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Are Knowledgeable Staff Worth the Money?

When looking to recruit staff, organisations will consider what they will pay their staff, the staff they need and so on. An important point however is the knowledge of the staff.

Kieran McCarthy, one of our leisure management tutors says “Knowledge management is a more contemporary theory that in the context of leisure management tries to explain why the pursuit of staff members who are appropriately qualified is more important than the acquisition of equipment. Knowledge management is the idea that ideas and experience can be implicitly and explicitly transferred between staff members. Therefore, staff members who have significant experience in certain areas are more likely to be paired with inexperienced staff members in the same areas in order to facilitate training. For instance, if an instructor is very qualified in taking spinning classes they will tend to be paired with an unqualified member of staff who will act as a mentor. The reason why this is done is because it is recognised that whilst the spinning bikes are needed to conduct the class there are so many spin bike providers these can be bought reasonably cheaply. Additionally, it is rare that a client will leave a class because of a spin bike. Rather, it is more likely that a customer will stop attending a class because they do not like the instructor who is not experienced enough. Therefore, customer service is viewed from the point of knowledge transfer (which includes the transfer of experience) between different staff members. The example of the spinning class is only one instance where this can work. It is also used as a method to train managers.”

Knowledge management does not only apply to leisure staff, the same lessons can applies in all areas of recruitment. A knowledgeable staff member can pass on their knowledge to other staff.  A knowledge child care staff member can also train and improve the skills of less knowledgeable staff.  A knowledgeable assistant working in a computer store is more likely to make a sale AND get the customer coming back in the future than someone who gives poor service, lacking in knowledge.

For example, a father and daughter recently when to purchase ski clothes for a school trip for their daughter. The assistant was not able to advise the father, who had never been skiing either. Finally they left the store and went to another store, where they received good advice and made a purchase.

Good, knowledgeable staff may be more expensive, but they reap their own rewards with

  • increased sales
  • increased customer recruitment/getting new customers
  • increased customer retention/keep your customers
  • attract repeat custom
  • improvements in the training of other staff

Knowledgeable staff can definitely be worth the extra wages incurred.

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