Staff training

Improving the skills of our workforce - Glenovation

Case Study

Tony Devlin set up Glenovation in 2002 and is the managing director. Glenovation provides multimedia, web and database development support and helps companies apply for public sector contracts in the UK and Ireland. Tony employs four full-time staff members to help meet the demands of his growing company.

What I did

Brushed up on my skills

"Once I decided to become self-employed, the first skill gaps to address were my own. While I was very comfortable working online, I didn't have previous business start-up experience and had an immediate training requirement in this area. I registered on a local business start-up programme, which was beneficial and gave me invaluable skills in marketing the company and myself. This training helped get the business off to a good start."

"I was also afraid to go into situations with large groups of people. With the help of the start-up programme, I was able to start effective networking."

Sought advice from training experts

"As the business began to grow, I started to recruit and currently employ four full-time people. I audited our collective strengths and skill gaps, including marketing and promotion of the company. To fill the gaps, I brought in three marketing experts who specialised in training staff to be more market-aware and spot customer opportunities from every situation. The staff responded positively to outside support, and I noticed an improvement in their skills, which has also helped improve our overall performance. Other benefits included increased staff confidence, which ultimately led to an improvement in our profit margins."

Devoted time to staff development

"For a small business we spend a lot of time on staff development. We organise group workshops every three to four months to encourage and develop teamwork and communication skills. This includes dealing with customers, spotting business opportunities, developing brand awareness and becoming more efficient in their job roles. The time invested in this pays off as it increases staff motivation and benefits our bottom line."

What I would do differently

Carry out a staff skills audit and design a training programme

"I'd ensure staff members have the correct skills from the outset. As well as providing high-quality training for your team,  it's important to train yourself. Linking up with at least one business mentor is a great way to learn from other people's challenges and take these forward positively in your business."

Case Study

Tony Devlin


Tony's top tips:

  • "Look after your staff - people are your biggest investment."
  • "Invest in training. It will pay dividends to your company performance and profitability."
  • "Encourage staff to learn about all elements of the business. This way everyone can act as an ambassador for the company."