Counting on the importance of staff development for future success

A MULTIPLE-angled approach to staff learning and development is behind a York accountancy firm’s mission to achieve its company vision.

Monks Cross-based Garbutt + Elliott, which also has an office in Leeds and employs a team of 105, has entered one of the Press Business Awards new categories this year – The Best People Development award.

HR manager Chloe Owens said: “We approach our learning and development from many angles.

“In order to achieve our company vision and develop a culture which is underpinned by our core values and behaviours we recognise we must invest in the continuous development of our people.

“We recognise that technical/specialist learning is of paramount importance. To ensure our people are the best technically, we support a range of technical training needs by way of webinars, in house courses, on the job training, and attendance on externally run courses.”

Garbutt + Elliott boasts a comprehensive training programme for trainee accountancy roles, supporting school leavers and graduates with a full study package, including apprenticeships and sandwich placements.

The firm also supports qualifications linked to other roles where relevant, such as the tax teams being encouraged to study for Associate and Chartered qualifications, as well as supporting HR, marketing, payroll and financial planning qualifications.

In addition to technical knowledge, Garbutt + Elliot says it has a strong focus on developing ‘soft’ skills, both for managers and non management staff, in recognition of “people and behavioural skills being essential in developing and nurturing relationships with existing clients and staff and also to win new clients and attract new employees”.

Ms Owens said: “It is essential to the ongoing motivation and engagement of our people to ensure they are provided with the level of support and encouragement needed to help them personally develop and continuously improve.

“We have developed a comprehensive package of soft skills programmes, working in conjunction with the University of York’s. Management Development Programme, covering all aspects of leadership, self awareness, practical toolkits, commercial awareness, and client care.
“This enables our managers to manage people effectively and provide the support and guidance their teams need, and non managers to ensure they are motivated and the best they can be.”

The firm has also developed a Leadership Development Programme, in conjunction with the ICAEW, for its senior managers aspiring to become directors and partners.