Page 4: Training and development
In the UK, the provision of services accounts for the majority of employment opportunities. That being so, intelligent organisations recognise that their strength lies in the skills of their work force and how good they are at meeting customers' needs.
Travis Perkins places a high priority on continuously improving its workforce through training and development. In this way, it has developed a business culture that remains competitive so that service and growth will develop alongside each other.
The company's focus on training its staff to offer first class customer service is evident in its programme for new recruits. Having first been inducted, new employees go through customer service training, and also learn about their role within the organisation. Their performance is continuously reviewed and they receive ongoing coaching from their line manager. At the same time new employees receive skills training across a range of areas such as:
- team and personal effectiveness
- information and communication skills
- customer care
- keeping proper accounts.
In 2003 Travis Perkins launched Excel. This is a customer service programme, aimed at continuously improving services to customers. It links training processes to the need to provide high quality customer care. It constantly poses the question, 'What do your customers want from you?' It makes clear how the firm's interests are best served by meeting customers' needs.
The programme covers all employees: yard workers, counter assistants, management trainees, branch managers, senior executives. The company has developed a wealth of learning materials.
It has also set up a Development Zone. Here, employees can book a session during working hours and complete a variety of courses at their own pace. The company encourages employees to take part in a number of programmes, both 'in house' and also externally provided. Within each programme, managers, trainers, supervisors, other employees and each participant assess themselves against their own training and development objectives.