Career Development Plan Essay

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Career Development Plan Part II – Development of a Training and Mentoring Program On February 22, 2005, InterClean, Inc. became a major force in the sanitation industry after acquiring a key competitor, EnviroTech. The company established a new strategic direction, and anticipates increased profitability in the next year. Additionally, the company expects the merger to increase sales experience and employee knowledge of the industry.

The strategic plan includes 1) providing high-quality, full-service (all-inclusive) cleaning solutions and support to facilities managers, operational executives, and the health care industry; 2) eliminating the sale of only cleaning products by providing full-range service packages tailored to individual accounts; and, 3) forming multi-functional, solution-based sales teams. The Career Development Plan Part I addressed the merger and its affect on the company. Also, the plan included a job analysis, a workforce planning system, and a newly created seven (7) person sales representative team. According to Jens Rowold of the University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany, “The rapidly accelerating rate of technological innovation forces organizations to invest in employees’ training and development interventions” (Rowold, 2008, p.1).

The merger of both companies drastically impacts the culture of the organization. David Spencer, CEO of InterClean created new opportunities for the company and through his vision, the new sales representative team will be well-informed of new up-and-coming environmental issues and regulations. Thus, the Career Development Plan Part II focuses on the several key components of developing an effective training and mentoring program for the new sales representatives. These components include an overview of the program, needs analysis, program objectives, performance standards, delivery methods, training content, time-frame, evaluation methods, feedback, and training alternatives.

Training and Mentoring Program One strategy outlined in the merger requires the creation of a multi-functional, solutions based sales team. The newly created sales representative team has three-tier management levels and frontline staff.

The team includes the following positions: 1) one Vice President of Sales, 2) one Sales Manager, 3) one Team Leader, and 4) four Outside Sales Representatives. The team consists of employees from InterClean, Inc. and EnviroTech. Thus, the purpose of the training program is three-fold: 1) to prepare the team for new company expectations and guidelines, 2) to provide the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics required to effectively sell InterClean products and perform essential job duties, and 3) to develop a cohesive team to adequately fulfill the new direction of the company. Needs analysis

After the acquisition of EnviroTech, InterClean retained employees from both companies. Carol Stanley an internal consultant performed the needs analysis and conducted personal staff interviews. She inventoried the employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities related to their job duties and product services. Several job skills analyzed include contract related, computer software, leadership, customer service, communications, and compliance and regulatory.

Consequently, the analysis reflects the demographics, skill levels, and achievement percentiles of both sales teams. For example, the demographics show that most employees have significant years of experience in the industry. InterClean’s staff development policy dictates that employees undergo extensive trainings to implement the company’s new sales strategy; selling the spectrum of cleaning services and solutions. A major component of InterClean’s training program is to familiarize new employees with the products and services. Another aspect of the training incorporates the company’s history, products and services, features and benefits, and compliance standards.

Program objectives

The goal of the new sales representative training is to prepare and coach InterClean’s sales representatives to sell high-quality full-service (all-inclusive) cleaning solutions and support to individually tailored facilities managers, operational executives, and the health care industry accounts. Through these sales activities, InterClean seeks to increase its profit margin by 40%, increase sales goals reached in the next year, and increase new sales representatives experience and knowledge of the industry.

By the end of the new sales representatives training, participants will master the following skills:

• Work effectively and efficiently in multi-functional, solution-based sales teams; • Sell high-quality full-service (all-inclusive) cleaning solutions and support to individually tailored facilities managers, operational executives, and the health care industry accounts; • Understand InterCleans’s contract related processes; • Develop advanced computer/software skills;

• Improve customer service skills; • Understand state and federal compliance and regulatory standards; • Develop customized cleaning packages to meet the needs of each customer; • Draw inferences, render diagnosis, judgments, and decisions to meet the needs of each customer; • Understand emerging issues in sanitation, environmental regulation of cleaning and cleaning solutions, and OSHA standards; and, • Understand the legal, environmental, safety, ethical and regulatory issues affecting sanitation and cleaning in varied industries and settings.

