Getting Into Teaching

Getting Into Teaching

Interested in teaching?  We have a range of Teaching and Learning apprenticeships at Level 3 (equivalent to two A-Levels) which can be the starting point for getting into the teaching sector. The following apprenticeships are available to you, to begin your teaching journey.

This role is based on identifying learning or training needs then either designing or sourcing the necessary solution to support them. This role can exist within a wide range of organisations however, this is not limited to educational institutions – the key responsibility being to contribute to and influence improved performance in the workplace at an individual, team and organisation level.

Whilst this role might not be what you expected as a starting point to education, a career in Learning & Development diversifies your skills and experience, whilst playing an essential role in the organisation.

A Learning Mentor will support the development of learners’ knowledge, skills and behaviours, specifically by applying theoretical learning in practical work environments – either on a one-to-one or small group basis. These learners could be of any age or level such as apprentices, trainees and/or new recruits in the workplace or any vocational learning environment.

This role allows you to encourage and empower a learner’s personal development whilst identifying and correcting gaps in skills or knowledge. From this sector, there are many opportunities to advance your career and increase your opportunities as well as developing transferable skills such as time management and networking.

For those looking to get into teaching in Primary and Secondary education, this role is an excellent starting point, working across all age ranges encompassing special educational needs and emotional vulnerabilities. The key responsibilities here include supporting the class teacher and ensuring pupils understand the work set and make progress.

In this role, you’re able to support pupils separately whilst having the opportunity to gain teaching experience and work with classes as a whole.

Options for progressing to higher qualifications:

This could be an option for those with or without a Level 3 Assessing qualification, but is an opportunity to progress from any of the above teaching apprenticeships. In this role, responsibilities include coaching and assessing apprentices, trainees or new recruits in the workplace, usually on a one-to-one basis and in a range of learning environments.

A Learning & Skills Teacher is a higher role, as progression from any teaching background, responsible for teaching young people and adults within all parts of the Education and Training sector; this can include:

– Work based / independent training provision

– Further, adult and higher education

– Offender-learning

– Voluntary sector

To support this, the Level 4 Education and Training qualification allows trainee teachers to teach in a wide range of contexts, expanding the knowledge they’ve already developed and providing opportunities to teach in different environments.

Visit our Apprenticeships and Training Courses page for more information on all the opportunities available to you, and start your career in teaching today!

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Email Marketing Tips

Email Marketing Tips 

Email Marketing has been around for a while now, the first one regarded as being sent in 1970 – around 50 years ago! Whilst it has been a staple of marketing for this time, most of its mechanics have stayed the same, although some additional ones have appeared over the years. And now, we go over a few tips and tricks to help your own marketing campaign.

Tip #1; Eye-Catching Content

When designing your Email, make sure the content is attractive and colourful, including images as well as text to spice things up. The more interesting and eye-catching the content is for the email, the more likely your email recipients will read through your email. Just make sure not to go overboard and use moderation, you want your email to seem appealing to the viewer and not hurt their eyes and put them off reading your emails.

Tip #2 Easy to Understand

A very important part of an email is for the recipient to be able to read and understand the email with ease, use words that are easier to understand and aren’t complex, make sure spelling and grammar are also on point as well – these can really change the meaning of sentences and understanding what is being said. That being said, you don’t have to use the simplest of words for them to understand, if you do that, you might come off as condescending, avoid using slang too, not everyone uses the same slang as you do and might not understand what you’re meaning, plus most of the time slang isn’t very professional.

Tip #3; Content Balancing

Finding a good balance of content length is vital for having an appealing email, you don’t want paragraphs advertising your product or service, no one will read that. And you definitely don’t want it to be too short, where you can’t even fully mention what you do or at least in a well explained way. And those two reasons are precisely why it is important to find some middle ground, although you’d probably want something on the shorter side – easier to read. 

Tip #4; Personalisation 

Making your email more personalised to the recipient will also make them more likely to open and read your email. Making the recipient feel like someone is actually emailing them rather than receiving some advertisement, will also increase the chances of responses back, don’t forget to be friendly as well. But like in a previous tip, don’t go overboard and be over friendly, it might come off as unprofessional and put them off.

