‘Could training be antidote to COVID crisis at work?’: Sarah Kalmeta, Pivot Point

Mike Stones

As companies scrutinise expenses to mitigate the financial impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, training budgets can be the first to being slashed. But that would be counter-productive, according to Sarah Kalmeta, founder of new consultancy and coaching firm, Pivot Point.

“Businesses should resist the temptation to cut training budgets – they are needed now more than ever. Some aviation companies tend to make training a low priority,” Kalmeta told Corporate Jet Investor. “That can lead to high staff turnover, unnecessary employee stress, and a loss in sales, as new staff require training and time to build business relationships with customers.”

Kalmeta argues that as companies in the sector come under pressure because of Covid-19, staff training, morale, and productivity are  more important than ever. “There is more depth and breadth to the current situation than just enabling your staff to work remotely or online. Employers can also look at the relative downtime as an opportunity to invest in getting ahead via savvy human resources practices, team training, and a commitment to adopting a continuous culture of professional development.

‘Amazon, Google and Facebook’

“When staff are happy and satisfied, they are inevitably more productive. HR [Human Resources] is not just about the movement of staff, they require a strategic seat at the executive table. If we look at companies including Amazon, Google, and Facebook – HR is embraced as being fundamental to growth. Aviation, often a little behind the curve, could learn lessons from these tech giants.”

Despite the perception that aviation jobs are few and far between, the top performing companies will always want to attract and retain talent, regardless of market conditions. To be attractive to the industry’s top candidates, employers should take seriously their corporate culture in relation to supporting their employees to develop.

“Businesses are run by word-of-mouth, particularly in the close-knit business aviation sector. It’s easy for a disaffected former employee to damage your company’s reputation.”

‘C-suite executive looking to inspire’

Pivot Point offers three platforms tailored to the needs of corporate business, students and educational institutions, and individuals. “The service is intended for anyone going through a transition, looking for a boost, or feeling stuck,” explained Kalmeta, who is pictured above. “Whether you are a student looking for your first job, a high potential employee facing your first manager role, a mid-to-senior manager struggling with team dynamics, or a c-suite executive looking to inspire the teams you lead, I am here to help. We all have room for personal and professional growth; through Pivot Point we will access your full potential and develop a growth mindset.”

“It’s no coincidence that the most successful companies in our industry also have a solid corporate culture that invests in their team. These companies are still growing, even during Covid-19.” Kalmeta warns against a  ‘sink or swim’ attitude to keeping up at work, especially during challenging operations.

“There is a big need for training – particularly now. Dealing with difficult customers, making sales during a pandemic, helping first-time users of business aviation, all require a highly skilled approach. This takes training.”

About Sarah Kalmeta 

“Studying a business degree enabled me to develop skills that were embedded in aviation – the industry I love – while also developing transferable skills that I could take to other industries.” After university, Kalmeta worked in a variety of roles in business aviation over the past 12 years, including living in Asia for the past 10 years. Drawing on the experience of two forced career changes and a track record of coaching and mentoring teams, Kalmeta knows the value of career planning and can identify with individuals and corporations going through, or preparing for, profound change.

Pivot Point can help with short term projects, Entry-into-Service (EIS) inductions and team restructuring initiatives. “I have extensive experience lobbying with government for the industry as well as bridging the gap between teams and departments to reduce frustrations, double work and wasted time,” said Kalmeta. “This leads to increased efficiency and productivity, leading to increased profits and happier employees and customers.”

Another less obvious experience underpins ability her ability to engage with companies and individuals – figure skating and training with an Olympic mindset. Kalmeta’s skating career taught her the value of discipline and focus. “As a skater, I learned that discipline and focus can be a powerful force when you have a goal you want to go for,” Kalmeta told Corporate Jet Investor. “Practise makes progress. While we live in a world of instant gratification, it’s essential to be focused, work towards clearly defined goals and strive for constant improvement.”

More information about Kalmeta’s Pivot Point consultancy services is available here.  Pivot Point’s marketing and communications agency is White Orchid Insights (WOI).  In this role, WOI supports the consultancy in developing content and messaging for Pivot Point’s website, communications, and media/press engagements.

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