Human Resource Management is the function in an organization which focuses on the human resource working for the organization. Its objectives include recruitment of new people in the organization, managing them and directing the employees in the organization. They also provide people with knowledge, training, administrative services, legal directions, talent management insight for successful operations of an organization. It is the responsibility of HRM team to ensure healthy work culture, conduct team building activities and formulate training for employees, ensuring their personal as well as organizational growth (Noe, 2013).
Importance of Training
The organizations have become diverse in terms of inventions, technologies, and diversifications. The employees need to be continually trained to cope with these diversities.
Training also enables humans to understand each other better and develops better inter-personal relationship for healthy work environment.
When employees are transferred from one job profile to another or promoted to higher level, they need to be trained for the new position for effective working.
Whenever a new person is employed, he needs to be trained so that his skills can be matched with the requirements of the organization.
The employees need to be trained about the latest products of the company so that they can further guide the customers (Rowley, & Warner, 2013).
Myer is Australia’s largest department store group which started with its first store in Bendigo in 1900 (Myer.com.au, 2017). The company currently has 67 stores in all prime locations across Australia (Myer.com.au, 2017). It is also available on digital platforms through its website and mobile app. The product range of Myer includes Women wear, Menswear, Youth wear, Kids wear, Intimate Apparel, Cosmetics, Body Care Products, Fragrances, Home ware, Electronics, Toys, Footwear, Handbags, Accessories and Other General Merchandise. Myer employees a 12,500 people in Australia and have a long history of philanthropy (Myer.com.au, 2017). Myer aims at responsible business development while integrating environmental, social, and ethical considerations in their operations (Myer.com.au, 2017).
Training Needs at Myer
There is a huge need of training and development at the executive level at Myer.
The following are the major areas where training can be required:
With old ones leaving and new joining in the company, especially at the executive level, the new employees need to be trained about the policies and way operations are conducted in the company.
The employees need to know how operations are conducted in a particular organization. The store manager and consultants need to know various standards to be followed while they are on floor.
In retail, the product innovation is constant. New product training has to be given to the employees so that they can conduct the sale in most efficient manner.
The technology in also changing at a great speed. The concerned employees need to be trained to use the upgraded technology at the store.
The employee may have to be trained to not just be a good consultant on the floor, but when it comes to apparel and related products, knowing how to style the complete ensemble is also important.
The participants for the training program would be all the employees working in the store like store managers, assistant store managers, department manager, sales persons & consultants and stylists across all the Myer stores in Australia.
Defining the cohort of participants and how they would benefit from the program:
Store Manager & Assistant Store Manager: They are like Human Resource Managers as well as Team Leader to the assistant manager and the department managers working at a store. These store managers need to be well trained about how to conduct themselves in order to extract the best out of people working under him. Secondly, being the head in-charge of the store, store manager need to be updated on the latest technology installed at the store relating to the latest operations adopted by the company. A well trained store manager can carry out a number of activities himself thus helping company increase profitability and improve cost effectiveness (McArdle, 2015).
Department Manager- This cohort of people take care of the operations of a particular department in the store like women wear, men’s wear, footwear or electronics. They act as the leader to the consultants working on floor to sell product in each category. The manager should thus be trained about the latest products and the brands falling under that category. He also need to be trained for taking care of the various merchandising and visual merchandising standards set by the company headquarters which needs to be maintained at all the times. Training would help him get more efficient at his task and carry them out while increasing sales for the company (Tracy, 2014).
Sales Persons & Consultants: These are the people who interact directly with the customers entering the store. It is very essential for these employees to know A to Z of the product. The employee working in a particular segment of a brand should know the product in and out. The training would help him know his product better and further sell it better.
Stylist: In store stylist can be boon for the sales of the store. He can design the entire ensemble and lead to greater sale from one store rather than customer buying one product from one company and pairing it with the product of some other store (Yaeger, Head, & Sorensen, 2012).
To formulate the detailed plan, the learning theory appropriate for the targeted employees was selected. For the Store Manager, Assistant Store Manager and Department Manager, the appropriate theory is Need Theory. The people at managerial level are motivated majorly by the sense of achievement and the growth in career, rather than a few extra amount of money. Whereas, for the executive level employees naming as consultants and sales assistants, the appropriate theory would be Goal Theory (Gagne?, 2015). The employees at this level have basic psychological and safety needs which can be fulfilled if they can achieve the goals set for them. These employees are mostly motivated by quick quantitative results and can work on set guidelines for the same.
For Employees at Managerial Level at the store, following should be the plan of action:
- Educate them about the operations of the organization through set guideline manuals.
- Giving them case studies of various organizations and motivate them to think beyond their regular routine responses.
- Conducting team building exercises wherein they develop the sense of belongingness with other members of the store and learn importance of co-ordination in achieving goals.
- Conducting leadership seminars and workshops for them so that they can motivate their subordinates better and get better results.
- Educating them about latest technology that needs to be adopted by them in order to drive the business better.
For Employees at executive level at the store, following should be the plan of action:
A continual new product training workshops has to be conducted so that they understand the product better.
On the job training of improving the display of the product in the store should be provided by the regional visual merchandiser.
The styling workshop to be conducted for the fashion assistants so that they can assist their clients better driving more sales.
The program would impart knowledge to the new entrants in the organization at managerial as well as executive level
This program aims at motivating and educating the employees so that they can achieve their individual goals along with the organization’s goal. Through workshops and seminar, the personal growth of the employees in ensured. The sense of learning and achievement would motivate them to perform better to get higher results.