Tip #5; Implied Consent

Whilst the UK is in the process of removing GDPR, for now let’s use it like it’s still valid, it’s against GDPR to cold call someone, and email marketing can get pretty close to that. Something that’s worth a shot and is completely GDPR compliant is gaining what’s called ‘implied consent’. This is where you can email someone first asking how they are, if they’d be interested in your service or product, and if they respond positively and not negatively – you can begin the advertising phase.

Tip #6 Experimentation 

When you’re looking for what design works, send out some emails to different recipient groups of roughly the same size and see which design gets the best responses. Compared to 50 years ago, there’s many different things you can use now to track how well the email did: 

  • Open rate

The amount of recipients who have opened the email 

  • Click-through rate

The amount of recipients who have clicked a link in the email 

  • Unsubscribe rate

The amount of recipients who have unsubscribed from receiving emails 

Using these, you can use the statistics gathered from different tools available to decide which email design is better, a high open and click-through rate with a low unsubscribe is the way to go.

Tip #7 Best Timing

When sending your emails, timing is perfect for getting noticed. What’s considered the best time to send emails is considered 9 am to 11am – during working hours is also considered a good time. It’s also considered better to avoid sending during rush hours – 8am and 5pm.

Conclusion

Whilst some of these tips depend on your type of business, most of these can apply to all. Try to find a method that works for you using these tips, or adapt from these. 

 

The Career Options in Digital Marketing

The career options in digital marketing 

Digital marketing is one of the fastest growing markets. Nearly every business needs it and will now choose it over traditional marketing methods. Here are some of the career options in this sector…

  • Social media manager

As a social media manager you will be responsible for tasks such as social media strategies, creating content and advertising. Social media managers also identify trends among customer interactions to help plan digital campaigns.

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include –

  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of online marketing channels
  • Have good knowledge on SEO and Google analytics 
  • Creative and imaginative thinking skills
  • Ability to deliver creative content

Typical responsibilities may include – 

  • Communicate with online followers, respond to queries
  • Monitor SEO and track web analytics
  • Stay up to date with social media trends 
  • Create and publish creative content daily
  • Set marketing objectives and create reports
  • Blogger

As a blogger, your primary job will be to write, edit, and publish content to a website or blog. Your goal is to increase traffic to the site by writing content that is relevant to and educational for the reader.

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include – 

  • Creativity and adaptability 
  • Creative writing experience
  • Strong understanding of the companies target audience
  • Exceptional writing, research and communication skills
  • Have a good understanding of technology software

Typical responsibilities include 

  • Generating, pitching and researching ideas for blog posts
  • Maximising site traffic by using search engine optimisation (SEO) keywords
  • Creating engaging and interesting topics people will read
  • Write, edit, publish and advertise promoting content
  • Advocating and educating your audience on your product / service
  • PPC manager

As a PPC marketing manager, your role will be to oversee pay-per-click campaigns. You will be responsible for running client campaigns in Google Ads and on Bing, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include –

  • Ability to think creatively and identify and solve problems
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to learn new industries and new business types quickly and can apply this knowledge to internet marketing initiatives and achieving client goals
  • Ability to clearly and effectively articulate thoughts and points

Typical responsibilities include 

  • Keep up to date with search engine and PPC industry trends and developments
  • Monitor and evaluate search results and search performance across the major search channels
  • Manage, review, and perform daily account responsibilities associated with Google Ads, Bing and other search engine and social media platforms for a variety of clients
  • Provide creative copy suggestions and graphical ad templates

 

  • SEO manager

As an SEO manager, you will oversee the company’s overall SEO strategy from planning to implementation. Your main objective is to improve the company’s ranking in search engines, particularly Google.

