Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Training Plan
- Training Context
- Learning Objectives
- Trainees’ Profile
- Time Frame
- Training Process
This training curriculum is designed to teach the expertise and experience of a potential recruit to excel at Sport Chek as a customer service agent, and to provide them with the resources required to become an asset to the company as a whole. As they communicate directly with the customers and create revenue, the customer support workers of Sport Chek are quite critical. The significance of the training is paramount as the company largely depends on its customer service to reach their goals and turn a profit. Within the organization, the job description of the customer service employee is unique since they deal with products that require detailed knowledge across many sports/athletic fields.
To better prepare a new employee for this job, we will use online ability testing, shadowing/role play, and individual learning. It may take up to 6 months to completely complete, including on-going preparation. At Sport Chek, the customer service job is the duty of serving as a contact between customers and the business. Helping with orders, grievances, mistakes, billing, account queries, and cancellations are the main positions.
To adequately train new hires, there are a range of resources required, including space, computers, printer/paper, online training modules and, of course, time. All and all, it would cost over $1000 for the latest recruit, which demonstrates how important employee retention is.
1. Training Context
We have identified five main learning objectives in relation to this position:
- Customer service skills
- Analytical/computer skills
- Communication skills
- Problem solving skills
- Knowledge of store merchandise
The preparation aims are used to equip the freshly acquired employees with the awareness, expertise, and abilities to guarantee that they can be a valuable member of the Sport Chek customer support force. The new trainee should be able to connect efficiently with colleagues and stakeholders, lead consumer interactions, evaluate and fix challenges, and have the basic programming knowledge to run a ledger (POS system). It is important to know general sports, sports fashion/ attire, and outdoor activities. In addition, the trainee must be prepared to improve from insights and hands on training.
Knowledge of Merchandise Store
It is important that new trainees become more dynamic, agile and creative with awareness of general sports, sports fashion/ apparel, and outdoor activities in order for the sports industry to fulfil the evolving needs of millennials. Sport Check’s current hires would realise that the organisation is Canada’s largest sports goods store. Getting the luxury of operating in the merchandise store thus introduces the employee to the biggest brands of goods that operate worldwide.
A checklist that examines future measures to take into consideration when taking on store duties should be given for all incoming Sport Quest product store employees. The paper serves as a policy document detailing the authorization, permit and registration issued to a merchandise shop. Provided that Sport Check is a leading retailer of sports goods, the specifics of the project are illustrated in the content of the knowledge in the paper. Employees can also be directed by the Alberta Guide, a company start-up. The manual includes measures to create a corporation in the merchandise shop. It also allows workers to work around the state systems and facilities listed in sports goods (SportCheck (n.d.)
Having an understanding of the business is often part of the merchandise store’s awareness that staff of sports shops need to be acquainted with. The summary explains the modes of activity in sports stores such as Sport Search. New workers can hear about the essence of the operation of Sport Check’s shops, franchise, place and architecture in Canada (Canada Business Network, n.d.).
Appropriate awareness of the cost of items sold in merchandise stores must be available to new trainees. The store has different items that are available at $64.99, $15.99 and $7.99 respectively, Taylor, Speedo Graduated Compression, Nike Remora Swim Goggle, like converse chuck. Such commodities are among the only things that remain in the company. The goal is to show that one is capable of directing the customers towards the products that are present and from a platform that the customers can play the other remaining roles on their own. Most customers do not wish to buy products that have been selected for them, but most need some form of assistance to find the appropriate products. That is why it is essential for the new trainer to be conversant with the prices and have adequate information of the products.
The dynamic aspect also allows the customers to be in a position to cater for all sought of customers. Canada is a very open nation to tourists, besides having a very diverse population. It is imperative that the employee in question is capable of handling this sought of client base so as to meet the obligations that the organization has set for its sport’s needs. Regarding the issue of having to cope with a wide customer base, the organization has a huge presence in the nation and this means that the customer service representative has the mandate to cater to clients from all across the country. This also incorporates the attribute of being flexible in a way that one is capable of altering their personality to cater to the needs of individual customers.
The innovative element comes in handy as the products that are contained in the stores are not restricted to a specific person. The new hire has to be in a position to find a product for almost every customer with ease. Sports gear has a larger market even where the customers are not really or fully engaged in sports. The tragedy of the matter is that all of them are would like to be associated with the activity but may not be in a position to do so. Purchasing sportswear and gear is viewed by many as a significant step forward towards the participation in sports. As a result, the new hire in customer service should be very innovative when it comes to addressing customers who may not be certain of the products they need.
