Sample HR Paper on Employee Training for a Small Retail Company

Introduction

Human resource professionals should be able to link human resources and strategic goals of an organization to improve performance and productivity. The process of linking the people and resources to strategic goals is described as strategic human resources management. It is an activity that allows managers to establish a culture that nurtures innovation, flexibility, and promotes competitive advantage. In most organizations across the globe, strategic human resource management entails accepting and involving all human resources as long-term partners in formulation and implementation of strategies.

The human resources are involved as strategic partners through processes such as recruitment, selection, training and remuneration. The one significant role of any human resource manager is to design and implement employee training programs. The purpose of training is to impart new skills and knowledge to an employee to be able to perform better and enhance productivity. Training allows employees to perform at their peak and therefore contribute to the overall success. The purpose of this report is to examine the appropriateness and effectiveness of a training class towards improving performance of new customer service employees.

Needs assessments

Training needs assessment is conducted by human resource professionals to examine the key areas that need to be changed. Needs assessment is conducted to discover new ways of better equipping new or existing employees with skills and knowledge useful in accomplishing organizational tasks. Guest (2011) outlines, after conducting a needs assessment, human resource managers are able to determine what knowledge and skills a worker requires and corresponding organizational performance resulting from utilization of such skills. In other words, needs assessment reveals existing knowledge gaps. There are myriad ways through which a needs assessments can expose existing work deficiencies at the customer service section in a retail business.

First, needs assessment attempts to focus on the personal needs of the new recruits. Therefore, during the assessment, a human resource manager can potentially discover clear-cut needs of an employee by evaluating weaknesses and strengths exhibited. The discovery is significant so that a training program can include all the areas that an employee has shown inefficiencies. Second, training needs assessment highlight on performance inefficiencies by examining how a customer service section has performed in the past. This result from past performance is essential in customizing the training class to address concerns that have affected performance in the precedent. For that matter, the new employees are poised to assume their new roles after undertaking training on past mistakes so that similar mistakes do not re-occur.

Third, a manager can reveal work deficiencies by undertaking work analysis. Claussen et al. (2014) posit that work analysis effectively analyze the core job requirements to complete a specific task. Thus, it is the analysis of skills required to perform a task at the customer service section. It seeks to specify the main responsibilities and skill level of new employees. Therefore, this method is justified because it helps ensure that the training program to be created includes the pertinent links to skills and requirements of employees to work effectively at the customer service section. Fourth, operational gaps and inefficiencies can be revealed by undertaking employee’s job performance. This is achieved by conducting a personal sufficiency test where a worker is provided with the tools and resources to accomplish a task. A manager will objectively observe how an employee struggles to perform certain tasks. The personal difficulties are taken into considerations and executed during the training class.

Finally, it is essential to evaluate the psychological well being and capacity of new employees. In some cases, employees often come to organizations when not fully prepared for work (Claussen et al., 2014). This can lead to situations of employees failing to show passion and desire to enhance organizational productivity. Moreover, a worker at the customer care section of a retail business may be overwhelmed with unending customer demands, negative complements and arrogance shown by customers. So, needs assessment can take into account the prevailing psychological challenges and integrate them in the new training class. In this way, after training, the new employees will be ready to tackle any problems that impact negatively on their psychological well being with potential to affect operations. In other words, they will be psychologically ready to move the retail business to the next level.

Customer service training implementation plan

Customer service executives fulfill fundamental roles for retail businesses. By frequently interacting with the customers, customer service officers are the face of an organization. According to Joyce & Slocum (2012), retail businesses that offer poor customer services often fail when customers run away and join rival firms. Therefore, it is imperative for retail business to train and develop staff working directly with the customers (Joyce & Slocum, 2012). Experienced customer service officers are capable of addressing unique and complex customer needs while meeting their expectations. For that reason, the design and implementation of customer service training programs in retail business is the key to a successful future. The implementation of a training plan will comprise myriad activities as discussed below.

The first schedule within the plan is a thorough examination of customer needs. It is important for training manager to dissect the diverse needs of their clients. The information collected at this stage is used to create a training program checklist that addresses the needs of its clients. Information can be collected using feedback forms where customers are presented with the opportunity to provide insights on how to improve services.

