Why do some companies close their doors a few years after establishment, while others last forever? Triple E Training celebrates their 24th year in Training and Development and August and we had serious discussions with their Board of Directors.
All five directors of Triple E Training have passion for the business. They are intrinsically motivated by the work they do. This Board is 100% committed to its vision and mission and ensuring its longevity. “Studies have shown that employees who are engaged in their work have a higher productivity rate. Especially since employers are asking more of their employees than before, it helps to love what you do so that you can meet the challenges of the job.” (Cheryl Palmer). All companies hit rough patches from time to time. But only a few manage to survive decade after decade and Triple E Training is one of these. Passion means that more often that not such companies have evolved from when they were first established.
The ability to manage a company’s current business while also preparing for change is called Organisational Ambidexterity (Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Charles O’Reilly). Lance Clack, Managing Director of Triple E Training, says that this is one of their essential winning strategies. “Staying competitive means one of our goals must be to evolve. We need to deliver our Training Programmes excellently, while incorporating change. This is for the benefit of the learners and industry.” He believes that hasty, unplanned change can actually destroy a company, and therefore Triple E Training relies on their research and development team to track the happenings in the field. It’s essential to regard the client’s view, industry and South African adult learners, and to evolve accordingly according to Clack.
Research and Development
“Exploration is essential for companies,” says Sharon Blignaut. Responsible for research and development at Triple E Training she says, “Whether we are dealing with training of educators, development of learning materials or the quality assurance of the entire learning process, research and development is an essential practice.” This is a practice that is instilled in the company and in fact, Triple E Training goes beyond borders for research and development. Blignaut has personally visited the United Kingdom and Tanzania for curriculum development, assessment methodologies and related topics. “We have many resources in South Africa and we aim to be compliant in all ways with SAQA and so on, but research and development beyond our borders ensures our materials and learning processes encompass current global trends as well,” says Blignaut.
Compliance in BBBEE and accreditation has opened many doors for Triple E Training according to Paula Whitaker. “Not only is compliance important for the values we encompass at Triple E, but most companies in South Africa consider this compliance as a crucial criteria when contracting suppliers.” Whitaker states that Triple E Training is extremely proud of its Level 2 BBBEE status and that they have worked diligently to maintain it. In addition they training they offer assists workplaces with their BBBEE scorecards. Accreditation of training providers is another worthwhile practice.
“The fact that we are one of only four fully accredited ABET/AET Providers (Umalusi), definitely increases our opportunities for more business.” Triple E Training works constantly at ensuring their personnel is aligned with their vision, mission and all principles ensuring compliance.
Samson Baloyi says that Triple E’s longevity is simple to describe because if you care about your customers they will care about you. Baloyi says, “We don’t always get it right, but we constantly strive for customer exuberance, not just customer satisfaction.” It’s a relationship that takes work, but will last if its cared for. He states that the Quality Assurance visits Triple E does, the support for facilitators and learners, all contribute to the difference between merely satisfactory and excellent delivery. “This is attention to detail. Instilling attention to detail throughout your company will be especially important when the business has a growth spurt’ says Baloyi. He believes that to keep in business and indeed grow, you need to speak to industry. “Addressing the needs the industry is huge,” he reiterates. He also adds that to err is human and no one is perfect, but that you must take accountability. When you fall short with a customer, honesty about the shortfall and complete integrity is the only way forward.
The Financial Director, Joe Clack, believes that careful financial management and that fact the Triple E Training invests back into the business generously, have ensured its success. The research and development and drive to stay on top of the training game costs a lot but Clack is certain this is necessary. In addition to this is Business Integrity. Clack states, “Business integrity is one of the fundamental values that we practise and look for in our employees.” And he believes that companies who demonstrate integrity attract clients because they are trustworthy and dependable. They are principled even when no one is watching. Clack says that, “Our employees have the opportunity to demonstrate their integrity every day. If you’ve hired the right people, integrity will be first and foremost.” He concludes by saying that Triple E Training refuses to work any other way.
The Board of Directors of Triple E Training believes in passion, organisational dexterity, research and development, compliance, customer exuberance and integrity as key contributors to their success. One thing is clear, Triple E Training is here for at least another 24 years.
Written by the staff of Triple E Training Holdings (PTY) Ltd, August 2015.