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include –

  • In-depth knowledge of research principles and methods and experience in analysing data 
  • Critical thinker and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team and independently
  • Can use your own initiative

Typical responsibilities include 

  • Plan, develop and implement a SEO strategy
  • Regularly perform thorough keywords research
  • Monitor redirects, click rate, bounce rate, and other KPIs
  • Suggest improvements in process and productivity optimisation
  • Stay up to date with the latest SEO and digital marketing latest trends and best practices
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Software Tester Apprenticeship

Software Tester Apprenticeship

One of our digital opportunities for you is a Software Tester apprenticeship, which has many benefits to a range of industries and involves a varied and interesting learning experience. Not only this, but Software Testers are growing in demand due to our dependence on digital and this qualification can open up many opportunities in the digital sector.

Learner’s Responsibilities:

The role of a Software Tester is to ensure that software operates as intended; they will typically design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing as appropriate to ensure that software is fit for purpose. This also involves documenting and reporting the results of testing activities.

Skills / Behaviours Required:

  • Logical attitude
  • Creative thinking skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • The ability to work independently and to take responsibility
  • Thorough and organised approach
  • The ability to work with a range of internal and external people
  • The ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • Able to maintain a productive, professional and secure working environment

How this benefits a business:

  1. Ensures software and applications are flawless, from a marketing perspective this would also provide value to your target customers which attracts them to your brand
  2. Focuses on digital security, helping to prevent any disruptions or threats such as malware attacks
  3. Eliminating any performance issues guarantees a better user experience which in turn improves customer acquisition and loyalty
  4. By having a specific person involved in testing, security and digital improvements, the rest of the business can run efficiently, being supported by the Software Tester
  5. As their role is to ensure software is fit for purpose, by identifying any errors early, maintenance costs are reduced in the long run

Industries Involved:

Whilst you may think software testers are primarily found in digital companies, with the expansion of digital in our work lives, these are actually useful for a range of businesses, including:

Manufacturing

Finance

Transport

Healthcare

Retail

Telecommunications

Media

 

If this apprenticeship sounds interesting to you, contact us today for more information on how this can benefit you and your business. Also, visit our Apprenticeships page for more information on the qualification!

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Update on Digital Trends

Update on Digital Business Trends

Written as of 15:00 Wednesday, 18th May – by Daniel H.

 If you have a business that has digital elements, from social media to email campaigns, it’s probably best that you keep up to date with current changes and trends. Here, we’ll talk about three of the big trends in recent weeks.

Elon Musk Buys Twitter

You’ve all probably heard by now that Elon Musk has entered a deal to purchase Twitter, what it means for the future of twitter on the other hand, is still up in the air. Elon Musk has stated some of his objectives for his twitter, he wanted to; crackdown on spam bots, relax content moderation and ending permanent bans to name a few.

However, as Elon Musk has recently requested more details on the number of fake accounts, he has announced that the Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’ if the CEO cannot prove the ‘spam stats’.

Britain Removing Cookie Pop-ups

With leaving the EU, the UK has moved away from many EU laws, with mixed effects. One of these is GDPR, and the UK introducing its own version through the newly announced Data Reform Bill. Part of the Bill, being the removal of Cookie Pop-ups.

Whilst this may sound like some good news at first, it’s the opposite actually. Unless there is an announcement to how it will be done, for example setting what cookies to agree to in the browsers settings. At this moment, it means that websites would be able to take any data they want, without even notifying you or giving you the option to opt out (which is an option on most pop-ups). Furthermore, the idea of setting what cookies will be allowed and not could be a bit tricky, with different websites using cookies in different ways, there’s also a slight chance that companies could get around this method, not like there isn’t a chance already to be fair. 

For Businesses, there are claims that adding the Cookie Policy Pop-up to their website is ‘difficult’ and a ‘waste of time’, however with these new changes, businesses that have websites that still operate in the EU would still have to abide by EU regulations, including the Cookie Pop-up. Meaning that there are two options now, the first and the easiest, is that the business keeps the Pop-ups for all users, including British – or the second option where the business has two instances of the website, one for EU users and one for UK, which would be more difficult and tricky to do. Meaning even for businesses, there will be either no change or more work to be done, this is not that great of news for them either.

