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Personnel Today Awards 2001 update

first_imgShort listed teams for The KnowledgePool Award for Excellence in training This award recognises teams involved in innovative training schemes whichhave significantly benefited the business or organisation. Demonstratingexcellence in design and delivery, the training programmes have seen resultsthrough boosted employee motivation and improved performance LyrecoTraining and development teamWhat they didThe training and development team at office supplies company Lyrecoresponded to a business need and introduced an innovative training programmefor the team leaders in its frontline customer service department.These leaders are critical to the company’s success as thepeople they manage work at the sharp end of the business – speaking to clientsdaily and handling 600 calls and 5,000 fax orders a day. The training schemethat the team helped devise and deliver added significantly to the businessgrowth of the company. The Telford-based firm estimates that after thethree-day training course and follow-up days, productivity increased from 35.7per cent in September 1999 to 42.2 per cent in April 2001. It calculates thatit has increased sales for the company by more than £650,000.The team leader development course was attended by 11 staff andwas run twice. Areas covered included induction of staff, coaching,counselling and appraisals and team motivation. “I knew the course was awinner when I witnessed people’s willingness to do presentations, role playsand make mistakes.  I will never forgetthe team leader who delivered a training course on how to make puffpastry,” says Ian Lawson, head of training and development.Productivity and service levels are up at the company,absenteeism levels have fallen and the number of disciplinary cases have beenreduced.Why they did itThe office supplies business was bought by French companyLyreco in 1991 and there followed a period of heavy investment in bothtechnology and people. The business thrived and achieved sales of £114m lastyear. Growth and progress, however, were being restricted by the performance ofthe customer service department. The training and development team were taskedwith the job of tackling this problem.Benefits and achievementsThe Lyreco training and development team has been described byits head of customer services Paul Wright as extremely keen. “I reallyappreciate such a proactive stance to training”. The team leader traininghas yielded spectacular results which are quantifiable,” he says. Suchresults include call answering time dropping from 23 seconds to seven secondswhich means lost business has fallen to below the target of 3 per cent.The teamNumber in team 5Staff responsible for 1,250Head of training and development Ian LawsonTraining coordinator Marie MasonField sales training manager Paul PriceFoyle Food GroupHuman resources development teamWhat they didFoyle Food Group is a consortium of four meat processingcompanies created by the acquisition of three companies over the past decade.The HRD team had to design and deliver a training strategy for new staffjoining the business.The nuts and bolts of the training schemes are based on the NVQskills structure developed for meat plant workers by the UK Meat TrainingCouncil. This is complemented by the human values promoted by the Investors inPeople programme. The HRD team designed and implemented individual companydevelopment programmes, which set out the values of the group and made surethat there was consistency across the different businesses. At the same time,the individual characteristics of the companies were taken into account. All employees complete training programmes to satisfy customersthat staff are properly trained in areas like meat hygiene and compliance to healthand safety legislation. Tailor-made technical manuals for each operationalprocedure, specially compiled open learning packs, an NVQ tracking system andone-to-one tutorials are among the initiatives set up by the departments.Employee motivation and self-esteem has been measured bysurveying staff and the company has been encouraged by positive results.Why they did itThe acquisitions over the past 10 years called for a uniformtraining standard – with the emphasis on career development. The HRD team hadthe challenging task of communicating “a training culture” to newemployees, informing the affiliates about the training and developmentprogrammes pioneered and refined by Foyle Meats.Benefits and achievementsThe company development programmes have helped to demonstrateto the main British and European supermarket multiples that the Foyle FoodGroup can supply higher quality and safer products than its competitors.Every employee joining the group can achieve an NVQ or otheraccredited qualifications and labour turnover and accidents have been reduced.”The Group’s commitment to training during the [BSE and foot and mouth]crises has been contributory in preventing the mass exodus of highly skilledemployees,” says Dan Boucher, group training and development manager.The teamNumber in team 66Staff responsible for 750Group training and development manager Dan BoucherHealth and safety manager Kevin TyreProject manager David KnoxDirector Terry AchesonPersonnel manager Jeffrey BoucherNationwide Building SocietyContact centre training teamWhat they didHead of Nationwide Direct David Rigney has told the outsideworld that its sales managers and advisers are not simply “ordertakers”  – they want to be proud ofthe advice they offer customers. The Nationwide “Can Sell Will Sell” programme forcall centre sales advisers was set up with this mission statement in mind bythe contact centre training team at Nationwide’s retail training group. Drivenby the business needs of the organisation, it set out clear learningobjectives. To meet tough business targets sales managers had to change from anadministrative role to a coaching role and to confront, not avoid, difficultissues. The trainers instructed sales advisers on how they could change theirbehaviour from taking orders for “bought” products to selling”sold” products – instead of picking up easy sales they needed to puttheir sales skills into action.The main features of the specially-designed course included face-to-facelearning in a training room where trainers showed the demanding behaviourrequired of sales managers. Staff could see themselves on a video to view theirbehaviour and spent time with their line manager discussing the course.Between September 2000 and April 2001 19 sales managers and 139advisers were involved.Why they did itIn April 2000 Nationwide Direct’s performance was felt to havelow rates of success – too many customers were not receiving the personalservice that was required. An external consultancy Minerva was hired to workwith Nationwide trainers and with their help, tough business targets were set.These had the aim of increasing sales on products like accident sickness andunemployment insurance by 30 per cent.Benefits and achievementsBy April 2001 the improved business results were showing. Thenumber of buildings and contents insurance products being sold had increased by33 per cent. The training programme had helped increase mortgage sales as well,and the average cost per sale had dropped by a half. Analysis shows that nearly£100,000 of additional contribution to Nationwide’s profit had been made duringthe seven-month programme.”We are proud of these results and believe they contradictany ‘sweat shop’ perception of call centres. Based on a coaching culture, weare confident the learning will grow powerfully,” says contact centretraining manager Ian McLarty.Judge’s commentPaul Kearns, Personnel WorksLyreco”An excellent example of how training can become totallyintegrated with business operations. Training and development has earned itsplace at the senior management table and has made a demonstrable contributionto the firm’s success.”Foyle Foods Group”Training has already proved that it can play asignificant part in company performance and yet it remains flexible enough toadapt to drastic changes in market conditions.”Nationwide Building Society”Having identified opportunities where training cangenerate a commercial advantage, the training systems and processes weldtogether business needs, operational realities and the design of a well-blendedtraining solution.”KnowledgePool is Europe’s leadinge-Learning organisation, with over 35 years experience of designing anddelivering training solutions for clients worldwide. Its extensive portfolio oftraining, covering IT, personal and business skills training, are delivered attraining centres across Europe and at clients’ sites, or through itsaward-winning e-Learning service Comments are closed. 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