Businesses thrive to develop an educated and experienced workforce, since it directly impacts the efficiency, profits and growth of an organization. Education, learning and adequate training are all important prerequisites for high quality customer service experience. There is a recurring need to upgrade the skillset of customer service representatives, in order to ensure that they are flexible to the changing market environment and customer needs. Management must facilitate a steep learning curve for the workforce, which will in turn enable them to deliver an improved customer service experience, in addition to building human resource equity over time. Some of the ways through which companies can promote a learning environment are as follow:
Implement On-the-Job Training Strategy
Some employers expect new recruits to be well-versed in the operations of a company before they join, but in most cases such an expectation is unrealistic and management has to undertake the initial training. Companies should develop a structured on-the-job training protocol, which should include assigning experienced employees to take the new recruits under their wing. On-the-job training would help the new recruits understand various procedures and office culture in a more effective manner. Moreover, the company would not have to bear extra training costs.
Introduce Mentorship Program
Another smart way to promote a learning culture in an organization is to develop a mentorship program for the employees. All senior employees should be asked to become mentors for junior employees and this should be a part of their job description. This activity will not only help provide direction for the new recruits, but will also align them with company’s vision and philosophy. Additionally, mentorship will also help employees with advice and guidance pertaining to their career progression and growth in the company.
Regularly Conduct Training Workshops/Seminars
The management should encourage its employees to actively participate in various workshops and seminars that can help them upgrade skills. There is a multitude of training workshops available for customer service employees in the market that can expose CSRs to new and emerging customer service trends and standards. In order for a company to keep up with recent developments and competition in the market, these training exercises hold significance, not just for the employees, but for the organization as a whole. Other educational events such as Talks by industry leaders or experts could help inspire the employees to develop unique customer service solutions for the customers.
Alternatively, management should organize in-house training workshops for customer service representatives, which requires a small investment in acquiring ‘Do-it-your-self’ training exercises.
Sponsor Employees for Higher Education
Many employees wish to pursue higher education, once they have acquired some job experience, after which they decide to leave the company and study full-time. This spells into a ‘lose-lose’ situation for both parties involved: The company, after investing time and money, loses a well-trained employee and the employee loses a source of income and opportunity for growth within the company. The situation can be rectified if the management proactively takes interest in the educational aspirations of its employees. The management could finance part-time education for its employees as loan that can be repaid as the employee continues to work with the company. Some companies even finance higher education degree on the condition that the employee will return for contractual services after the completion of the degree for a certain number of years.
Motivate Employees with Job Enrichment/Rotation
Employers can cultivate a culture of learning through job enrichment and rotation. Job enrichment involves adding more sophisticated tasks and responsibilities to the job description of an employee. This exercise will help expose employees to different domains of the business, and added level of responsibility will train them for better decision making in the future.
Many companies have successfully experimented with job rotation, which helps them get exposure and experience in different capacities at the company. Jobs are rotated over a certain period of time, which essentially means that employees are exposed to each and every aspect of a business. This activity offers expansive opportunity for employees to learn from new experiences and work more productively.