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Basic Practice Manual

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Autor:  anton  04 July 2011
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mgmnt 210 essay

Table of Contents

Demonstrating Communication Skills ……………………………………………PG 3

Effective Orientation and Training Methods………………………………………PG 4

Improving Productivity for Teams. ……………………………………………… PG 12

Conducting Performance Appraisals………………………………………………PG 13

Resolving Conflict ………………………………………………………………...PG 14

Improving Employee Relations……………………………………………………PG 15

References………………………………………………………………………….PG 16

Demonstrating Communication Skills

Communication skills are one of the most important aspects to being a successful supervisor. Employees need to feel that they are heard and understood in the workplace. Important changes and upcoming events are accepted better when delivered by the supervisor in place of an email or newsletter. Building communication skills will give the employees a sense of understanding. Supervisors need to take the time to listen to the employees and give them a voice in the workplace. Toolkits that highlight core communication qualities are effective in communication training. In a new guide to developing such toolkits, author Andy Szpekman explains building competencies:

Four competencies necessary for effective communication:

В· Insight is needed for planning performance goals and linking them to company priorities.

В· Feedback and coaching are needed to pinpoint improvement opportunities and to help employees prepare for future assignments.

В· Listening skills are necessary to draw information out of people and to probe the root cause of problems.

· Communicating – both orally and in writing – is key to shaping employee beliefs and attitudes (2006).

Effective Orientation and Training Methods

Orientation day 1:

В· Welcome in the new hires by introducing them to the fellow employees and familiarizing them with the workplace.

В· Remember to show them where the restrooms, safety kits and fire extinguishers are.

В· Give the employee a sense of belonging by showing him or her specifically where he or she will be working.

В· Introduce the new hires to fellow employees and give the current title of the employees they are meeting. This helps the new hire know who to come to when they have questions.

В· Identify the departments in passing, giving the employees a high level of what the company does exactly.

В· Explain hours of operation, basic job duties, breaks and lunches.

В· Give the new hires all the documentation they will need for training: Method and procedures, rules and policies, code of conduct, dress code and job description.

В· Give a background of the company, who we are, what our goals and objectives are and where we are going.

Training day 1:

В· Introduction:

В· Round table introduction of names of the new hires

· Company Mission: Explain the mission of the company- “To combine good quality with low prices at a place that feels like home”

В· Explain to the employees whom we are as a company; Where the chain started; Who is our founder; What is our philosophy; Why are products are superior; Why we pride ourselves in customer service. Explain what our achievements have been thus far.

В· Give the new hires a hard copy of everything they will be covering in the training

В· Dress code:

· Men’s dress attire

· Clean button up shirts with no print or logo’s other than store logo – No tank tops, tee shirts or sleeveless shirts

В· Dress shoes only- No tennis shoes, boots or sandals

В· Slacks or Dickies- No jeans or shorts of any kind

В· Tattoos or piercings should not be visible

· Women’s dress attire

· Clean button up blouses with no print or logo’s other than store logo- No tank tops, tee shirts or sleeveless blouses

· Dress shoes only – No open toed sandals, tennis shoes or boots

· Slacks, skirts at knee length or below and dresses are preferred – No sundresses, jeans or shorts of any kind

В· Tattoos or piercings should not be visible

В· Job Description

В· Explain the type of products we sell and promote

В· Merchandise in the stores

В· Online stores- What do we offer

· Corporate sales- Important customers “big spenders”

В· Explain what we specialize in

В· Customer service- Our customers come first

В· Exclusive products- Items only found in our stores

В· Service departments- Repair, maintenance and replacement

· Explain what a Salesclerk’s function is

· Greeting the customer- A friendly “hello” or “good evening” will make people feel welcomed

В· Offer assistance and suggestions- Offer to give help to all customers and suggest appropriate products. Notify them of upcoming or current sales

В· Be a patron- Offer to help customers that are disabled, handicap or are hindered in any way

В· Upsize the sale, include new products- Offer suggestions on other products the customer may like. Promote new products

