Recognising talent in new and existing employees is essential for businesses that want to grow and thrive. Existing staff and new hires are typically put in a box from day one and only expected to do one thing. Younger members of the team aren’t expected to have knowledge or opinions, because of their lack of experience.
To bring out the best in your employees, you need to spend time learning more about them. Managers need to have the ability to get to know and understand their staff, so they can draw out hidden skills and talents. The quietest employees could wind up being the ones with the most to say and providing the most impact. These talents could prove super beneficial to the business.
We know how beneficial this can be to a business. We’ve learned first-hand that a workplace can provide a stable place for an employee to build confidence, skills and self-esteem. Our Technical Business Support Officer, Zack, joined us around 15 months ago on the government Kickstarter scheme. The Kickstart Scheme provided funding to create new jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who were at risk of long term unemployment.
Zack joined us as a Recruitment Resourcer, using the system to find candidates and calling the relevant candidates about jobs. We’ve watched him develop from a shy, slightly awkward 20-year-old, to a now confident, dependable, knowledgeable employee. We took the chance on him, and it paid off.
We got together with Zack to discuss his development and how working with us has changed him for the better.
How did you first find out about the junior role at Niyaa?
I actually saw the role advertise on Facebook through someone I know.
What did your role involve and how has it changed over time?
When I first joined Niyaa I was Resourcing for one of the Recruitment consultants at the time. I was looking for Gas Engineers and Electricians in the West Midlands. It wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to make a difference, I enjoy helping people. What I didn’t like is how much existing knowledge I had that was being wasted, but I was too introverted to voice this in the beginning. I could hear people asking tech related questions but didn’t speak up for a while.
When did that start to change?
I think after a while, after I’d gained some confidence, I started helping people with small issues around the office. I was assisting people with their outlook, helping when computer screens would turn on, and used the old ‘Have you tried turning it off and back on again’ quite a lot. Before I knew it, I was being pulled into different things, from setting up brand new PC’s in the office, to learning about the CRM system and how to implement data processes. All of a sudden, I was the middle man between Niyaa People and our IT team.
One day the Operations Director, Niki, asked if she could have a quick chat with me. To my surprise she asked me if I’d like to become a permanent member of the operations team. It was a shock initially, but I did feel like I’d earned it. I took on more responsibility within the team, such as compliance, timesheets and just general office issues. This was the first proper job I had after my IT apprenticeship, which didn’t work out at that time in my life.
What support was there from the rest of the team?
The Office Manager was there to show me the ropes, she helped me grow my confidence and taught me all of the internal processes. I got weekly sessions with her and gained training on all areas of the business.
Ryan, the Director, was a big support system for me during this time. He pushed me to my limits and it’s like he just knew what I was capable of, even when I didn’t see it. He helped my grow my confidence and gave me belief in myself.
What was the biggest skill you learned in this role?
I’ve learned to manage my time and workload effectively, as well as prioritising important tasks. I’ve also learned more about CRM systems and the logic that goes into them, as well as organising data, analysing that data and using it to build new business and data processes.
What first attracted you to this role at Niyaa?
It was a great opportunity to develop my skills and push myself out of my comfort zone.
What’s next for you at Niyaa?
Since taking on more responsibility, I’ve learned how to manage my own time as well as managing other team members. I’d like to expand on this element of my current role, and grow my knowledge of management and team leading. I enjoy working with people and helping other manage their time in an effectively.
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