AirBnB and Working from Home

With Lockdowns due to COVID last couple of years, many companies that could began working remotely, some benefited from being able to have more freedom and flexibility that came with working from their homes, and some people did not see much benefit. With working from home in everyone’s minds still, some companies and ministers have been demanding the return to work, however many companies have become more relaxed and embraced the flexibility that working from home brings.

Last month, AirBnB CEO, Brian Chesky, has recently stated his views on working in an office, that it is “an anachronistic form from a pre-digital age”, and has made changes to the company to allow the staff to work from home without any pay repercussions, a stark contrast to many other businesses who have decided to punish their staff for working from home by reducing their pay, or demanding that they return to the office.

Apart from a small number of those whose presence is necessary to work, employees at AirBnB can work wherever suits their needs, for example if an employee wanted to move, as long as they do not leave the country, their pay is completely unaffected. It’s predicted now that many other companies, especially digital ones, will embrace and move towards a working from home model like AirBnB has done.

Key Aspects of Digital Marketing

Key Aspects of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and yet some businesses still don’t use it. Here are some of the key aspects to help drive sales and boost your audience.

1. Social Media Marketing

Over 2.3 billion people use social media worldwide which means it is a huge platform for businesses to use to grow their audience. Social media allows you to connect with your existing and potential customers. Social media is also a great way for you to keep an eye on your competitors, see what is working and what isn’t performing well for them. All social media platforms allow paid ads for you to target and reach your ideal customers, which can massively increase your social media presence.

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that businesses can use to promote their product / service to potential customers. This allows you to create relationships with your target customers with personalised emails. There are great tools to use for email marketing such as Mailchimp which allows you to send emails and gather analytics.

3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation is the practice of getting targeted traffic to a website from a search engine’s organic rankings. Common responsibilities associated with SEO include creating high-quality content, optimising content around specific keywords, and building backlinks. SEO is all about improving a site’s ranking in the organic search results. More than 75% of people on google don’t look past the first page, so ranking high is very important for businesses and should be part of everyone’s digital marketing strategy.

4. Website

People may find you on social media or hear of you by word of mouth but ultimately you need a good website to give customers a good impression of your brand. If your website is poorly designed or not secure, people will just click straight off it and not waste their time. You need to keep people interested and engaged on your website with a custom design that is a representation of your brand. You need to make it simple and clear to make the user experience as easy as it can be.

5. Content Marketing

In order to boost your search rankings and help potential customers learn more about your business, you need to incorporate content into your digital marketing strategy. If you’re looking to earn more leads and revenue, content marketing is a great strategy, considering it generates 3x more leads than traditional marketing. Quality content is a key component of content marketing.

6. Analytics 

Keeping track of all your analytics on all of the social media platforms you are on and your google analytics is crucial for all businesses. You need to track what is working well and what needs improving. By doing this you will have a clear plan of what you need to improve and what is working well for your business.        

If you are interested in a digital marketing apprenticeship, read more about what we can offer you! http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/apprenticeships/     

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Higher Level Apprenticeships

Higher Level Apprenticeships

At Oracle, we can offer you government funded apprenticeships in a range of sectors, tailored to your business needs or career goals, with many options for progression. But many people have the understanding that apprenticeships are only for school leavers, looking for their first job. In fact, apprenticeships can be offered to anyone over 16, and with higher level apprenticeships you can expand your skills in an area you already work in and develop a new qualification!

Business

  • Business Analyst

18 months, Level 4

Role details: Business Analysts provide a critical layer of challenge and scrutiny for organisations; focussing on early and regular investigation and analysis to meet the required business need.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Business Administrator, Level 3 Digital Marketer

  • Learning & Development Consultant Business Partner

18-24 months, Level 5

Role details: A L&D Consultant Business Partner is accountable for ensuring L&D contributes to, and influences, improved performance in the workplace at an individual, team and organisation level.

