View from the Chamber – 10.12.20

Lochaber Chamber of Commerce

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At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

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What does ‘managing staff’ mean to you? The term ‘managing’ covers a lot – what exactly is involved in effective managing? Is it the same as leadership?

Whenever you manage a team, you ARE in a leadership role. Being able to lead and manage people effectively is one of the most crucial parts of any business, yet it’s something that many people have no or little training in.  Even though good leadership can make all the difference to your business success!

Good management also means good leadership – looking after your staff, retaining the best people, motivating and empowering your staff team to pull together all helps to deliver the goals of the business. It sounds simple on paper, but we all know that it’s not that easy in practice. Today’s managers have a lot to contend with and taking time to develop the ‘soft skills’ of managing people can be overlooked as a ‘nice to have’ when they are in fact business essentials.

At the Chamber we know how important it is to look after your staff and lead effectively in ways that empower and motivate others. That’s why we launched our tailored ‘One Lochaber’ leadership programme for our Lochaber businesses last year. This homegrown and locally delivered management training accredited by the renowned Chartered Institute of Management (CMI) has been specially designed to be accessible to everyone in Lochaber, no matter what the industry or business size.

This year-long course was originally delivered by expert leadership trainers in monthly group sessions, but due to the current situation the course has been adapted so that students on the course can learn in short fortnightly interactive zoom sessions.

The course is easy to follow and instantly applicable to every business, with friendly guidance available every step of the way. We’ve had great feedback from the first year’s cohorts who are due to graduate with their Level 5 CMI qualification at the end of the year. One attendee even calls it ‘the most useful course she’s ever attended’.  To complement the Leadership Programme we have also launched a new Mentoring Programme to help those in the local business community support each other to succeed.

Treating employees fairly and getting best from our people is always top of the agenda at the Chamber and this week we’ve also run a busy session looking at the rules around employment law with the experts from Ledingham Chalmers Solicitors. Your membership also gives you unlimited free access to online and telephone HR and legal advice. We’re here to help you get the best out of your staff team, help nurture the leadership talents of our managers and ensure we look after our people. As we come to the end of what’s been an unbelievably hard year for everyone, we believe in the power of looking after each other, and developing skills and support to help Lochaber business thrive.

To find out more about the benefits of joining Lochaber Chamber of Commerce and to talk to a member of the team about joining the ‘One Lochaber’ Leadership or Mentoring Programmes, drop us an email to membership@lochaberchamber.co.uk to arrange a chat or have a look at www.lochaberchamber.co.uk for more information.