Jane Ridley works in one of the UK’s grandest stately homes, where she’s responsible for the training of 250 people. Much of it focuses on keeping the customer satisfied.
What does your job involve?
Establishing and assessing a company training plan for our 250 employees’ training and development requirements, and ensuring these requirements are aligned with departmental and group business plan objectives.
How many courses/events do you organise?
I organise on average four or five big training initiatives a year. So far this year there have been staff refresher days, plus customer service, and management and supervisory training. In addition, there is all the mandatory training, such as induction and health and safety.
What course or training are you working on now?
I am currently working on customer service training, mainly due to the fact that we employ a large number of customer-facing staff here at Castle Howard.
How and why did you get into training?
I started my career as a payroll administrator, and then moved into a personnel role, where part of my job description was to book staff on training courses and complete all of the administration. I moved to another employer when I was recruited as a development officer, where I was able to continue in this field.
What’s the best or most memorable training event you’ve attended?
It was a two-day team ‘bonding’ event, which was held in the Lincolnshire countryside. At the end of the two days, I understood my way of learning, and how this would have an impact on my current role and future development.
What’s key to putting on a successful course?
Know your audience, and ensure they have the opportunity to have lots of input into the course. Also, when designing the course, take into account the different learning styles/techniques the candidates will require to learn effectively.
How do you measure the impact of training?
Through constant monitoring and evaluation, both before and after training commences. Following this, we decide whether the candidate implements their new-found knowledge day to day.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Training and development manager here, and hopefully qualified in various coaching practices.
What really annoys you?
Lateness, rudeness, and bad customer service.
What career advice would you give someone starting out in training/learning and development?
Try to enrol on the Certificate in Training Practice course (through the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), as this will provide a good foundation.
What book are you currently reading?
Gordon Ramsay’s book Humble Pie. I’m so engrossed in it – he has worked so hard and come so far.
Who’s your hero?
What’s the best piece of training/learning and development advice you’ve been given?
To carry on developing, analysing and completing my continuing professional development plan.
How do you relax?
By visiting my beautician on a regular basis.
Jane Ridley is training officer at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire – a busy estate that attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year.