£600,000 training project at LBM

Belfast contact centre LBM is implementing a £600,000 project to develop staff capability and improve its commercial competitiveness, with support from Invest Northern Ireland and the EU.

LBM, which has six contact centres across the UK, provides sales and marketing support for a number of global blue-chip businesses in sectors such as telecoms, automotive, financial services and retail.

LBM’s Belfast base was set up in 2005 with support from Invest NI and now employs almost 400 people. Its range of clients includes Centrica, Carphone Warehouse, O2, Orange and Vodafone.

Invest NI has offered over £177,000 towards the initiative, including part finance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The training programme aims to increase the skills of employees at a number of levels, from operational staff through to middle management. Leadership and coaching, finance, sales and negotiation techniques are amongst the skills being developed.

Niall Casey, Invest NI’s Director of Business Improvement Services, said: “LBM is adding value to its business through this project by raising the capability and skills levels of its employees. The staff training programme is helping the company improve its performance to increase profits.

“Having evaluated its practices throughout the business, LBM is now focusing on developing skills in a number of key functions to enhance its operations in those areas.

“It is important that all companies invest in initiatives which raise the skills levels of their employees to maximise productivity and gain a competitive advantage.”

Tony Bailey, Operations Director of LBM in Belfast, said: “This programme is pivotal to the future success of our business. By up-skilling our employees, we are helping to ensure that a first-class service continues to be provided for our clients.

“The sales skills of operational staff are being refined through this initiative, which is designed to match the needs of both our business and individual employees. This helps improve job satisfaction and staff performance, in turn increasing the profitability of the company.

“Middle management is participating in training activities to ensure that high levels of managerial skills are maintained. Managers are also further developing mentoring techniques to boost employee motivation and retention.”

“A clearer promotional ladder is now being established here in Belfast, and our workers are being given even more opportunities to progress,” added Mr Bailey.