Option to progress from: Level 4 Business Analyst

Customer Service

  • Property Maintenance Operative

12 months, Level 5

Role details: Property Maintenance Operatives optimise property condition and quality, ensuring the building is kept in a safe working condition; maintaining a high level of quality, providing maximum satisfaction to customers, clients, guests and team.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Customer Service Specialist, Level 3 Team Leader

Digital

  • Software Tester

24 months, Level 4

Role details: Software Testers ensure that software operates as intended, typically by designing and preparing test plans and conducting software testing as appropriate.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Broadcast Production Assistant, Level 3 Digital Marketer

Management

  • Operations Department Manager

30 months, Level 5

Role details: An Operations Department Manager will manage teams and/or projects, achieving operational or departmental goals and objectives, as part of the delivery of the organisation’s strategy.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Team Leader, Level 3 Event Assistant

Teaching and Learning

  • Assessor Coach

15 months, Level 4

Role details: Assessor Coaches use their up-to-date professional knowledge and skills to support vocational and professional development across the formal ETS as well as in any employer setting, and at any level.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Learning and Development Practitioner

  • Learning and Skills Teacher

24 months, Level 5

Role details: Learning and Skills Teachers operate at all times to ethical and legal standards and within professional boundaries, promoting a passion for learning and high expectations of all learners; being a role model for the effective use of current, digital and mobile technologies in support of teaching and learning.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Teaching Assistant, Level 4 Assessor Coach

For more information on the apprenticeships we can offer you, at all levels, visit our Apprenticeship page today!

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Benefits of Assessor / Verifier Qualifications

Benefits of Assessor / Verifier Qualifications

At A major part of anybody’s education is exams, and those grading exams have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. More importantly, examiners should and must have the relevant skills and qualifications to do so, and this is where Assessor and Verifier qualifications come in.

We at Oracle can provide four different Assessor / Verifier qualifications, like:

  • Level 3 Award in Assessing Occupational Competence in the Work Environment
  • Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievements
  • Level 4 Award in Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices
  • Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice 

These vary in price from £300 – £600 for the course, completely VAT exempt as well.

Verifier courses are very suitable in the education industry, Assessor courses can also fit in the private industry as well, suitable for those who:

  • Work in HR
  • Are Quality Assurance Personnel
  • Are Managers

And of course, these training courses are completely flexible around your working requirements, and can be delivered via your workplace or through one-to-one sessions or workshops. All of this delivered through our blended learning through our online platform or a mix of the former mentioned, whatever would suit you best.

The benefits for the learner who would take on an Assessor / Verifier course would be:

  • Flexible Learning
  • Learn different types of assessment methods
  • Learn the legal and good practice requirements
  • Learn to make assessment decisions 

And the Learner isn’t the only one who benefits, the benefits for the business would be:

  • Improve the quality of assessments
  • Staff can learn whilst they work
  • Improve the Skill of the assessors 
  • Ensure accurate exam results from the assessors 

Have a look at the Assessor / Verifier Qualifications Oracle provides here:

http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/training-courses/ 

Benefits of Customer Service Qualifications

Benefits of Customer Service Qualifications

At Oracle we can offer you 3 different customer service qualifications, which can be a great starting point in your career or a qualification to add to your existing skills. We can offer you:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service
  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service
  • Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service

Customer Service has a huge market and so many industries require it, such as:

  • Hospitality
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Estate Agents
  • Retail

Our flexible courses can be delivered completely around your job role and commitments. ​​The course can be delivered in your workplace on a one to one basis or in group / one to one workshops, through blended learning using our online platform or a combination of the above, whichever is best for you.

Benefits for the learner:

  • The course is flexible and built around your commitments
  • Customer service is a growing market and lots of companies require it
  • Learn in depth knowledge which is transferable to all industries
  • There are many options to progress in the customer service industry
  • Achieve a nationally recognised qualification

Benefits for the organisation:

  • Creating loyal customers through good customer service can provide you with lucrative long term relationships with customers
  • Could increase profits
  • Improve your public image
  • Providing good customer service can create satisfied customers, who are then likely to recommend you to other individuals
  • Good customer service can help turn leads into sales

If you would like more information about the customer service qualifications we can offer you, click the link to read more! http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/training-courses/

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Guest Blog: The 5 Whys

How to solve problems, not symptoms, using the 5 whys.