В· Grab attention- Get the customer interested in the product. Know the uses, values and benefits of the products beforehand

В· Follow the transaction to the end- Always ask the customer if there is anything else an associate can help them with

В· Make the sale- Check the customer out at the register

В· Explain the importance of customer service

В· Friendly atmosphere- A customers needs are important. Greet with a smile and a helping hand

В· Knowledge of the products- Be familiar with the products we are selling. Read the information. Use personal good experience stories

В· Willingness to help- Always offer to help, with a pleasant tone and demeanor

В· Customer relations- Customers will come back and look for the associated who made their experience memorable

В· Repeat customers- Customers will return if they like our products and customer service

В· A good shopping experience- Do not be overbearing but be caring

· The value of “word of mouth” advertising

Training Day 2

В· Floor Training:

В· Trainees are to come to work dressed appropriately for department training

В· Split up trainees into groups according to the department they will be working in

В· Assign each group to a senior employee for specific training

В· Send the groups onto the floor with note paper and pens to encourage note taking

В· Have the employees tour the departments and isles- Show the employees the isles in the order they will be making their rounds, for easy memorizing

В· Explain opening procedures- Locking and unlocking doors, stocking shelves and inventory. Show the new hires the location of the lights, cleaning supplies, props and sale ads

В· Explain the method of stacking and stocking according to dates, sales and season- Show how we stock front to back and have the employees stock a few items while monitoring for correctness. Continue to talk with them through the exercise, welcoming questioning

В· Explain the pricing method- How to use the price guns, tapes and stickers-Show where the tags are kept and when they are applied. Show how to use the price gun from lower to higher priced items. Have the employees price a few items while monitoring again welcoming questions

В· Explain the coding process and how to remove tags and security devices- Demonstrate and let the employees try using the devices, monitoring and continuing to explain the process

В· Show the trainees the storage and loading docs- Explain when the shipments come in and when the will hit the floor

В· Explain when the item comes in and how to know when to re-stock- Demonstrate and let the employees stock a few shelves while explaining the concept of visual displays

В· Explain pre-orders or pick ups- Explain the computer programs for ordering and picking up sales. Demonstrate and allow the employees to practice using the computer while monitoring for correctness

В· Explain the cash registers and credit machines- Demonstrate how to use ten-key, taking cash and making change, allow the employees to practice on fictional sales. Monitor their progress and correct any mistakes. Show how to back out sales for incomplete transactions and explain the cash in drawer to cash in vault ratio

В· Show the proper bagging and folding techniques for items- Explain how to bag glass, cans, papers and clothing properly. Demonstrate on sever different items and have the employees mimic the procedures

· Explain the “Go-Backs”- Explain each employees individual and team responsibilities to returning items to the correct shelves

В· Explain closing procedures- Gently encouraging late shoppers, locking up and alarm activation. Show proper closing procedures and have the employees make a checklist of things that need to be done while closing

Training Day 3

В· Follow-up

В· Greet the new hires and explain that they will be on their own today

· Assign the new hires to a senior employee to “shadow” for half of the day

В· For the second half of the day let the new hires handle a section of their own, keeping a senior employee close at hand for any complications

В· Check in on new employees frequently, asking if they have any questions or concerns

В· Note any problem areas for further training necessities

В· Encourage the new hires on their progress- Let them know how much progress they have made and give any tips or ideas on how to improve performance

В· Perform a job evaluation on the employee and at the end of the day discuss any areas of concern

· If necessary assign a new employee to “shadow” a senior employee for the next few days while he or she continues to learn the procedures

В· Program review

В· Document the employees progress throughout their first two weeks

В· Did they catch up to the speed of seasoned employees?

В· Are they performing all the required jobs?

В· Do the new hires need further training?

В· Are they still struggling with performing any functions?

В· Do they possess good customer service skills?

В· Are the employees happy with their positions and comfortable with their job duties?

В· Ask the employees if they felt the training was sufficient

В· Did the training answer any questions?

В· Was the information overwhelming?

В· Was there any area in which additional clarification was needed?