Although customer service is a common feature in most organizations today, the fact that Sport Chek is a very unique brand and also the largest of its kind in Canada means that special sought out expertise is required. Customer service is the most notable aspect for the learning objectives. It is imperative to ensure new employees are equipped with these knowledge, skills and abilities needed in order to be an asset in the company.
This person should be fun, energetic and easy to talk to. They should have a broad knowledge of sports and is driven to succeed. They will have previous customer service experience and have a drive top line sales, in turn, driving bottom level profits. They will be a leader on the sales floor by helping customers make decisions with their extensive product knowledge. Training will revolve around the learning objectives outlined above. It is important to review the employee’s credentials before proceeding to identify what their strengths and weaknesses are. With the job description in mind, the supervisor can then train the employee on the areas that need to be worked on. The outcome objective after training the employee is that the trainee’s profile will match the requirements of the job description. In addition to this, the training should be done in a way that the employee becomes accustomed to the culture of Sport Chek.
The time frame of the training will take a maximum of six months, which includes ongoing training. During orientation, knowledge and skills will be taught. Knowledge about who to report to if any problems occur, the rules and policies of the store, what is expected of the employee, the layout of the store and the basic operation of the POS system. The orientation will take place in the store itself. The simple and basic skills and knowledge will be taught to the employee during orientation. This process should take two weeks to achieve. However, the form of expertise that is unique to the organization such as the knowledge about the merchandise/products will take closer to three months because new goods will consistently be brought into the store over time. Knowledge about new goods will be taught throughout the employee’s time while working at Sport Chek. At the six-month period, the supervisor will sit down with the employee to get an update on how they feel they are fitting in, and will also give them feedback on areas that still need to be improved.
There are different methods of training that will be performed during this period, of which multiple individuals will take up the role of training. It is important to note that different skills will be acquired at different time intervals during the six-month period. Some of the training can be executed in just a matter of days while others will take the entire six months to be fully and satisfactorily applied. The employee is likely to exhibit a mastery of most skills in the job description by the two or three month mark require to fully meet the standards required by the organization/store.
2. Training Process
The training process will teach the new employee how to properly assist customers with complaints, errors, orders, product questions, billing, and other queries. These are general activities that revolve around this role. More precise activities that the training may include are: using the phone to connect with clients, making a sale on the floor, maintaining favourable work ethics, offering advice to customers on products, handling organizational change and its policies, utilizing technology to work, and handling product recalls. In essence, training will be focused around those skills that make up the job description. All the skills that a customer service employee at Sport Chek should hold will be part of the training process, although it is apparent that some will take longer to learn than others.
We have configured five main learning objectives in which each requires a unique and sophisticated method of training in order to ensure complete retention and overall success. The methods chosen include: online skill tests, shadowing/role play, and individual learning.
To begin training, employees will be presented with online modules with multiple-choice questions following. This will be done to teach and test employees about how to deal with customer demands, store policies including theft and safety, and store merchandise. This also develops their computer and analytical skills, which are two other main learning objectives needed in for this job. When this test is completed, employees will print out their results to be stored in their folder incase it needs to be referred to in the future.
Communication and problem solving are two of the main learning objectives, which require a training technique, focused on shadowing and role-playing. These are not skills that can be learned through analytical or online training, they must be observed and then practiced in order to retain full ability in each area.
This type of training would be on the job, most likely within the first few shifts. It is the responsibility of the senior employee or trainer who the new personal is working with, to ensure that the activities and exercises are performed well and learned successfully. It is also up to management, or hiring staff to follow up with all training to ensure that the new employee has completed the requirements.
Customer Service is another main learning objective, which is also taught through role playing and shadowing. A skill like this is brought out through confidence in the company policies as well as the ability to approach customers, empathize with them, and make a sale! Knowledge of the company rules and standards is imperative to the job, which will be taught during the beginning training stages where the employee will complete a series of online skill tests. It will then be followed through with practical training where they will go through a series of scenarios and role-playing situations.
