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Book Review: ‘The People Formula’ by Jane Sunley
28 Sep

Book Review: ‘The People Formula’ by Jane Sunley


In The People Formula, Jane Sunley aims to ‘dramatically improve the performance and profitability of your business’ through the application of 12 steps which address many important business challenges. These steps address issues such as how to get buy-in from the top, driving employee engagement and delivering practical learning and development. The book is not written solely for HR professionals, but should be relevant no matter the size of your organisation, whether you are CEO, HR Director or someone in between.


What’s It Like?

What sets The People Formula apart from many of its counterparts is the no-nonsense and down to earth writing style, which at once makes the material more accessible and understandable in terms of how to pragmatically apply the advice in the real world. Each chapter is backed up with short and snappy real-life examples and advocates (“Don’t just take it from me”), with lots of space throughout for the reader to make personal notes and commitments.


The book addresses the important ‘why’ and ‘what if’ questions rather than just the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, with focused and relevant statistics (for example, to highlight the importance of digitising social media in HR). There is lots of great advice offered, particularly on highlighting the importance of the employer brand, targeting culture and values and getting internal communications right by keeping it simple and not assuming all messages have been received.


Some of the main positives to The People Formula also transfer to the main criticism, which is that it attempts to cover so much ground in the 12 steps. This gives each chapter between eight to fifteen pages of content, so often at the end of a chapter it feels like great tips and advice have been offered, however it doesn’t offer much more depth in knowing how to go forward. The light and easy layout, with ample space for notes and lots of white space between chapters may also give a nod to bulking out the sometimes limited content across more pages.



The People Formula encourages focus on something often forgotten in the business world: the people (in case you hadn’t guessed that from the title!). It avoids the intangible, which is regularly associated with the HR profession. It is recommended for an excellent overview of how to get a myriad of important challenges right, but may leave the reader wanting to refer elsewhere for the nitty gritty.


At Right Trax Training, we can help you to get a key element of your people formula right: learning and development! Get in touch to find out more.

Originally posted on trainingzone

The 70:20:10 Model of Learning: How Do You Measure Up?
11 May

The 70:20:10 Model of Learning: How Do You Measure Up?

702010 management training interpersonal skills workshops

On-the-job, from others or through formal learning; take time to reflect on 70:20:10 and where your development comes from.


The 70:20:10 model of learning embraces the idea that:

  • 70% of learning happens on the job,
  • 20% of learning happens from those around us and
  • 10% of learning is done through formal training and education programs.


We forget more than we remember!

In 1885 Hermann Ebbinghaus studied the memory and found that within 20 minutes people forget more than 40% of what they learned and within an hour people forget about 56% of what they have learned and from there the ability to recall gets worse. It isn’t that we don’t want to learn, it is simply that our brains just aren’t that great at retaining information that we don’t use or practice in the time immediately after learning it.


On-Demand Learning

This weakness in our brains means that one of the best ways to learn is on-demand, right when you can use it and practice it. This is why it is effective to use a model where 70% of the learning is in the moment and hands on. When companies get this right, they see a shift towards greater productivity and a lowering of the cost of and increased return on investment from development.


Learning from Others

The 20% of learning from those around us is invaluable (e.g. peers, co-workers, managers, coaching, feedback, mentoring, etc). This isn’t something that an organisation should force, but instead allow to happen naturally with a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing. When we know that we can rely and fall back on the experience of others, we are more confident and willing to push our boundaries to learn more effectively.


The Importance of Formal Learning

Though formal learning accounts for the final 10% of the model, it is still vital and important…but of course it needs to be quality learning with clear objectives and content that achieves them. Key to the formal learning, and most forgotten, is how it links to the 70% and 20% in terms of applying learning on-the-job and working with others to apply, embed and reflect on learning. Whether through management training or initiatives such as interpersonal skills workshops, work out how learning will be embedded on-the-job and through others, as well as in the formal environment.


What do you do to develop yourself in these areas:

  • 70% – Learning from experience (trial and error, etc)
  • 20% – Learning from others (feedback, exchange of experiences, etc)
  • 10% – Learning from formal training and development


If you would like to hear more on 70:20:10 from Charles Jennings, founder of the 70:20:10 Forum, watch this great video from Fuse Universal.