Performance standards

“The ideal blended learning model is one that integrates a wide range of functions that empower learners with more control to participate in several formal and informal learning activities” (Baldwin-Evans, 2006, p.151). InterClean has performance standards in place to address employees work performance and staff development. The performance standards are based on the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics taught during the training sessions and the behaviors exhibited by employees and observed by management (Baldwin-Evans, 2006). Each new sales representative receives InterClean’s company manual and other training documents. These documents reinforce the personnel policies, departmental requirements, and procedures learned during the training.

Delivery methods

Adult learning principles describe how people learn differently and how training modalities, or training activities, should reflect these differences. Some people learn best by observing or listening, while others learn more effectively by reading and other visual media. Most people retain more information when they are actively involved in the process of learning, instead of passively sitting and absorbing the information. The new sales representative training encompasses diverse learning styles by ensuring that the information reaches participants in a meaningful way.

The training includes didactic, interactive, and experiential small group exercises that will inform, train and equip participants with practical knowledge and skills when selling high-quality full-service (all-inclusive) cleaning solutions and support to individually tailored facilities managers, operational executives, and the health care industry accounts. By incorporating multiple modalities, the new sales representative training teaches participants with varying learning styles and actively engages all audiences.

Training content

The new sales representative training contains cutting-edge modules developed by renowned experts in the sanitation industry. The training contains various oral and multimedia presentations. The content integrates the training objectives with hands-on activities. Also, as required, participants watch and analyze videos on occupational safety and hazardous materials. Additionally, participants receive the following materials:

• Participant’s manual; • Occupational safety and hazardous material video; • Team handouts and a CD-ROM of company regulations; • Company’s employee manual; • Electronic forms on CD-ROM; • Pre- and post-test evaluations; and, • Certificate of completion. Time-frame The length of time required to complete the new sales representatives’ training is five weeks.

The trainings occur three days a week over a period of five weeks. Each week, the team attends the training, and then return back to their respective site to incorporate the knowledge and skills learned in the training on the job. The training begins promptly at 9:00AM and ends at 4:30PM with an hour lunch break and two 15-minute breaks. Each day, training staff collect time and attendance, which is then forwarded to the human resources department.

Evaluation methods At the end of the new sales representative training, participants have an opportunity to provide feedback and evaluate the sessions. Participants receive pre- and post-test assessments to evaluate their knowledge before and after the training. Participants mastering the training score above 80% on the post-test and observation of skills earn a certificate of completion. Additionally, participants complete an evaluation tool to determine the effectiveness of the training. Six weeks after the completion of the training program, participants receive follow-up surveys to determine job involvement and job satisfaction. Finally, InterClean’s internal consultant conducts annual personal interviews to gather demographics and proficiency skill levels of sales teams. Participants receive continuing education credits after mastering each training.

Feedback It is important to provide participants with immediate and specific feedback relative to their performance (Baldwin-Evans, 2006). The training facilitators and immediate supervisors provide feedback to the new sales representatives. InterClean provides “tools that can raise the level of self-awareness via real or simulated experiences [and] can help learners discover for themselves the gaps between where they are now and where they want to be. Personnel appraisal systems, job rotation, exposure to role models, and diagnostic performance assessments are examples of such tools” (Baldwin-Evans, 2006, p.160). Additionally, new sales representatives participate in monthly coaching sessions and receive quarterly performance reviews.

Alternate training programs InterClean provides alternative training programs for employees not successfully mastering and/or completing the required new sales representative training. Human resources base an employee’s participation in the alternative training programs by factoring their training assessment, on-the-job observation, supervisor’s request, availability of trainings, and employee’s motivation. Available training alternatives include e-learning and web-casts.

Conclusion

After InterClean, Inc. acquired EnviroTech, a key competitor, the company established a new strategic direction. This direction included developing a new sales representative training program as outlined in the company’s Career Development Plan Part II. This plan details an overview of the training program, employee needs analysis, training program objectives, performance standards, delivery methods, training content, time-frame, evaluation methods, feedback, and training alternatives. It is InterClean’s expectation that the new sales representative training ‘‘… is one that integrates a wide range of functions that empower learners with more control to participate in several formal and informal learning activities’’ (Baldwin-Evans, 2006, p.156).

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