Page 5: Training and development
One of the most important issues is the training and development of the human resources across the company. Autoglass recognises the importance of investing in a highly skilled, effective workforce. Training has also been recognised by many theorists as one of the most important ways of motivating a firm’s employees. The Autoglass training strategy has centred on tailored initiatives aimed at identified core competencies. The company has tried to identify the particular skills that are essential to achieving the aim of the business - to become a world class service provider.
Training focuses on skills and ensures that all employees, from senior managers to new recruits at branch level, are fully conversant with the aims of the business. Each course is specifically designed for the individual’s requirements. For example, new employees undergo a ‘Startline’ programme, an induction course that contains both technical training for their particular job and common elements to ensure everyone understands the business, how it works and who the customers are.
Time is spent in each of the areas of the company - at a branch, at the call centre and in various departments at Head Office so that all employees have a basic understanding of the role of others within the business. This not only enables them to perform their own roles better, but makes them aware of the impact they may be having on others and why certain things are done in the way they are.
Startline is only the first step and Autoglass has tried to develop a culture of training throughout the company. For the fitters, the skills development programme lasts up to eighteen months and leads to a NVQ. They are constantly kept up-to-date with all the latest technical developments, such as the launch of Quicklink bonding.
At the Call Centre, operators’ performance is monitored and recording calls enables the team leaders to identify areas specific to individuals that can be improved. Senior managers across the business have to continue their training in all the necessary management skills; some take an MBA course with Loughborough University.
Autoglass is totally committed to the future development of people skills within the company. This emphasis on training has already produced positive benefits; there has been a fall in labour turnover and a greater level of internal appointment to more senior roles as individuals have acquired the necessary skills and competencies.
As all employees have a wider understanding of the way the business operates, more innovative ideas and developments are possible and this opens up new areas of business.