At Right Trax Training, we work hard to combine the 70:20:10 model of learning to help your people and your business to grow. Find out more about the management training and interpersonal skills workshops that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.

Are YOU Taking Control of YOUR Learning and Development?
04 May

Are YOU Taking Control of YOUR Learning and Development?

employee training and development

It is very easy to expect organisations and managers to provide everything for employee training and development needs, but do we do enough to take control for ourselves?


A recent survey by Penna Consultancy shows the disparity between managers’ and employees’ opinions about how they feel they are supported in their career.


“91% of managers agree that they support employees with opportunities, definitely or sometimes, despite 29% of employees saying that they don’t.“1


This means that one out of every three employees don’t feel supported – not a great place to be. Realistically though, regardless of where your support comes from, who should be owning your learning and development and providing suitable opportunities…you or your manager?


How many of these statements do you recognise?

  • I’m waiting to have my review with my manager.
  • There are no training courses I can sign up to at my company.
  • The sign-off process for training is really complicated.
  • There is no budget for development or training courses.
  • I don’t have the time to focus on my development.
  • I don’t know what I can / should do.


We can easily pass the buck to someone else; it’s much more difficult to face the truth and take control for yourself. So, what can we do to break these bad habits? How can we start to take back the control?


Try these three simple steps:


  1. Take some time for self-reflection:
  • Ask yourself what opportunities did you take advantage of and have you created any for yourself? Try completing a SWOT analysis – this is a process of self-analysis and personal reflection of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to personally evaluate your development needs. Download our SWOT template to get started!


  1. Identify your goals and aspirations:
  • Consider the goals that are important to you and think about what skills, knowledge and experiences you will need to get there. Find some help on this here in one of our recent blogs.


  1. Create your own personal development plan
  • We don’t mean a PDP that you only pay lip service to! Pull everything together to create your own tailored plan. Keep it simple using a straightforward format that can be easily referred to and updated.


So the next time you think you haven’t had any development or support from your manager, remember it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. After all “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Zig Ziglar


At Right Trax Training, we are passionate about helping you to take control! Find out more about our employee training and development and get in touch to discuss how we can help.


Have You Asked Yourself These 5 Questions About YOUR Development?
13 Apr

Have You Asked Yourself These 5 Questions About YOUR Development?

employee training and development

We get so swamped in the day-to-day that our own personal development is often the first thing to fall by the wayside. It’s time to ask yourself some tough questions!


We all have hopes, dreams and ideas for the future; what we would like to be doing, things we would like to have or places we’d like to be, but how often do we actively develop ourselves towards these goals? Or stop to reflect just how near, far or realistic they are?


Ask yourself these questions. They’re written in no particular order and we’d love to hear your thoughts on your favourite or other questions that you ask yourself!


  1. How much time do you spend developing yourself?

It sounds brilliantly simple in practice: put aside a set amount of time each week / month for your employee training and development…and it is! However, how many of us actually do this? Then, if we do it, how easy it is to keep nudging it back in our calendar when something else needs to take priority! If you have found yourself in this situation, look at other options for self-development, such as great books to dip into when you can, opportunities to develop on-the-job or simply by asking those around you for feedback. How often do you spend some time half-aimlessly meandering the Internet to seek out new ideas? Or take time-out to reflect on how your week has been?


  1. Where do you want to get to?

What are you trying to achieve? This is a big question that too few of us seem to contemplate. Once you know what this is, you can then build your goals and targets against this. You can begin to measure your progress against these goals to see a demonstrable shift in your development and your achievements. Understand that we are each in control of our own development; no-one else is going to do it for you. Be empowered to get yourself to where you want to be rather than over-relying on others.


  1. How do you best learn?

We see so many people shoe-horned into other people’s way of thinking or learning, rather than simply tuning in to how we each like to learn in different ways. For some, reading a textbook at bedtime will work wonders, sure, but it’s not for everyone. Similarly, many people are fired up by academic study whereas others will find this an extreme challenge. Try to integrate your preferred ways of learning into your approach: whether that’s getting stuck in, reflecting on your approach or searching for valid arguments and counter-arguments to back up your thinking.