Are you tired of tackling the same problem? Are your team unmotivated and disconnected from your vision and mission? – If so, here’s a valuable tool, made famous by the founder of Toyota, that you can use to solve problems, motivate people and drive understanding deep within your team. Together we are going to discover what the 5 whys are, how to use the technique and apply it to scenarios.

What are the 5 whys?

The 5 whys was created by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota in the 1930s and due to its effective simplicity, it is still widely utilised today, over 90 years later. The idea behind the 5 whys is to get inquisitive about your problem. Sometimes, we get caught up in tackling the symptom instead of tackling the real problem and root cause. Think about negative customer reviews, if you tackle them at face value you may only be fire-fighting a symptom instead of tackling the root cause of the issue. Further investigation of the bad review may lead you to develop an outstanding product and service. It doesn’t stop there however, consider poor behaviour at work, you can manage it within conduct policies but until you resolve the deeper problem (the poor conduct is just a symptom), you will keep having the same conversations until the person is let go. How would it feel instead to resolve the problem at its root? How much time and money would you save? Whilst the 5 whys was initially created to problem solve, we will discover that we can also use it to build an understanding and thus motivate people towards the mission.

Be mindful that whilst this is an amazing tool to use, it may not be suitable for more complex issues as one of the shortfalls of this approach is that it can lead to us having a single train of thought and focus on 1 possible cause. So if we are facing a complex issue or we want to consider multiple possibilities, a fish-bone diagram or alternative problem solving tool may be better utilised here.

How to use the 5 whys?

We can break the process down into 3 easy steps: identify, include and inquiry.

Identify

The first step we need to take is identification. What is the problem or symptom that is facing us? Here are a few examples:

1. In a call centre, customers keep hanging up whilst waiting to be spoken to. This is leading to a high abandoned call rate.

2. Online reviews for our product have gone down from 5 stars to 3 stars.

3. One of our team has stopped performing well.

4. Across the operation we have seen a drop in productivity.

Your Scenario: Write down a problem that you are having.

Now we have identified some ‘problems’ or more likely, the symptoms – we need to take the next step – Include.

Include

How many times in business have you seen a senior Leadership team or Learning and Development team try to solve a problem without spending time with the people closest to the issue? What were the results? …probably not as good as they could have been if the right people were involved!

This step is all about including the people who are closest to the issue. They are more likely to answer the 5 whys more effectively than someone who is removed from the process making assumptions. So let’s take our above 4 examples and identify who we need to include:

1. In a call centre, customers keep hanging up whilst waiting to be spoken to. This is leading to a high abandoned call rate.

In this scenario, we have a few options – we can go to our customers and send out a survey for their recent experiences and ask why they hung up whilst in the queue.

Alternatively, we can speak to our front line call centre staff who answer the calls.

Maybe we could go to our Production team who monitor the inbound and outbound calls to identify any trends.

Sometimes, it can be beneficial to include a person from every department. Whilst we have identified the most obvious people to help us understand the issue, other parts of the operation may have valuable insight. For example – if we involved a representative from marketing, they may be able to say if a newly released promotion may have driven higher levels of inbound traffic.

2. Online reviews for our product have gone down from 5 stars to 3 stars.

Again, the first option could be to identify who recently purchased the product and release a questionnaire or create an outbound campaign to get the data.

Alternatively, could the factory that produced the product be spoken to? What has changed with the product or market?

Have the complaints team identified any trends?

3. One of our team has stopped performing well.

This one’s more forward – we need to speak directly to our team member.

4. Across all parts of the operation we have seen a drop in productivity.

Another straightforward one – issues are across the floor so a representative from each department would be a good start.

Your Scenario: Write down anyone you will need to speak to about the issue (it could just be yourself).

By identifying the people we need to include, its time for us to move onto the final step – Inquiry.

