UK, we have taken the opportunity during the COVID-19 lockdown to train our staff for the future, with our new NorDan Academy providing an excellent way for all employees to develop and grow their skillsets.

In the past, Business-to-Business sales calls would often be without a specific purpose: say hello, drink a cup of coffee and if possible, have a brief discussion about a product or project before going on your way. Likewise, technical and construction knowledge among sales personnel could have been improved.

However, things are very different nowadays; no matter if you are a specifier, designer, quantity surveyor, architect, project director, bid manager, cost consultant, acoustician or buyer, everyone in the wider construction industry is busy and wants to ensure that their time is spent efficiently and effectively. Every sales meeting must have a purpose and contribute towards the objectives for the project in hand.

Solution-based selling is not new, but it is only possible with highly trained and knowledgeable sales personnel who have the power to share solutions and contribute to great projects.

NorDan UK has always sought to recruit the very best talent, ensuring that its people have a positive, action-orientated attitude. We continue to develop employees throughout their career with NorDan to ensure that they can add the most value possible to the business, as well as their personal career trajectory.

As a result of changing times and the ever-growing requirement for high-quality technical and product information, NorDan took the decision to promote internally for the position of full-time Training Manager. Long serving employee, Steven Cameron, was a perfect fit for the role and since January of this year has been instrumental in leading a dedicated department that carries out Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training and staff learning. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020 and put a pause on almost all B2B activity, NorDan UK used this downtime as the perfect opportunity to upskill its workforce through training plans, goals and objectives set by Steven.

Our training, technical and marketing departments joined together to develop a whole collection of materials, including virtual weekly online modules and an entire family of new CPD training courses over a three-month period. These were rolled out to the entire organisation throughout the public lockdown, meaning that many of the usual office disruptions experienced in a ‘normal’ working week were kept to a minimum. Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, proposing a complete revamp of internal training and rolling it out to every single employee would have been practically impossible.

The Academy has since been expanded to include brand-new CPD training for our customers and clients, with topics including the likes of Timber, Aluminium, Security and Glazing. These seminars will be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they reflect both the current and future standards, as well as industry trends.

The simple fact is that the construction industry is changing. With continuing industry innovation and a specific focus on technical selling, the need to upskill employees to be able to cope with future market demands is vital. To quote Richard Branson, “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to” – and this is certainly a mantra NorDan lives by.

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