Lynn Kydd of Clarity Business Travel has recently completed her Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager apprenticeship. Clarity are committed to investing in their people and have been enrolling their staff members onto apprenticeship programme since 2014. Lynn works as part of the Travel Management team and took some time out to sit down and talk to us about how the apprenticeship has benefitted her and the organisation.
What made you decide to embark on an apprenticeship?
It was during the pandemic that the business approached me and offered me the apprenticeship opportunity. I was unsure that someone of my age or experience would be eligible to an apprenticeship but having found out more about it I knew it was something I wanted to do.
I was interested in developing my skills and knowledge to help both myself and the business.
What has been the biggest takeaway from your apprenticeship?
It’s been 30 years since I graduated from university and done any type of formal learning but what I’ve found is I really enjoyed it.
I liked the reflecting learning modules as it allowed me to understand myself better and what kind of manager I am. The apprenticeship has helped me to slow down and reflect on the different types of management styles I can use in my day-to-day role. I feel it also allowed me to challenge my thought process, as I’ve learnt to compromise, adapt and change my management style and approach and not to always say “yes” to everything. Most importantly I’ve learnt to value my own time.
How has the apprenticeship impacted you and your development?
I think I am a better manager and I have adapted my management style to suit a virtual team. I’ve learnt I need to be a better communicator, use my emotional intelligence more and make sure everyone feels more involved. I’ve understood how important it is to have shared values and how to empower, motivate and delegate tasks to members of my team.
I feel I have better project planning skills and understand why you need to use different processes and tools to track and drive a project. I’m hoping to utilise these skills more on my next project.
How has the apprenticeship impacted your organisation?
In some ways it was difficult as post pandemic we had a resource issue and were extremely busy, but I had to take time out to complete my course while having extra demands and pressures. This made me value my time, but it was hard on the company as I had to take a day out each week to complete my work. In the long run it will benefit the organisation. I have already shared some of my ideas and learning from the apprenticeship such as making a team charter and ideas for rewards and recognition.
Having completed the apprenticeship, I am now part of the company’s ‘People Group’ where I will use my experience to drive change in how we invest in our people.
As part of my final project, I helped our company get awarded the Service Mark Distinction from the Institute of Customer Service. We are the only travel company to have this achievement, so I am very proud that I was involved in helping us get this achievement.
How has Damar’s approach to training contributed to the impact of the apprenticeship?
I like that is a blended learning model; the workshops were great as they allowed us to share our knowledge and challenge one another in a positive way. The review sessions were very helpful as they focused on my personal growth. Some of these sessions were conducted with my manager which were good as we got to catch up about my progress, I got feedback and felt recognised for the work that I had completed and to hear positive feedback was also great.
I liked having a profiler with goals to work towards. I also liked the journal in One File, it became a friend to me, an outlet to put my thoughts and personal growth and challenges. It was great to write it all down and to take the time out to do it. I also liked Open Learning and the links to articles and content which you could research further. It has made me think about taking a further qualification as I really enjoyed learning again!
Reflecting on my apprenticeship I am glad I did it. I found it psychologically supportive at a very difficult time when we were so busy and had enormous pressures.