Inquiry

At this stage, we simply speak to our key people about the problem using the 5 Why’s technique. This is a fairly straightforward approach that we can liken to an annoying child, repeatedly asking “why?” when they are given an answer. The purpose though, is to sift through the symptoms to get a solid understanding of the actual problem.

As discussed earlier, this will help us to uncover the cause of a situation, can help build empathy, understanding and motivation at the same time. Let’s take a look at the 5 Why’s in action:

1. In a call centre, customers keep hanging up whilst waiting to be spoken to. This is leading to a high abandoned call rate.

Let’s say we went directly to our front line teams who are speaking to our customers. We explain that we are experiencing a high abandonment rate and ask why?

– “Customers we do speak to are saying the wait times are too long.”

Why is that?

– “The calls are one after the other, we aren’t getting a break.”

Why is that happening?

– “We don’t have enough people available to deal with the demand.”

Why don’t we have the resources?

– “Half the team is busy, either on an outbound dialler or in training for a new contract.”

Why are we not adapting to this?

– “Planning and prioritisation.”

In this example, we saw the simple use of the 5 whys to speak to a front line member of staff about their experiences and assumptions. Had planning, training and other departments been available for a group session, we may have understood more about the issue. On this occasion, we have identified that we may have a lack of adaptability from the planning team or an ineffective agreement between training and planning. As a business we can now make assessments based on:

– Do we need to stop the outbound dialler until we have enough resources? Is there a different time of day we can use the dialler?

– Do we need an immediate reaction or can we ride this out?

– Where in the planning/risk assessment process did this fall down? What can we do about it in the future?

– Is there a way to spread out the training over a wider time frame so we don’t lose as much resource all at once?

– Could we increase and promote our self-service options for our customers?

2. One of your team has stopped performing well.

Your performance isn’t where it used to be, why is that?

– “I am unmotivated.”

Why?

– “I don’t see the point in our performance indicators.”

Why?

– “They don’t highlight the value we add. They’re just statistics.”

Why?

– “They don’t acknowledge the hard work it takes to get there. I think we could have better targets.”

Why?

– “The right targets will drive the right behaviours and help us see the value we add.”

From this conversation, we can understand that our team members want recognition (phrases: highlight the value, acknowledge the hard work and see the value we add). They also believe that the targets are not aligned with the work they do. If as a Leadership team, we feel that the targets are aligned with the values and behaviours, we can use the 5 whys again to help our team member see the value in their targets – eg:

We need to have 90% customer satisfaction – Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

We need to be over 85% productivity for the week – Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Drive these down using the 5 whys to help connect people to the goal and vision. When a person gets a solid understanding on why a goal or metric is in place, they can connect with it on a deeper level. The other consideration we can make is asking ourselves how we currently recognise the value our team add? Further, ask your team how they would like to be recognised. The 5 whys can effectively drill down to a problem, it doesn’t however find solutions for us. For that, we may need to engage in a different process.

Your Scenario: Ask yourself or others the 5 Whys to get to the core of the problem and find a solution.

Other scenarios to consider:

1. Online reviews for your product have gone down from 5 stars to 3 stars.

2. Across the operation you have seen a drop in productivity

3. One of your customers is irate.

4. Your competition has started out performing you.

5. One of the components in your product keeps failing.

6. Despite your best efforts to plan your day, when a new task lands on your desk you lose sight of your plan and schedule and you react to the moment.

Summary

The 5 whys is a useful technique that helps you identify the root cause of a problem, instead of fixating on the symptoms. Remember – most things we think of as problems are merely a symptom. Find the cause of the symptom (the actual problem) to see more effective outcomes.

There are 3 stages:

– Identify the Issue or symptom

– Include the Individuals closest to the problem

– Inquiry (use the 5 whys)

Once you have found the root cause, you can then begin to find solutions. Sometimes its great to work 1 on 1 with people and other times, it makes sense to use a mixture of people from different departments.

Closing questions:

How has the 5 whys added value to you?

What other problem identification tools do you use?

Once you’ve identified a problem, how do you find a solution? 

 

 
This Blog was written by Simon Tickner from Develop the Edge