Staff training and motivation have always ranked very highly on our list of priorities. The investment in training programmes such as the Leadership Development Group is designed to encourage younger members of the workforce to prepare for higher levels of responsibility. Annual staff appraisals are designed to track the progress of individuals and to help them to achieve their ambitions.
On a practical level the Pig Trainee Scheme trains young people over a three year period to Level 2 Certificate of Competence, with the aim of having a pool of well trained pig technicians to place in permanent positions within JSR.
Since the inaugural course in 1991, the Leadership Development programme (LDG) has played an important role in the personal development of team leaders and management trainees.
LDG - Leadership Development Group
In 2016 the LDG begins its 24th year, more than 150 delegates have successfully completed the programme.
The idea was conceived when Tim Rymer, Chairman JSR Farming Group, noticed that no-one from within JSR had applied for a job vacancy advertised on one of their pig units. Curious as to why that may be, he asked the staff on the unit why they had not put themselves forward. The response was that they did not feel they had the necessary skills and confidence to lead a team of people.
Tim approached Lindsay Muir, of Cedar Associates and together they worked to design a programme that would equip staff with these missing skills. However it was evident early on that this was a programme that could benefit delegates outside JSR, and so it was agreed that the course would be available to other companies, by marketing through Cedar Associates.
The LDG programme runs over a period of 12 months and consists of a number of modules that focus on personal development, whilst at the same time exposing delegates to leadership skills.
Part 1 - Outdoor Development Programme
The programme starts with a residential outdoor development course. This is run by Cedar Associates, with the help of the team from Vertical Air, based near Kendal in the Lake District. The week contains a number of tasks which unearth a variety of both physical and emotional challenges to the delegates. These tasks increase in difficulty as the week progresses and are aimed at encouraging the delegates to work more effectively as a team, whilst at the same time encouraging leadership.
Naturally, people slot into their own comfort zones, however by the end of the week the programme effectively manages to coerce the delegates into more challenging roles. The group's progress throughout the 5 days is closely monitored by the trainers, where feedback plays an important part and is paramount to the progress and motivation of the team.
To add to the complexities of the task much of the programme is held outdoors and is at the mercy of the changeable weather conditions the Lake District in February is notorious for!
Part 2 - Leading Teams Safely and Effectively
With the valuable lessons learned in Part 1, this module moves onto the next steps of leadership development and looks at leadership style and delegation, building and monitoring teams and responsibilities for Health and Safety.
Part 3 - Planning and Organising Work
An effective leader should have good organisational skills. This element of the course helps with setting clear aims, time and personal planning, work study techniques, and budgeting and finance. Guidelines to planning and structuring a presentation are covered here to help the delegates prepare a work organisation project for later presentation.
Part 4 - Communication and Presenting Ideas
Effective communication is key in any leadership / management role. Help is provided here with communication skills and assertiveness, seeking consensus in meetings, presentation workshop, presentations of work organisation projects, employment law workshop, motivating self and others.
Part 5 - Managing Customers and Projects
This final part of the LDG course focuses on delegate's contribution to quality, internal and external customers, managing projects, avoiding or tackling crisis and personal feedback.
Many of the delegates that complete the LDG programme go on to take on more responsibility within their workplace. It becomes clear from Part 1 that the delegates who have got the most out of LDG are those that put the most in! LDG can prove a valuable asset to any training programme.
Anyone one wanting details of the programme should contact JSR Farms on 01377 227755.