Magazines Archives - 2009 February
HR Training & Service Excellence in Retail
When the nation makes training of retail staff mandatory either through a levy or through specific
In Malaysia, all department stores and hypermarkets contribute to the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) under the Ministry of Human Resource.
Exempting speciality stores such as jewellery and accessories shops, the fund receives 1% of the gross salary of retailers’ staff, including temporary ones. Hence, it makes sense that regardless of the economic situation, employers draw from the fund to train their staff.
“In a tight economic situation, training usually takes the back seat. However, owing to the mandatory
“If you don’t use the money, the ministry will use it for skills learning courses for new graduates.” Dr Chow believes retailers will go back to basics when training their people. That is, going back to the basics of customer service, selective merchandisingbuying and control of margins, and especially loss prevention which affects the bottom line.
And while she believes that companies that do not contribute to the fund are likely to cut spending on human resource (HR) development, she also notes that shopping complexes are mandated to organise basic training for small outlets under their roof, at least once a year.
“They appoint consultants and send the staff of these outlets to be trained. It’s a requirement by the ministry. Even parking attendants have to attend these training sessions.”
HR Training & Service Excellence in Retail Dr Chow maintains that training is important, particularly as retail staff turnover in Malaysia is quite high. Dr Chow’s retail staff training programmes
She also conducts training on merchandising planning and pricing, ordering and receiving of goods, stock control, retail cost control, cash-point operations and visual merchandising.
Also part of the programmes are security and its role in retail operations; handling retail sales promotions and advertising; handling perishables; and butchering. Managerial skills, problem
All employees of the company, including floor staff, attend programmes related to their areas of work.
The programmes are designed to help employees in their work. Security staff are given training in customer service, apart from security and loss prevention while personnel who have subordinates will undergo the soft skills training. All retail staff must also know how to handle the cashiering job and
Refresher courses are held to enhance understanding of the programme, and to further encourage motivation and learning. Preparing for the crest Samantha Chin, principal consultant and partner in Anggun, which specialises in soft skills training in areas of customer service, and grooming and resentation skills, feels that retail staff training should not be cut back in these trying times.
“It’s all very customer-focused now. It’s about retaining customers and turning new ones into loyal customers. It’s word-of-mouth advertising. When a customer is happy, he or she will bring a
While some companies are cutting down on training, “some are focusing on training for the
“We learn a lot from retail staff, their challenges and what motivates them in a very people-[oriented] business. We also teach them how to identify the customer’s personality in order to talk effectively to
Dr Chin’s programmes emphasise the necessity for companies to create a brand personality. “For instance, in the beauty industry, you need to have very polite staff with experience. In the
Her company has also trained 100 retail personnel of baby products retailer Anakku throughout Malaysia, taking in 25 employees per session. The training is to boost their confidence when handling
“All industries are about sales and retail, customer retention, creating loyalty and viral marketing, where
Business and social etiquette, such as how to introduce a product and present name card, body language, deportment, skin care and make-up, are also tackled. “In the F&B industry, if you have bad skin, you may not be considered for the job.” In addition, Dr Chin teaches trainees how to give a firm
Anggun also conducts one-day workshops on Exceptional Customer Service for front-line executives and managers; front office, customer service and business centres personnel; secretaries; and HR executives.
One very interesting module teaches retail personnel how to profile their customers; identify individual
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