The last of the learning objectives is knowledge of store merchandise and brand awareness. The type of training this requires involves a more individual approach to ensure that the new employee can be self sufficient in keeping up with the market trends and fashion styles each season. It is up to the new employee whether or not they decide to stay in the loop with the incoming trends however a seasonal trend update for new incoming merchandise would be implemented. This would insure that the employees are equipped with the right knowledge to assist customers easily in the store. Also knowing market trends regarding competition will act as incentive in order to sell to the customers with confidence that Sport Chek merchandise is the best fit for them!
The responsibility of training the employee largely falls on three individuals: the supervisor, colleagues, and the employee themselves. The best outcome is attained where these three work effectively alongside one another. Notably, the supervisor should play the leading role with on-the-job training, as he/she is most knowledgeable of the job description and can set expectations. Colleagues are also one very informative when beginning to understand the day-to-day procedures at Sport Chek. There are the persons who can operate to support them along the journey alongside the latest recruit. Lastly, the new employee should utilize the available resources at the company, and the information learnt during the training process to become accustomed to the working conditions at the company. This involves asking for help when needed, reviewing booklets or notes given during training, and trying to fit into the company culture.
Evaluation is necessary to determine the success of the training. In this case, the
Kirkpatrick’s four-level training evaluation mode will be used to assess the effectiveness of the training technique used, and probably seek to make it better for future purposes.
It is imperative to evaluate the reaction of the employee during and after the training. The manner in which one reacts is very informative because it allows the trainer to receive feedback in order to understand what is helpful versus what is not. Each employee is different and requires a customized training to effectively acquire the intended skills. This is a perfect way to receive input on learning types, if the venue was appropriate, if the trainees feel it was worth their time, and most importantly, if they feel they learned from the experience. Evaluating the reaction may tell whether the training is effective or not, and can improve future training sessions.
This is the time to look back at the learning objectives created before the training started, to see if they have been met. Before training begins, trainers should get a feel for the employee’s knowledge, skills and abilities, in order to compare it to post-training. This is very important to understand if techniques need to be switched in order to make for more effective learning. If the trainer was successful, this is a good opportunity to receive that feedback so they can continue it in the future.
Measuring behaviour is a long-term activity. The best way to measure if behaviour has changed or not is to observe employees and conduct informal interviews. It is important to understand if an employee has adapted to the work culture and has put their learning into use. In order for employees to continue working effectively, managers must provide positive feedback so that the productivity remains high. If this does not happen, the learning that took place during training may be disregarded. If the employee is able to teach one of their peers a skill that was learnt in training, it is a very good indication that training was successful.
This is the final stage and evaluates the effectiveness of the training through a variety of factors such as improved employee morale, increased productivity, increased profit, increased employee retention, and increased customer satisfaction. Positive results would indicate that the training was effective while negative results would indicate the reverse.
- Canada Business Network (n.d.). Starting a Convenience Store. Retrieved on 27th March 2014 from http://www.canadabusiness.ab.ca/index.php/start-up/31-starting-a-convenience-store
- SportCheck. (n.d.). Sport Check. Retrieved on 27th March 2014 from http://www.sportchek.ca/
- There are many resources needed when training employees. As we will be using techniques such as online skills test, and shadowing/role play, we will need resources that support these activities.
- Resources needed for online skills test:
- Modules/test need to be created: This will be a one-time cost, unless policies change drastically. Approximate cost: $400
- Computers for employees to use: The company will likely already have computers at the store; however, it will take time out from accomplishing other tasks. Approximate cost: $40
- Printer/paper/ink for the printed results: The company will likely already have all of these supplies, however it is still a resource that needs to be taken into consideration. Approximate cost: $30
- Space for employee to complete the test: The company will likely have board rooms used for meetings, which would be an ideal place for an employee to complete this work. Approximate cost: $100
- Resources needed for shadowing/role play:
- Trainer’s time: this is a major aspect in training. The trainer is taking time out of their regular duties to show this person around and train them. Approximate cost: $18 an hour
- Decreased productivity: The trainer will need to explain everything he/she is doing, which will slow down productivity. Approximate cost: $300
- All in all, a new hire can cost around $1000 dollars to train properly. Preparing the hire for their new work environment is essential to employee retention. As we can see, it is very costly/timely to train new employees, which is why keeping employees happy and giving them the tools they need to succeed is so important. If employees feel comfortable and valued, there is a higher chance that the store morale is positive, and in turn, the customers are happy. Since employees are the ones interacting with customers, it is important to continually train them on the importance of building customer relationships.