The old, much-used adage that team members are the most important asset is as true today as it’s ever been. As brand ambassadors and, often, the face and personality of a company, employees are key to the success of any organisation – whether it’s a multi-national with hundreds of thousands of staff, or a budding SME.
Ongoing training and learning is fundamental to team member development, retention and wellbeing. Keeping a team well trained with relevant, modern and company goal-aligned learning strategies translates to more engage, happier staff, which in turn leads to higher retention rates, better customer service and, potentially, the difference between and organisation’s success for failure.
Chestertons MENA’s dedicated Training and Development division, established as part of our continued Middle East expansion, is creating comprehensive, tailored programmes that align with our strategic goals and five company our values: Embrace Community, Provide Exceptional Support, Collaborative Partnerships, Constantly Exceed Expectations, and Innovate Whilst Having Fun.
Learning and Development is an essential part of Human Resources operations across all industry sectors. But, in the minds of some people, training is perceived as either a ‘nice to have’ or a ‘tick box’ exercise that means objectives are completed in time for appraisals. It’s vital to change this outdated perception – among leaders and team members – so that learning is seen as a key business contributor, rather than a burden or optional part of a company’s operations.
Staying modern and relevant is also fundamental, which is why we are moving away from traditional, classroom-style training methods to diverse, dynamic systems. One of our key focuses for 2024 is on the digital transformation of training courses to incorporate artificial intelligence and virtual reality to create more immersive, interactive learning experiences for our teams.
A deep understanding of the regional market, cultural dynamics and team member demographics is essential in delivering the right training, to the right people, at the right time. With a multitude of ages, nationalities and cultural backgrounds among our teams and customers, we are tailoring our development programme to cover all bases.
Some of our employees are seasoned real estate experts with decades of experience, while others are millennials or of Gen Z age. Of course, they all need sustained training and development, but it’s not a case of one size fits all. Different generations, contrasting cultural backgrounds and a variety of mother-tongue language preferences mean adapting and tailoring training schemes to ensure they are effective, sustainable and enjoyable.
Part of our growth strategy at Chestertons MENA is an aggressive recruitment drive. In the last six months, we have tripled our sales and leasing agent count to more than 40, with more people joining all the time. Our new recruits are a mixture of highly experienced men and women, and people who are new to the business.
Either way, we have fostered a collaborative environment, whereby all new joiners are given comprehensive training to understand our sector, our company goals and our business ethics. New recruits are chosen for their talent, drive, attitude and personality, and it’s our job to help them grow, deliver on objectives and enjoy their work and not just throw them in at the deep end once they are on board. Only with proper, continued training, can we ensure our teams become part of our success story.
Our approach is proactive and holistic, ensuring everybody is included and has access to the tools they need to learn, engage and be as productive and efficient as possible. Modern, impactful training is key in the Middle East’s fast-paced, ever evolving real estate sector, and a major element of our development programme is incorporating virtual environments and e-learning platforms, which provide flexible, accessible learning options that adapt to changing workforce dynamics, including remote working trends. Vitally, our training programmes are also being enhanced to further recognise the cultural differences and language dynamics across our diverse customer and employee base.
In today’s modern world, a multitude of opportunities exists for real estate training. Recognising this, we are immediately integrating AI to enable personalised training, adapting to individuals’ performance and needs, and implementing VR to provide real-life simulations to make training more interactive, engaging and fun.
Moreover, we are currently procuring an enhanced Learning Management System to develop, deliver and track e-learning courses, making it easier to connect with our people – particularly those working remotely or away from the Dubai head office – and offer a wider choice of courses to make training fully inclusive for everybody.