  1. What’s really important to you?

Our personal values are the characteristics and qualities that form the rules we live by. When we consider our own development, we often forget about our values, leading to many people feeling the need to develop in a way that goes against the grain for them. It’s important to identify your values so that you can make good decisions, otherwise you will lack the drive and motivation to really develop at all.


  1. What can you do today that will scare you?

We loved these ‘12 Uncomfortable Things…’ that we recently shared on social media, and it’s true: how often do we truly push our comfort zone to the point of discomfort or fear? As long as we aren’t pushing ourselves to breaking point, this is where the great stuff (i.e. learning) happens!


What will you do today to take back control of your development and your future?

Find out more about our employee training and development and get in touch to discuss how we can help to support (not own!) your development.

You Want Results? Start at the Top!
24 Feb

You Want Results? Start at the Top!

Providing learning and development is great, but often a wasted investment if change isn’t driven and supported by your managers and leaders.


There are many reasons why it’s important to evaluate the learning and development you provide to your people, such as:

  1. To validate that the results achieved – and the budget spent – actively contribute towards organisational objectives and goals.
  2. To assist in deciding whether to continue, expand upon, or indeed discontinue, your current development offering.
  3. To gain intel on how to further improve your future development programmes.


However, some benefits, such as developing ‘soft’ skills, can be harder to put a solely monetary value on. The main advantages of having a proficient and committed workforce, who are ‘on board’ with the company’s objectives and goals can include:

  • More satisfied customers
  • Reduced employee absenteeism
  • Less employee turnover
  • Increased morale and employee engagement


Often many thousands of pounds are spent in the name of ‘new customer acquisition’, only to find that many of these new clients are soon put off by poor customer service efforts. This is not always as a result of a lack of development or substandard employee behaviours, but rather as a consequence of employee apathy or disenchantment driven by poor management and leadership.

A positive attitude and a commitment to improving performance starts with the approach of the company’s leaders and managers. When we a want to do something it will get done better and faster than if we are coerced or forced into doing it. Skilled and professional leadership has a way of becoming infectious. These managers know how to make people want to be highly productive, which is why they should be the first to be engaged in development if any change is to be successful.


At Right Trax Training, we can help your managers and leaders to successfully navigate organizational change. Get in touch to find out more.

Performance Management – a Proactive Partnership, or a Positive Pain?
20 Jan

Performance Management – a Proactive Partnership, or a Positive Pain?

It’s often seen as a laborious and unnecessary ‘tick box’ exercise – preceded by lots of last minute scurrying around for evidence – and little else…but if this is the case for you then you’re missing a trick!

It’s that time of the year, often towards the end of one or at the beginning of the next, when the dreaded performance review looms. Even the most developed PM systems won’t work if your managers and employees aren’t held accountable for their part in the process. Investing the right amount of time, energy, and resources in to how your people manage their performance will yield results.

Firstly, it’s vital that you have a sound system that the whole organisation is committed to. If your company culture doesn’t reflect this commitment, then performance management will be doomed to fail.

The whole business needs to understand that the process of PM happens throughout the entire year – rather than done as a one-off or annual event coordinated by either the manager or the HR department.

Of course, it’s about supporting the business’ objectives and aligning them with those of its employees; so it helps if it’s based on both increasing performance and learning and development, in order to make the most of a high performance workforce.

Dynamic organisations of today – and the future – need to be more responsive. There is a recognised shortage of key talent, and success will rely on a business’s ability to offer the best coaching, engagement, and continuous employee development as part of a holistic approach to how performance is managed.


Download our PM Checklist for Managers and make sure your PM process matters!


At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people. Get in touch to find out how we can help your managers to more effectively support and manage performance.

How Do Your Meetings Measure Up To Our FREE Checklist?
02 Dec

How Do Your Meetings Measure Up To Our FREE Checklist?

Last time, we helped you to make your meetings matter and we’re back with some more tips and a FREE checklist to benchmark your meetings against.


Keep these three things in mind for your meetings:

  1. The meeting should achieve its objective – so it’s best to be clear what that is before you start.


  1. The meeting should take up a minimum amount of time – so use time wisely.
  2. The meeting should leave participants feeling that their attendance was worthwhile – so make sure they feel included.


Download our handy checklist for planning and facilitating better meetings and let us know how your meetings measure up against it!


