In November 2017 Transguard launched the Centre of Excellence, an AED 3.8 million, 38,000-square foot open plan learning and innovation space with the capacity to train and run workshops and events for up to 350 staff at any one time.
In this five-minute Q&A, Greg Ward - Managing Director, Transguard Group, discusses the importance of driving a culture of training and development in the organisation, and shares his own experience as a young person entering the workforce, and the positive impact that in-house training and development programmes had on his career.
Q. Why did you set up the Transguard Centre of Excellence?
A. Greg Ward: I have been quite lucky in my career with the training opportunities I received. I was 16 when I joined Ford’s Training Centre in Dagenham, UK for two years. Even though I didn’t know it, we were being trained all the time. That was the ethos at Ford, whether it’s Lean Six Sigma, accountancy skills, tradesman skills or project management skills, there is continuous training and a commitment to lifelong learning for everyone. This has always stayed with me throughout my career and when I joined Transguard, I wanted everyone here to have the same opportunity that I did. My passion for learning and development and its power to transform the culture of an organisation and the people within it, is what led to the creation of Transguard’s Centre of Excellence.
Q. What are some of the challenges faced by organisations in relation to learning and development?
A Greg Ward: When employees feel like they are made to undertake training or do not understand why some training is mandatory, it can feel harsh or regimental. What you don’t realise is how much of it you end up using in your everyday life. The impact on my life was phenomenal. I was a mechanical fitter trained to be a robotics engineer. It really broadened my perspective and if you look at the leading companies today, you will see one thing they all have in common – they invest in their people. At Transguard, the Centre of Excellence is already making a huge difference to our 65,000 employees. We have employees coming off completed contracts and being upskilled and going into new contracts. We are always looking to promote from within the organisation and will support any team member who wants to continue to learn and grow.
Q. There has been much debate in recent years about the work ethic of millennials. What’s your view?
A. Greg Ward: Our company is very diverse and we are committed to equal opportunities, so regardless of your gender, your ethnicity or your age we treat everyone fairly. I have three millennials at home so I know there are challenges! However, they are also brilliant, caring and I believe our most capable and resourceful generation yet. Today’s leaders must start to configure their organisations to encourage the next generation, we need to start changing for them, not the other way around. Young people do not like to be micromanaged, they want to work for organisations that are socially responsible, care about the environment and their community and offer opportunity for personal growth and development. These are the types of qualities you want your team members to possess.
Q. What advice would you give millennials just starting their careers?
A. Greg Ward:Choosing an organisation that has the right culture and provides an opportunity for growth and development is important when you’re getting started. However, this may mean that you’re not doing the exact job you imagined right away. Young people always want everything to happen right away, although I think that’s true of every generation of young people, not just millennials. There are no short cuts, it takes a lot of hard work to get to the top. Develop your skills and build relationships to get to where you want to be, and enjoy the ride. I have got a lot of time for young people who work with me at Transguard. We have got some phenomenal youngsters in our team. Our marketing team is very young, a lot of our operational teams are very young. Millennials are very inquisitive, hardworking and willing to learn and always bring a lot of energy to the table which I love. Anyone willing to learn and work hard has a great future here at Transguard.
Q. What does the future hold for the Transguard Centre of Excellence?
A. Greg Ward: The Centre of Excellence will continue to grow as Transguard keeps growing. We are already running at full capacity, which means the Centre is ‘jam-packed’ with up to 350 learners being trained at any one time. The space is a real hive of energy, with all the activity happening under one roof, so you can see teams being trained in cleaning, MEP, security and you can also see workshops and innovation hubs taking place, all in the same space together. I strongly believe that if we have the right people working within a culture where they feel happy, supported and looked after, then we will continue to be the company people want to work for above all others – young, or old like me! The Centre of Excellence is a testament to that mission.
Greg Ward, Managing Director - Transguard
For more information on Transguard’s Centre of Excellence WATCH THIS VIDEO