Take smileys seriously: Kirtilals on training and incentive systems

retail
By retail April 1, 2020 20:19 Updated

Take smileys seriously: Kirtilals on training and incentive systems

Training employees, particularly sales staff, and motivating them to put their best foot forward has become an essential practice in the corporate world, more so in the jewellery industry where the attitude and behaviour of a salesperson can determine the closure of a deal worth a considerable amount of money.

 –Shubham Dasgupta

You would typically associate smileys and emoticons with causal exchanges between friends having fun, but have you ever thought of them as a motivational tool in the workplace? Kirtilals Diamond Jewellery, a premium fine diamond and gold jewellery company, is doing just that – using emoticons to motivate and encourage its employees.

Training employees, particularly sales staff, and motivating them to put their best foot forward has become an essential practice in the corporate world, more so in the jewellery industry where the attitude and behaviour of a salesperson can determine the closure of a deal worth a considerable amount of money.

No wonder then that companies across the sector are coming up with innovative methods to train and inspire their sales personnel to go beyond customer satisfaction and aim at customer delight. For Kirtilals, training and motivation are an integral part of business. In 2006, the company decided to go for professional training of the staff, and over the years, the quality of training has improved significantly.

Sangita Sajan, Senior Manager, HR, Kirtilals, shares details of the kind of training being imparted to employees. Young entrants in the sales department go through the ‘Step Ahead’ programme, wherein their performances are graded as red (score below 40%), orange, yellow, green and green plus (highest score). They are ranked and appraised on the basis of their daily performance. “For instance, a candidate in red, orange, yellow, green and green plus categories will respectively get 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 points,” Sajan says. “If we notice no improvement in red and orange category candidates for a long time, we hold a ‘success delayed’ programme for them. As of now, there are negligible people in the red category,” she adds.

In 2018, the company started educating salespersons about product knowledge and better customer experience. Initially, two people from every department were trained. However, it was increasingly realised that a common sales language across all counters was needed. Kirtilals then decided to have heads of different departments turn internal trainers and educate the staff at a separate 100-person-strong training facility.

This three-day-programme starts with a pre-training assessment, with the staff being asked to answer carefully chosen questions. This enables the trainers to determine the level of understanding of the employees. A quiz follows, which tests employees regarding different global brands. The next step is a role-play, where every staff member is given a topic on which s/he is supposed to give a presentation before others. “This is done to remove nervousness and hesitation in explaining the technical details to customers. Only when our sales personnel become confident will the customer appreciate our brand value,” says Sajan. 

This is followed by a revision of the learning imparted so far, but the interesting thing is that it is done in the form of a game. The third and final day of training is reserved for an assessment, with the best performers being given prizes. All role-play proceedings are video-recorded for future reference. There is a review of the training session after six months.

Based on the performance, attendance and other job-related activities on a daily basis, the company gives incentives across various categories, such as phase, on-the-spot, high-performance, business development, lounge and design. In addition, it has started a new initiative to encourage team play at the workplace — the smiley receiver. “Regardless of seniority, if a person helps another person of the same department, the beneficiary awards a smiley to the person helping. The one bagging the most number of smileys has his/her image flashed all over the office. This instils positivity and the quest to get the most number of smileys automatically makes a worker more helpful and resourceful,” explains Sajan.

Surely, that’s something to smile about!

 

retail
By retail April 1, 2020 20:19 Updated
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