BENCHMARKING INFO ON TRAINING

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Scottish Power

BENCHMARKING INFO ON TRAINING
Hi

We are currently looking at our new starts training within our call centre and we are looking for some benchmarking information with regards to how other call centres train their new recruits.

ie. How long are they in training
Is it modular training
Does it consist of classroom and live environment
What does the training consist of - ie soft skills/business/systems
What proportion of time is spent on each of the above?
When the new starts come out on to the floor - do they go into an
academy etc. What support do they recieve?

We are really just looking for any information to compare what other call centres do.

Your help would be appreciated.

Many Thanks

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BENCHMARKING INFO ON TRAINING
Hi Lyndsey,

I designed and delivered this type of training for many of UK call centres so please forgive the amalgamated answer;

ie. How long are they in training
As long as is required to meet the training objectives and benchmark required by the organisation in terms of skills and knowlegde. Varies from 1 day to 4 months.

Is it modular training
Usually, yes, its depended on training department style, most companies with an established traiing department prefer experiential learning however smaller organisations with smaller budgets take less care.

Does it consist of classroom and live environment
Depends on organisation, most do, some also add in idividual learning modules, web based learning and some have learning development centres themselves; also add in coaching and mentoring.

What does the training consist of - ie soft skills/business/systems
Yes, plus induction, H&S where necessary.


What proportion of time is spent on each of the above?
Depends on business needs, soft skills can often be covered in a day or but I've known companies take a week. Sales skills take a day or 2. Product knowledge and systems are obviously variable dependent upon complexity of systems and knowledge. Very important to note here that a 'test' or 'dummy' system is usually very beneficial in reducing training time. Inductions can sometimes take 1 or 2 days.

When the new starts come out on to the floor - do they go into an
academy etc. What support do they recieve?

Very variable ; some produce lots of paperwork but little real follow up or development; others overkill. Its all down to the company culture and is frequently overridden by operationsl needs.

We are really just looking for any information to compare what other call centres do.
As with all training issues all companies are different and have different standards , SLA , customer expectations, employee expectations etc. it comes down to what suits your company, your budget and your delegate's needs.

CONSULTANT DIRECTOR

CARA STI KNOWLEDGE

Benchmarking
Hi,
Thanks for an informative reply.Could you please elaborate on benchmarking training effectiveness and training efficiency.
Do you work outside UK also?
Regards,
Ajai

Account Manager

Business Systems UK

BENCHMARKING INFO ON TRAINING
Hi Lyndsey

You may recall we spoke on the phone a couple of months ago about first contact resolution
if it is help we provide a consultancy service which can help set up a benchmark for you
We have consultants who have worked in the field of quality management who will be able to look at your exhising sitution and put a benchmarking recommendation together for you
Incase you don,t have my number to hand it is 0208 326 8247

Kind Regards

John Nutley

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BENCHMARKING INFO ON TRAINING
No problem Ajai,

Training effectiveness can only be valauation ie. evalating the 'overall value' of the training against its learning objectives and the corporate objectives. There are a number of theories for this. I'm not really sure what you mean by 'benchmarking training effectiveness' its not a subject that one can 'benchmark', the training has to meet it objectives, if not it fails. There is no benchmarking involved or comparison with other organisations. Training is an individualistic learning process, the notion that one can simply place it agaist a competitor or industry benchmark simply doesnt work for your own business with its own needs.

"Training efficiency" - certainly all training has to fit into budgetary and learning constraints and if the constraints are too tight then the training may be ineffective or not take place. The simplest method for measuring cost effectiveness of training is to compare the delivery method with other delivery methods, eg. sitting next to nellie, CBL, external supplier training etc etc. As for efficiency, well sometimes its cheaper to train on site, sometimes more effcient to train smaller numbers of delegates etc etc. How long is a piece of string?



CONSULTANT DIRECTOR

CARA STI KNOWLEDGE

Benchmarking Training

Thanks for your time and explaination.I fully agree with you on the subject of benchmarking effectiveness. However,What I mean by benchmarking training effectiveness is: For a given set of content , for a given set of selected (thro' set filters) target audience , given set of delivery methods. The training effectiveness can be benchmarked. Let me be more specific. We inIndia impart something called Voice and Language modules for all call center fresh trainees. This is done in extremely controlled conditions.The final goals are measurable. Can we apply benchmarking to effectiveness here?
I shall contact you on your other ID .
Regards,
Ajai

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Benchmarking training
Thanks for your response Ajai,

>>>>The final goals are measurable. Can we apply benchmarking to effectiveness here?

No. What parameters are you measuring? What do you mean by audience?

The only measures you have are the results of delegates happy sheets, any trainer feedback and any knowledge or skills measurement that takes place. Its not enough and does not take into account whether the learning objectives have been met, any outside factors, long term impact or any measurement against other forms of training. Its simply a snapshot of that learning intervention at that given time, its over significance is very limited.


I think I understand what you are saying, if we have 'x' and put in 'y' under very controlled conditions then the result should be x+y and we should be able to measure it.
To view training as this is to misunderstand what learning is; learning is not a structured process, it is not something you 'do' to someone, it is something that the learner does for themselves. Thus it cannot be measured in your terms.
Firstly establish you training needs,using a training needs analysis, then design your learning objectives around this then deliver training and finally evaluate. You make no mention of learning needs and I can only assume that they haven't been identified clearly.
Learning can however be evaluated as I mentioned earlier, the most widely accepted models for this are CIRO (developed by Warr, Bird and Rackman -1970) and Hamblins 5 level model (1974).
The evaluation of learning is not simply what comes out at the other end but other factors such as; context, structure/culture of the organisation, what type of learning event took place - classroom based, CBT etc etc, what were the learning objectives, all are crucial to examining the context of the learning event.
Next resources available, content, methods, final cost versus other resources. We also need to consider whether the delegates themselevs were valid. If you deliver your bucket training to delegates who have 2-3 years experience in call centres I'm sure the evaluation of the same training will be totally different.
Next reactions, those involved to see whether it achieved what it set out to - all parties.
Lastly outcome; outcome versus objectives.
One must also add in the element of time here, its no good simply measuring this all when delegates leave the classroom, of due to management culture, lack of follow up etc etc learning is not being implemented 2 weeks later then clearly an immediate classroom reaction produces the wrong result.

Hamblin takes all this a stage further and looks at 'ultimate' value to departments and the organisation.

As you see there is quite a lot too it and the effective evaluation of training performance is of itself one of the criteria for success. I note your questions are phrased in business process terms and not training terms should you wish to research further please examine the two models above all within the context of a systematic training cycle, you will find the work of Honey and Mumford as well as Robert Hamblin of particular use, they have all examines learning, its processes and outcomes in great depth.

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