Second concept within the plan is to analyze the skills of the new recruits. Direct observation how these employees interact with colleagues and customers can be crucial in exposing their level of expertise. Further, an evaluation of how the new employees address unique and special cases can provide feedback on how to offer special services to clients.

Third stage of the plan is the selection of training method. In view of the circumstances of retail outlet, presentation is suited for this as it will impart knowledge in the simplest and effective way. During this stage, training sessions are conducted based on already collected data.  Like in a typical classroom setting, the presentation is interactive to involve all trainees by asking questions and inviting them to ask for clarification on unclear concepts. In addition, presentation method is justified because employees are able to follow visual representation of facts, concepts and methods. Through presentation, they can keenly track, learn and integrate concepts visually.

Final stage is the evaluation to reassess the ability of trained employees to apply concepts learnt during training. This can be undertaken in fixed schedules in a calendar year. Guest (2011) reveals, the process is called performance appraisal and evaluates performance of an employee against the targets set. Feedback is important at this stage. Customers are invited to provide feedback on the level of satisfaction which is used to gauge performance of each customer service staff.

Motivating an employee with no interest

Employee training and development is a core human resource function in organizations irrespective of the size. Unfortunately, some employees may not see the importance of a training process. To some extent, these people may see training as time-wasting because they have acquired the necessary skills and experience before joining the retail outlet. As a result, there may be a need to motivate them into seeing the importance of training.

First, an organization can attempt to motivate such employees by providing incentives. For example, employees can be given some form of monetary compensation for attending and completing the training class. In addition, the salary of those attending training can be adjusted upwards compared to those not attending. When correctly done, an employee with no interest can opt to attend training sessions as he or she can be driven by the desire to receive the monetary compensation provided to other trainees.

Second, if the initial incentives fail to motivate such an employee, the organization can resort to formulating a policy prescribing training as a mandatory activity before employment. In other words, those with no interest in training can find other jobs elsewhere. This method will not only motivate such an employee but can change the overall perception of an organization and its vital procedures.

Survey to collect feedback

            Training survey is critical to both trainers and trainees. It provides an avenue which employees can freely and voluntarily provides data used to gauge the success of a training program. There is no need to implement training programs if they do not meet strategic training and development.  The following survey can be used to collect data regarding a training program.

  1. Generally, how can you rate the training session?

Successful

Unsuccessful

  1. Please answer the following aspects of the training;

Did you find the training consistent with your previous knowledge repository? Yes/No

Was the trainer lively and asked relevant questions? Yes/No

Did you actively participate by raising queries? Yes/No

Did you learn any new concept? Yes/No

How can you rate overall presentation skills of the trainer? Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor

  1. Please address the following question regarding the nature of delivery;

Did the session align to expectations of good training? Yes/No

Were the concept too complex to comprehend? Yes/No

Was the training duration appropriate for the training content? Yes/No

Were the training equipment working? Yes/No

  1. Based on this training, are you willing to attend future training?

Likely

Unlikely

  1. Please provide additional information how we can improve future training………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Conclusion

Employee training and development is a core strategic human resource function. Retail businesses require employees with skills to accomplish tasks in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Training is a tool used by organizations to sharpen skills and update knowledge of new or existing workers to the expected level. The level appertains to organizational productivity and successful fulfillment of customer needs. The report has highlighted that successful training programs should identify customer needs, employee skills, psychological state of trainers, and existing organizational deficiencies. Consequently, the report highlights that pertinent issues affecting organizations and the nature of training program to implement largely rely on data collected using training needs assessment. For the retail business, once all the issues are taken into consideration, training can be implemented followed by evaluation to ascertain the success derived from a training class. Overall, training is an importance activity and employees should be encouraged to attend. Those who have no interest to attend can be either motivated using incentives or organizational training policies.

 

References

Claussen, J., Grohsjean, T., Luger, J. & Probst, G. (2014). Talent management and career

development: What it takes to get promoted. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 236-244.

Guest, D. (2011). Human resource management and performance: still searching for some

answers. Human Resource Management Journal, 21(1), 3-13.

Joyce, W. & Slocum, J. (2012). Top management talent, strategic capabilities, and firm

performance. Organizational Dynamics, 41(3), 183-193.