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It's December so time to panic buy

14th December 2020

It's December so time to panic buy

Itís that time of year again isnít it?

We start to think about what we are supposed to have ready for Christmas and then run out to get everything. The temptation is to buy what we see and then end up with loads of stuff we donít need and probably donít even like!

As a family, we opt for a simple Christmas, so Iíve never understood the need to run out and buy a new set of decorations every year. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same!

A few weeks ago, one of my friends asked me what I do about unwanted gifts. Initially I thought she was hinting that she hated the scarf I had bought her for her last birthday but then I realised she just thought sheíd get an honest answer from me. Last year (for her ďspecialĒ birthday) she had a party and I set up a crowdfunding page for her friends and family to contribute to so she could buy the Tiffany earrings she wanted. I ran a Facebook campaign that pulled no punches about the perils of buying junk gifts. I posted photos of dreadful novelty gifts reminding everyone not to be the person that gets her something that she will just take straight to the charity shop.

So my answer was clear. Take it straight to the charity shop. If you donít need or like a gift then take it somewhere where it will do good and be appreciated.

But itís not just gifts or Christmas ďstuffĒ we can panic buy in December. Compliance teams have to juggle a lot during the year and sometimes when things are really busy, life can get a bit reactive. This means that plans can go awry - and this year there has been even more pressure on firms.

Training is one of those things that can get pushed to the back of the mind. This year in particular, there has been so much work needed to meet the needs of customers sometimes the training needs of staff have been missed. Itís been made harder by the challenge of remote learning. Many firms donít have the tools or skills to train staff remotely.

So, donít be pushed into an impulse purchase. Itís fine to look at training in December but, just like a puppy, training is not just for Christmas. Think about your ongoing training plan and what support you need.

The big training issue at the moment is e-learning. My advice? Look for a provider where training is created by people with both a mixture of good technical knowledge - coupled with knowing how to create and deliver on-line training.

I see many companies who have strength in one or the other or who create training that feels like a PowerPoint slide presentation that has just been pasted into the training.

Get the right provider with the right system and avoid that December panic to get your training (CPD) hours completed at the year end and ready for the following year.

And in case you have forgotten I provide e-learning, please contact me to find out more. My training is great value and created by me to be interesting and useful. 

Author: Sally Pearce (Conduct Matters Ltd)

Sally Pearce started Conduct Matters in 2014 after 35 years working in the insurance industry. She was originally an underwriter, but since 2000 has worked in dispute resolution and helping Insurance firms understand how to treat their customers fairly. Her experience includes working for the Financial Ombudsman, in the Lloydís market and dealing with regulators. Sally is ACII, a qualified mediator and yoga teacher. She is also available for public speaking.

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