It tries to develop better inter-personal relationship between various team members at all the levels. The manager should be able to understand each subordinate and motivate them accordingly for his all round development.
The program aims at achieving better sales all over the continent by training floor level staff with product and styling knowledge. The sales assistants are the point of contact for customers and if they know the details of the products, they can drive better sales throughout the continent.
Schedule and Planned Activities
First Day- First Half: Operations Training through Manuals & Case studies for Managers.
First Day-Second Half: Leadership Seminar and Role-play Activities for Managers.
Second Day: Team Building Exercise for all the employees.
Third Day: Visual Merchandise training for all the employees on the demo store.
Fourth Day: The styling workshop for the sales assistant where they learn how to develop product ensemble to increase ticket size of the customer.
The product training shall be done on continual basis as and when a new product is to be launched. This can be done by the brand itself or the product expert hired by the organization.
Method of Delivery
Lecture Method- This method would be used in workshops and seminars where theoretical knowledge would need to be imparted to employees.
Case Study- It would help managers polish their skills by trying to act in different situations.
Role Play – It would help managers to get in the shoes of their sub-ordinates and colleagues and understand & empathize with others to be a better leader.
Job Instruction Technique- This method would be used to train employees for Visual Merchandising function.
Coaching – this method would be used implemented the plan of training assistants to be better stylists.
Games – outdoor activities will be conducted for all the employees so that they can develop sense of belongingness and improve co-ordination.
Instruction for Trainer
- To go through the plan of action thoroughly before planning training
- Visual Aids, wherever required, should be prepared
- Arrange all required material well in advance so that there is no last moment hustle.
- Use user friendly terms to deliver workshops and coaching.
- Involve each participant in the activities.
- Give enough time to respond to the situation.
- Spend time evaluating the training outcomes
Feedback and Evaluation
Training feedback and evaluation can be done by the method of taking tests. Tests after regular intervals would help trainer understand how efficient his training plan is and accordingly it can be formulated. Another way of evaluation can b change in the qualitative as well a quantitative aspects of the store’s business.
The resources required for designing, implementing and evaluating the training would be:
Head Trainer – this person would help in designing the training programme and formulating the stepwise plan and oversee the implementation of the plan.
Training Assistants- only one trainer is not enough. For training programme to be carried out at different locations, number of trainers would be required to deliver the specific training to the employees.
Stylist – professional stylists would be hired to train the people working at shop floor level.
Notes/Manuals/Learning Paper – as discussed the method of training would include case studies, seminars, coaching etc. All this would be delivered through the well designed written resources.
Money- any training program would involve the cost being incurred. The cost would be incurred for salaries of people delivering training, renting conference halls and seminar halls, location for team building exercise.
Visual Merchandise Material – to train staff about visual merchandise aspect of the store, various materials relating to the same would have to be sourced for better understanding and to give hands-on learning.
Material for trainees
Following are the materials that would be given to trainees:
Hand outs- the hand outs need to be delivered to the trainees so that they can refer to it while attending the seminars, retaining the training delivered in a better way. The handouts would also help them to come prepared for the next seminar/workshop.
Case Study Material- to understand and enhance the thinking-analysing-responding skill of managers, case studies of different companies would be given.
Presentations- presentations would be given to the employees to educate them about the products available at the store.
Visual Merchandise Manual- these manuals would help the employees understand the standards that need to be followed while setting the store.
Evaluation/Feedback Form- the form would help assess how beneficial the training programme was for the trainees.
Technologies required for the training programme is not very high-end. We would need well equipped seminar halls with projected screens, microphones and sound system. Other technology required would be basic computers and internet access in the same.
We would need different locations in each country where Myer operates. For on the job training such as imparting product knowledge, styling and VM coaching, the training can be conducted at the store itself. For seminars and workshops, specific hall can be rented in Sydney and managers from all the stores can attend the same at one location. For team building exercises, it would be best to rent an open area like parks or country side house to plan out activities accordingly.
The average cost of training per employee shall be somewhere around $1200 USD. This cost shall include all the expenses incurred including Rents, Materials Required to deliver training, Materials delivered to the employees, Salary of the staff hired to supervise training, and the Fees of various Professionals hired to deliver training.
Managerial Support – the managers in some departments may be not be very supportive with their employees, which would lead to the reluctance and fear in the employee to foot forward his own point of view and learning. This would lead to loss in effectiveness of training.
Perception and Participation – people are usually reluctant at adopting changes and doing something extra in order to grow. Certain employees may consider the training programme irrelevant for their personal growth and would not want to participate in the same.
Finance – Myer is a largest department store of Australia, so finance should not be a problem for such a huge organization. For right returns, the company should be willing to incur the normal training costs.
Conflicting Priorities – priorities of the company and employees can be conflicting in certain situations. This would lead to the employee being not motivated to take trainings which are planned for him.
This report aims at developing a training program for an Australian Organization. The subject of this report is Myer, Australia’s largest department store. The training need identified in the report was that for people at store level which is managers and sales assistants. The people at different hierarchy have different needs fulfilment of which motivates them to perform better. The learning theory adopted for managers at various levels is need based and that for sales assistants is goal based. Accordingly the training programme is planned where in the managers are trained to perform better through learning better managerial theories with help of seminars, workshops, case studies and role plays. Whereas for the sales assistants, the training would include product coaching, workshops on styling and ensemble selling and on the job VM demonstration. The cost incurred for the program is estimated to be $1200 USD , which would include salaries, fees, rents of conference rooms and hall & open area for tem building exercise. The programme will be implemented in the span of 4 days and evaluated thereafter. Evaluation would be done through feedback form and comparing employee performance pre and post training.
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