Meeting Checklist from Right Trax Training


At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people. Get in touch to find out how we can help you and your people to get more from their meetings!


How to Make Your Meetings Matter!
18 Nov

How to Make Your Meetings Matter!

Are the meetings you attend dull, unproductive and just too long? If you’ve sat through a meeting and thought “what a waste of time”, you’re not alone!


With proper planning and some preparation, we can all help to make meetings more effective, and (shock horror) even more enjoyable!

Effective meetings are those that offer a chance to discuss and evaluate goals and objectives, keep updated on current activities, and provide a real chance to communicate and pool resources.

Use Time Wisely

Time is precious. You owe it to yourself (and the rest of the people in the meeting), to streamline as much as possible. Therefore, be sure to:

  1. Develop an agenda – be realistic and concise.
  2. Select an appropriate meeting time and place. Set a time limit for the meeting, and then do your very best to stick to it. Respect the fact that attendees have other commitments, and will be more likely to attend if your meetings prove to be both productive and concise.
  3. Circulate the agenda and any background material prior to the meeting so that attendees can arrive prepared, and feel involved and well informed from the outset.
  4. Aim to arrange the room so that people face each other, perhaps in a circle or semi-circles.
  5. Choose a location suitable to the number of attendees. Use visual aids (e.g., posters, diagrams) if appropriate.
  6. Make sure all attending receive a reminder just before the meeting. If a critical person is 15 minutes late in an eight person meeting, that person has could be responsible for losing the business up to two hours!


Expect the unexpected!

Even during the most perfect organised meeting you may find that unanticipated elements or ideas that pop up.  But it’s all good!

As the organiser, it’s your task to carefully navigate the fine line between heading off on a tangent and appreciating the ‘this is very important – thank goodness someone brought it up’ moments. It’s vital that key conversations (that your team really need to have) are not cut off just because they don’t follow your meeting plan. Be transparent with those attending if you do need to cut something short, or allow an unexpected conversation.


Come back next time for part two, when we offer you three more top tips and a handy meeting checklist to benchmark your meetings against!


At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people. Get in touch to find out how we can help you and your people to get more from their meetings!



How to Find Your Mentor and Why You Need One
04 Nov

How to Find Your Mentor and Why You Need One

No matter who you are or how good you think you are, a mentor can be an invaluable asset to your personal and professional success.


What do Google’s Larry Page, Virgin’s Richard Branson and Apple’s Steve Jobs all have in common? They all received guidance from mentors. Yes – even the legendary Apple founder needed a little help, advice and support from time to time.

Belief is so important to mentoring. American author and businessman Zig Ziglar once said, ‘A lot of people have gone much further than they thought they could simply because someone else believed they could.’

Ask any truly successful business person and, if they are honest about it, they will almost certainly admit to having benefited from the advice of a mentor at some point in their career. It’s a big part of why there are so many prosperous family businesses – parents mentor their children to emulate (or even exceed), their own success!

Mentoring is often confused, mainly with coaching. One of the key differences between mentoring and coaching is simple: mentors give advice and suggest solutions.

From this simple fact, it is easy to see why finding the right mentor can often make or break the process. It really is important – so choose wisely.


Finding the right mentor

A good mentor is someone who agrees to speak truthfully, but constructively, about weaknesses and problems. A person who will not shy away from discussing emotionally charged issues. The mentor is a critical friend who, more often than not, is of a more senior level to the mentee. They should also be on-hand to listen, ready with considered advice, able to provide the mentee with support and willing to share the benefit of their experience.

One crucial aspect is selecting someone whose skills and experience complement the mentee’s own. It’s essential that the partnership is between two individuals who can also connect with each other on a personal level. So actually liking one another is a good place to start!

Both parties need to appreciate that they are committing for the long-term. Mentoring needs to be available on an ongoing basis, with meetings often arranged at the last minute if the need arises. It’s a very real obligation – so neither party should go in to the process if they aren’t prepared to give their all.

That said, there is an immense amount of mutual benefit to be had – and hopefully some fun times too!


We’ve provided some food for thought here, however mentoring is a big topic.

Get in touch with us to talk through it in more detail, or if you need a sounding board or some ideas on how to enter into a mentor / mentee relationship.

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