В· Improve any areas of the training process that need work

Improving Productivity for Teams

Improving productivity starts with measuring employee output in order to determine the areas that need improving. A supervisor needs to analyze all areas that are associated with productivity in the workplace. Research the problems areas and gather all credible information. Employee performance reviews should be examined for weak performances. Sales and advertising campaigns should be examined for effectiveness. Employee relations should be examined for unhappy co-workers. Develop alternative solutions or strategies. Identify the best possible solution and implement changes accordingly. “Effective performance management systems are among the tool for measuring and improving productivity” (Public Personnel Management, 2002).

Conducting Performance Appraisals

Conducting performance appraisals is an important function of a supervisor. This serves not only to better the quality of work by assessing its employees, but also to motivate employee to strive for the best. A successful performance appraisal measures the amount of effort, ability and direction of the individual employee. “Effort refers to how hard a person works. Ability is concerned with the person’s capability. Direction refers to how well the person understands what is expected on the job (The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2004).

Measuring an employee’s ability can be achieved in many forms. Studying past achievements, accomplishments and how well an employee met goals and objectives is a good start. Research the employees’ performance over the year. Note any rise or falls in production output. Can this employee perform other functions not normal to his daily routine? How much of this employees work contributes to the daily production total?

Measuring employee efforts is best achieved by monitoring an employee’s performance at work. Has the employee shown exceptional work skills? Does this employee go above and beyond the call of duty? Do they perform additional work functions without being asked? Is this employee a hard worker? Or does this employee have a lack luster attitude towards the job? By monitoring the employee’s behavior and actions over the course of a few weeks, one can determine how hard this employee is or is not working.

The next step is to ensure the employee understands the direction he or she was given. A poor performance appraisal can come from an employees misunderstanding of what he or she is expected to do. The supervisor should review objectives and set goals, while asking the employee if there is anything he or she needs clarification on.

Resolving Conflict

Many different types of conflicts can arise in a workplace. Most common are co-worker-to-co-worker conflicts and troubled employee conflicts. Each problem needs to be researched and addressed properly.

The first step is to analyze the situation. Learning the when, how, who and what about each incident. This should also be kept in a log for reference. When all the information is gathered and the supervisor is now knowledgeable about the situation, an examination of all parties involved needs to take place. Before a supervisor should step in and take action, all pertinent information should be evaluated. Has the employee had recent problems at work? Has there been a significant change in the employee’s behavior that may stem from a greater personal problem? Being able to identify a need for outside counseling is a must. There are some things that are beyond a supervisor’s capability and need to be handled by outside resources.

The next step is to confront the employee regarding the situation. Bring the discussion up as open forum, so the employee can also voice his or her opinion without feeling attacked. Explain the problem and suggest a solution. Be clear that if the situation is not resolved, additional action may be necessary.

The last step is to take action when necessary. Monitoring an employee post a discussion is always a good idea. If an employee dismissal is needed, the supervisor should take action as required promptly, without delay. This will be a good example for other employees.

Improving Employee Relations

A supervisor plays an important role in improving employee relations in the workplace. Involving employees in appreciation methods help to promote employee moral. Individual achievement awards are an excellent way to highlight employee performance. Group achievements and recognition should also be considered. When employee’s are recognized for outstanding efforts they are much more likely to perform better at his or her job. Recognizing and supporting cultural and ethnic differences improves employee relations. By opening the door to understanding and acceptance employees will ultimately accept fellow co-workers for their individualism. Employee activities can also help to boost moral and give the employees a sense of belonging.


Mani, B. (2002). Performance Appraisal Systems, Productivity, and Motivation: A Case Study. Public Personnel Management, 31(2), pg141.

Szpekman, A. (2006). Making Manager Toolkits Work. Strategic Communication Management, 11(1), pg 9-9.

The McGraw-Hill Companies, (2004). Rue:Supervision, Eighth Edition. Appraisal and Rewarding Performance, 11, pg 2. Retrieved August 9th, 2007, from Axia College database.

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