Who would have thought 2020 was to be a year that brought the whole world to its knees? New terms that we have not heard of before in everyday life, such as: Social Distancing, COVID-19, Self-isolation and JobKeeper to name a few, yet here we are, practicing a new world order. We were told that we are all in this together or in the same boat, yet in pre-COVID times we were so disconnected, doing the same old same old, glued to social media and how the world sees us; caught up in the tangible aspects to life and not what we get out of it. More than ever now we need to be connected and change for the better. We experienced change, and the fear of the unknown future, and how quickly our bubble can burst without any form of control, our industry literally had the tap turned off yet, we are still here! Coronavirus taught us to pivot and change, it encouraged innovation, a ‘battle to survive at all costs’ mentality. For those who did not, could be left behind. The brains trust at CTA and DWS had a Brainwave. Investing in staff’s future wasn’t always “Top of Mind” for many managers out there, but in a new world order, investing in your staff’s training is also an excellent way of developing your commitment to professional development in the “new” future of our venues. A win at all cost mentality, a battle to survive and having the right people around you to get you there. We spoke with some key Club Managers after the announcement of JobKeeper and asked “If there was an opportunity to upskill your staff, whilst they had been stood down, and receiving JobKeeper, would you invest in the opportunity? The response was a resounding “yes”! Brainwave: An educational program put together, not just to invest in your staff’s development and future, but to also ‘tap’ into the moral fibre of why our Community Clubs exist. To keep our industry staff connected, engaged, invested in our workplaces and our community whilst at home under restrictions. The Brainwave program changed the way in which we engage. We explored different methods to have the ability to connect and train, which went against the grain, by utilisation of new technology. We went digital in delivery and assessment. What would take years to implement, took days. Endorsed by Queensland Community Clubs and Hotels, Brainwave exceeded expectations attracting over 800 expressions of interest to enrol in a prospective qualification. The opportunity to learn breathed some hope and life back into those who only weeks prior, did not know which way to go. Some joined the queue at Centrelink, going on welfare for the first time, while others were fortunate to attract JobKeeper. Now their industry and Community Club is doing what they do best and supporting those doing it tough. From personally contacting everyone who showed interest in the program, I knew straight away that this opportunity meant more to many than we had originally thought. I spoke with some who were single parents juggling home schooling who never had the time in the past to study due to working commitments, to those who did not even know how to turn on a laptop. Staff from many backgrounds and experiences. Staff aged between 17 to 67, from the Tweed border to the far north of the state, were motivated to be “connected” with their colleague’s through regular classes using technology whilst receiving a nationally accredited qualification at the end. “The training allowed me to connect with my friends from work. Time at home during lock down for me has been a lonely experience, and I look forward to logging in to my training each week” Natalie Campbell said – City Golf Club Toowoomba "I am pleased to have the opportunity to further enhance and develop my knowledge of Hospitality Management, and have had the opportunity to work with my colleagues in learning together via Zoom technology, during the Covid lockdown in the Hospitality Sector. My CTA trainer has been helpful in ensuring all my colleagues have assistance when and if required." Julie Ann Hough said – Gympie RSL Managers saw the Brainwave opportunity to “zoom” into classes regularly to connect with their staff and provide support throughout this time. In many cases venues provided space to their employees who found access to technology and internet challenging, whilst assisting their employees collate vital evidence for their assessment tasks. Higher levels of engagement and positive culture were clearly visible as restrictions began to ease, and employees began to return to work. This initiative provided our people with something positive to focus on during an uncertain time for most of us, particularly those in the hospitality sector. Our people will improve their skills and grow their confidence and with that it will enhance our patrons experience when visiting our Club. We believe this course provides our people with a solid foundation to grow their career in hospitality. Jo Howell said – Caloundra RSL “People aspire to achieve many different goals during the course of their career. The CTA Brainwave training program was instrumental in helping some of my team achieve theirs along with an invaluable tool in developing a positive culture for our business. Thanks for your support” CTA. Jason Lynch – Hervey Bay RSL In a time that provided so many unknowns, and questions of “what is going to happen?” the Brainwave initiative provided many of Queensland’s Club staff some form of solace and direction. A focus for a brighter future, and a general sense of motivation to be well equipped on their return to work. CTA Training Specialists Brainwave program proved to be a popular initiative during recent events and provided a knowledge and training platform required to create an efficient and skilled employee. If your venue is interested in discovering the wealth of potential in upskilling your employees, or to find out more about what Brainwave can do for your venue, contact Aaron Bray today on 0447 464 333.