Development of Training and Mentoring Program

The merger between InterClean and Envirotech indicates the new strategic directions of both the companies. With these new strategic aims, the need for employee training and development has also been felt. Based on the job analysis of different employees, a training programs has to be developed in order to service their training and developmental needs. This paper aims to draw the basic outline necessary for planning and implementing the training program.

New Training and Mentoring Needs

First of all it is necessary to identify which people are possible incumbents for the training. According to the to the job analysis conducted by officials of InterClean, the sales force is required to have much more polished skills so as to be an effective part of the sales team. Since, these people will be facing an increased burden of customers because of the merger; they will need increased sales efficiency, greater confidence and high morale. They must produce high quality, cost effective and consumer responsive procurement services.

Not only this, they must have the capability of working in a team, since some tasks are not the business of an individual and a group is required to achieve the targets.  While training may not provide the employees to have one-on-one interactions and detailed information about some serious issues, mentoring fills in this gap. In a nut shell, the training provided now, may help the sales force in their career development and for future work related needs.

Objectives of the Training Program

The training program will have the following objectives:

To increase the annual productivity of the sales force for the product line of the firm

To improve the withered morale of the sales force because of any incapability and to improve their confidence level.

To reduce the turnover rate of the sales force.

To improve the customer relations and finally

To manage time and territory for the entire sales force of the organization.
Performance standards

The standards of assessment are already set by the organization. Employees will be evaluated on the basis of their expertise and knowledge which they will acquire. They will be judged on soft skills and hard skills, where soft skills refer to the abilities of the employees towards communication, interaction, multitasking, motivation, and their skills of persuading, listening and paying attention to their work. On the other hand, hard skills refer to the abilities of the employees in recovering funds, managing and processing data.

Apart from these skills employees will also be judged on their ability of achieving sales targets, having the courage to bear risk-taking and on their experience. They will need a positive attitude, must be disciplined ethically, and the thing which counts the most is trustworthiness. They will also be evaluated on their ability to work under strict deadlines simultaneously being sales driven professional assiduous in providing customer service (Basuroy, 2000)

Training Methods

Since it is not possible for a single manager to provide on job training to all the potential trainees separately, therefore, other training methods including class room trainings, role playing, and electronic training methods should also be used.

Training methods such as situational training or training by simulations will also be of great help (William, n.d.).

Training Content

The training content must include the overall objectives of the training program and the needs of the participants and the information which is provided during the training program must be directly correlated with the needs of the participants. Thus information should be designed in a manner that it matches with the present knowledge base of the participants. In addition to this, an effective orientation before the training program will help the participants to have a quick grasp on what they are going to learn in the training session. Training methods may include presentations, provisions of applicable material and handouts of resources, group discussions etc.

Time frame

Training and mentoring programs should be conducted in a manner that they deliver maximum efficiency and effectiveness while remaining inside the resources and the time available. Training programs do require that the information is transferred remaining within a balanced amount of time and resources (Spiro, n.d).

Training budgets should be properly allocated. Employees from within the organizations usually are already committed to their own work and find it difficult to invest time in such training program, so, it is necessary to design the training program in a manner that these employees can give their time to it while remaining committed to their own work and providing ample amount of time to it as well.

Evaluation Methods

Evaluation is necessary to identify the effectiveness and of the training programs and to redesign any disfigurations in future training programs. There are generally four ways to evaluate the training program which includes:

Reactions: The best way to dig out whether the participants thought of the training as something worthwhile or lame.

Learning: Giving the trainees some kind of tests to check whether the information provided was fully absorbed or not.

Behavior: The behavior of trainees identify whether the training has left an impact on his/her personality or not.

Results: This is the aftermath, if the results of the trainees remain the same even after the training program then, it would be clear that the training was of no use. (Sharon, 2005)

Feedback

After the training program the executives must provide their feedback to the trainees on their performance. They can either ask from the trainees if they find the training program useful or not. Positive feedback always reinforces behavior, so employers and employees must provide each other with sincere comments and suggestions in the form of feedback.

Alternate avenues for those who need further development

For those employees who are still lacking behind in something they should be provided further training on their areas of weaknesses, tying them up with result oriented rewards will have a positive impact on their morale and confidence level. Shortly, employees should be made responsible for smaller things at first and should be encouraged no matter if they achieve the target or not.

References

Basuroy S. (2000), “Sales Force Management.” Tata McGraw-Hill.

Sharon G. (2005), “Training is the Key to the Success of Mentoring Programs.” Retrieved, August 24, 2010 from, http://www.mentoring-association.org/membersonly/AllProgr/GivensTrg.html

Spiro, (n.d), “Management of a Sales Force,” Retrieved, August 24, 2010 from,

http://books.google.com.pk/books?id=nQikg3nqN9EC&pg=PA196&lpg=PA196&dq=training+needs+for+sales+force&source=bl&ots=bdY5gxteDA&sig=IVK0EJf0TIschZMY3clYht6S9dg&hl=en&ei=4udzTLKXNoGIvgPN6_mxCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CDEQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=feedback&f=false

William P. (n.d), “Marketing,” Retrieved, August 24, 2010 from, http://books.google.com.pk/books?id=-R1zRakeLJgC&pg=PA532&lpg=PA532&dq=performance+standards+for+sales+force&source=bl&ots=de44b6Pr2B&sig=7wjzGfWNRA3ANGA-QSnUnMtM5m4&hl=en&ei=dfxzTOi3F4m8vgPQmpHECA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CCcQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=performance%20standards%20for%20sales%20force&f=false