The Importance of Values and the Power of WOW!

In this blog post College Manager, Sam Hendry talks about the importance of core values and how Kool Kids Training College strive to deliver WOW in their training every day.

INTRODUCTION

Creating and believing in a set of core values is instrumental in any successful organisation.

Kool Kids Training College (RTO 40636) strives to be the BEST in its field and the foundation of quality training starts with the principles of what the college stands for – these are the college core values.

The college operates with 5 core values:

1.Quality
2.Team
3.Trust
4.Professionalism
5.WOW!

But committing to values and living and breathing them every day is the challenge that some organisations don’t follow through with.

Sam believes that values are only relevant when they are engrained into the mindset of all staff.

“Simply having a board at the front desk with some words on it is not enough.”

“Values need to be embedded into daily practices of everyone and their adherence recognised and rewarded. On the flipside where they are abandoned or not met, there needs to be action by leaders in the organisation to address that,” he said.

“For our college, our 5 core values are our guideposts for growth and keep us in check when hard calls need to be made. We have them built into our performance review processes with each staff member and we talk openly about where they have been met or not on a regular basis also.”

“If we are serious about our values then we put these ahead of any other consideration when making hard decisions and that can cost the organisation time and/or money but decisions have to be made with these values in mind.”

“If we are serious about our quality and professionalism values for example, then we limit our ratio of student numbers to trainers and assessors and we do not overload them with too many students. I have heard of some RTOs with 150 students per trainer – this simply won’t happen with us as we know we would not be meeting two of our core values.”

“Likewise, we are trusted by our students to be in centre every 3 weeks. If we let them down by not keeping to that schedule, then our trust value goes out the window. For every activity or inactivity there is a connection with our values. They are so important,” Sam said.
The college is increasingly being recognised for its ‘WOW’ value.

So, what is WOW and how do you get to WOW?

Sam attended a leadership course some years ago and studied Zappos – a famed US based online shoe retailer that effectively built its brand and success by delivering WOW!

“This company opened my eyes to innovative customer service or as they called it WOW! They had a value proposition of next day delivery and free returns and a 24×7 customer service line that would literally go above and beyond for every call. I recall one customer (and I think it was late at night and the customer was a little ‘under the weather’) who was trying to locate their local pizza shop and the Zappos staff took the call, helped locate the shop and then put the order in for them.”

Sam adds, “when you think of a story like that and the ripple effect of word of mouth recognition emanating from it, and the belief in service that all staff ‘buy into’, it literally is priceless.”

“We see WOW as a competitive advantage. Once the whole team is invested in WOW, the magic happens. At the college we ask our trainers and assessors to report weekly on their WOW moment. Below are some for recent weeks. The joy the team get from sharing stories from Cairns to Campbelltown is amazing” Sam said.

Enjoy some of our WOW moments below…

WOW Moments from Kool Kids Training College Trainers & Assessors

“Wow” was reading two different PowerPoint presentations from students reflecting on their family, background and views while completing one of the cultural units. They both had completely different takes on the project due to their life stories, but both were incredibly moving to read. I love learning about the students and who they are. The big wow is seeing how culturally diverse students take on the culture cluster units with such passion, and it shows in their practices as Educators.

A centre that I am booked in to see on Halloween, let me know that they were going to all be dressed up that day so that if I wanted to join in and get dressed I could too. I think it is lovely that educators and managers include trainers when thinking about what happens at the centre

This week I visited a student who has English as a second language. When she started the course, she wasn’t very confident for that same reason as she thought she would struggle talking to educators and children. Back then she also thought that the English involved in the course could be a bit hard for her so if I thought that she wasn’t good enough, she wanted me to let her know. From the beginning she has been a good student and she works really hard on her assessments. When I saw her today, WOW, she seemed so confident and happy while she was interacting with the children. I could see a big improvement in her English and the way she was interacting with others. I’m so happy for her.

This week one of my younger Assistant Educators who I took on earlier this year has been promoted to Lead Educator of the Infants Room. This particular student when I took her on had completed one unit in a year. She has only 10 units left to do now and has worked so hard. She is one of 10 children in her own family, is the eldest of the children and looks after all of her younger siblings. I am so proud of her. She really deserved this promotion.

I have a student who is very passionate about her work and is always second guessing herself- this often results in many texts throughout the week and deep and meaningful conversations frequently. But it gives me great pride when I receive texts like this…

“Good morning. Thank you for marking my unit. I made it through and feel as though I have more confidence…..this is because of you, you keep me going, thank you so much for the past month or so you have been very patient and very helpful.”

During Wednesday night tutoring a student submitted her final piece of assessment for her Diploma. When she submitted it, she said “I’m so sad to be finished, I don’t want this to end”. And truth be told… I don’t want her to finish either! She has been organised, committed and a pleasure to support throughout her study journey.

When I signed her off the last unit, she said to me…

‘Before, I was not ready for this, you know, doing the program, running a room, evaluating experiences with other educators or supervisor, reflecting on myself, reflecting the day, how could we do differently next time? What was the main reason the day was so chaotic? Etc. But now I think I’m ready. I can say, I’m ready. I learned a lot from this course. Sometimes it took time more than I expected or you expected. Only because I wanted to submit the best response I could do.’

Such a dedicated student she has been. She is going to be 62 years old next year.

She said, using the rest of this year as ‘reflection’ and getting ready to take the next step confidently next year. It was such a pleasure to be a part of her career.

This week I went to an early learning centre to visit one of my students to do an on the job assessment. During my time in her room I noticed a boy that was obviously autistic he was non-verbal and very much content in his own world doing his own thing. Educators were supportive of his needs, but the moment of WOW was the children within his class that showed full acceptance of this boy… in particular it was lunch time and one of the children without being asked grabbed the boys water bottle and his hand, walked him over to the door ready to head to the lunch room. This was such a moment that melted my heart to see such acceptance and inclusion in children so young and the credit goes to the educators by creating an awareness in the children and encouraging inclusion and equity.

For more information on training in Early Childhood Education and Care, contact the college on 1300 048 133

Sam Hendry
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Sam Hendry

Commercial Director and Career Strategist at Kool Kids Training College
Sam is a training and career change professional. He is passionate about ensuring Kool Kids Training College students are industry-ready when they graduate.
Sam has experience in public and private sector organisations across Australia and has been the Commercial Director with Kool Kids Training College since 2014.
Sam Hendry
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