Human Resource Management – Walking in the Customer’s Shoes

Human Resources: Learning to walk in the Customer’s Shoes

For companies to be successful in today’s climate it is important to follow certain guidelines and procedures when recruiting, training and development. Hence, the outcome has to be success in sales, because without sales the company cannot make profit. Furthermore, according to the case study the dilemma was whether to train the executives first or to train the front-line employees. First, will be discussed the analysis of the case and the training involved. Still further, is why simulation is critical for successful retention of material? Second, in the evaluation and existing research with real world experience is simulation with front-line employees proven to work? Third, are additional recommendations to keep employee retention and to how to increase sales. Finally, is the summary and conclusion of the study conducted (Bohlander & Snell, 2007).

Review/Analysis of the Case

Simulation was advantageous to executives in teaching them how to handle certain situations, so they can pass on that training to the front-line employees. However, in the outcome of the study better customer satisfaction comes from front-line managers because they are the closest ones to the sales agents. The top executives are the CEO, CFO, etc. and they are more concerned with reading the statistical data from every department including finance, accounting, marketing, sales, operations or manufacturing, and distribution. In addition, simulation is critical for successful retention of material, because it can last in one-half hour intervals five days a week, so the employee does not get tired and lose retention. Add to this, they can also take CD’s home to practice and do further research from home.  To this end, the top executives are not in need of simulation exercises as much as the front-line managers and their sales agents (Bohlander & Snell, 2007).

Analysis of Findings

Second, in evaluation and existing research with real world experience simulation has been proven to work. In fact, front-line training does give bottom line results. Telecom Institute has the background mainly dealing with extensive technology work and in their training and development they focus on sales and growth in order to compete with their competitors. Hence, employee training is intense and the focus is on the sales agents first, because they are the ones that go out into the field. However, he front-line managers do have to keep up with new procedures and products from top management downward. In other words, the front-line managers will have already taken the simulation prior to becoming managers (Larson, 2003).

Furthermore, their initial training program starts with a two to three week training course. Then it will continue with one-half hour increments daily for about two months. In most companies the training expenditures for two thousand five hundred firms of a study done from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), they had twenty-five percent higher profit margin than corporations that did not have simulated training among front-line managers and employees. Hence, the managers were given a checklist to follow and they would pass that down to the employees to be sure no training was missed (Larson, 2003).

Still further, new comers end up going back for more training several times a year for retention of what they learned originally (Larson, 2003). Hence, the question and focus should always be how can we increase sales with customer satisfaction and have the training simulation program geared towards that strategic goal. In the end, they learn that in order to increase sales, the front-line managers and sales representatives need to learn the product well, simulated testing to be done to sort out employees with the best attitude, goal setters, and willingness to work the smartest, because having the proper attitude is critical in sales and in front-line management. Again, training should start with sales representatives at entry level, and they eventually get Senior level certification to move up to front-line managers and then to get recertified every year (Larson, 2003).

Similarly, the frontline managers are the training managers that go out in the field to teach the sales representatives. In addition, they were the first to take the simulation training when they started with basic training. They have the responsibility of teaching and retaining the employees particularly the sales representatives that bring in the business. Again, without the sales representatives doing a fine job, there will be no business. Furthermore, in the study conducted research shows the high achievers lacked leadership quality and management of the employees. Therefore, the simulation helps prepare them to teach and mentor, because they will know the product better, and learn the important leadership skills. The survey from the Novations Group concluded that front-line managers received the most training at ninety percent with management emphasizing talent and retaining its employees (Laff, 2006).

Recommendations

Third, based on the previously discussed findings the recommendations are to first be sure that the new employees meet the KSA’s needed to complete the job necessary to bring in the sales. Hence, increase customer satisfaction out in the field sales and through customer service sales. In addition, is the importance of front-line managers to first learn the simulation process, then show the sales employees how to train on the simulator, which teaches them how to prospect, to interact with the customer and close the sale. The company’s overall success and profits derive from training and retention of its employees. Furthermore, if the company has heavy turnover every year, it will hurt profit, because they will have to spend money all over again in the thousands per each employee or front-line manager that starts with the basics. Still further, the simulation training saves the company on costs. Add to this, it is recommended they take CD’s home that will link the employees to other research sites for more training from home at their leisure. To this end, simulation saves the company from having misdirection, meetings gone array from employees not showing up, and evaluations are easily monitored by simulations (Bohlander & Snell, 2007).

Summary and Conclusions

In conclusion, training and development of personnel is critical, especially for front-line managers, because they are the ones that teach the sales representatives in the office and out in the field. The case study analysis showed the importance of simulated exercises because it saves the company time and money in the long run (Bohlander & Snell, 2007). Furthermore, the top executives are too busy analyzing the data to be spending time training their employees. Hence, it is the data that shows them what direction the company is going. Add to this, the case study showed lack of sales and retention of employees and those are the most critical elements in a company’s success (Larson, 2003).

In fact, again the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) proved twenty-five percent increase in profits per year. Add to this, plus higher employee retention using entry-level sales representatives and front-line employees simulation programs.  Again, the focus should always be in how to increase sales and save the company money. Finally, simulation helps the front-line employees to mentor the sales representatives, because there is better product knowledge and less chance for error when teaching sales representatives how to make sales. Hence, it not only saves on misdirection but also saves time because it is self-paced. Plus, they can work from home or office, be interactive, no waiting periods, more focused and backed by written documentation (Bohlander & Snell, 2007).

Furthermore, there is savings on paper which saves the environment, less record keeping, cost effective and employees are not sitting in a class room. Hence, happy employees make satisfied customers. To this end, as the HR manager at TI, the sources that should be looked into in order to find information to calculate the program’s return on investment would be the statistical data. In brief, to check and be sure the training is more beneficial and excels the program costs over a month period. Plus, check with the marketing department to see their research on what the competitors are doing, then from TI sales results from the sales department and finally from their customer satisfaction surveys (Bohlander & Snell, 2007).

Reference:

Bohlander, G. & Snell, S. (2007). Training and Development. Managing Human

Resources.14th Edition. Manson, Ohio: South-Western. Retrieved October 27,

2009, from Kaplan University Web Site.

Laff, M. (2006). Training targets frontline managers. T&D. 60(9), 20-20. Retrieved

November 11, 2009, from MasterFile Premier.

Larson, P. (2003). Frontline training for bottom line results. Franchising World. 35(4), 6.

Retrieved November 11, 2009, from MasterFile Premier.

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