Training and Development A case study of Best Buy Section I: Training Needs Assessment The employees who work at Best Buy need a set of skills for efficient performance of their jobs. Methods that are used to provide these skills set is referred as Training. Figure 1 illustrates the process of training which has three main phases; needs assessment, development and conduct of training and evaluation. (VU Handouts, 2005) Figure 1: Training Process (VU Handouts, 2005) Best Bay is a global company having large number of stores as illustrated in Figure 2.
In Europe there are more than 2000 stores, in USA there are more than 1000 stores while in Asia there are more than 100 stores. (Best Buy, 2011) Figure 2: Number of stores world-wide (Best Buy, 2011) Similarly Figure 2 shows the total count of employees at various locations.
It can be observed that they are geographically far and diversified. Identifying training needs for so diversified and large number of employees is indeed very difficult task. (Best Buy, 2011) Figure 2: Country wise full-time and part-time employees count Best Buy achieves this task by listening to their employees through “Viewpoint” which is an enterprise survey. Engagements of employees are measured through this survey and description of their experience is analyzed for needs assessment.
The core needs of training are identified as ability to talk about new products, knowledge about trends in technology and information about efforts of sustainability put at Best Buy. (Best Buy, 2011) Section II: Training Methods The most popular training method used for U. S. employees at Best Bay is e-Learnings. The website used for this purpose is “Learning Lounge” which offers Certificate Courses. The facilities of e-Learnings were extended for the employees of Mexico as well.
Several courses were created in e-Learnings for ENERGY STAR products, importance of conservation and utility of Best Buy’s partnerships. (Best Buy, 2011) The training methodology used at Learning Lounge includes modules of storytelling with photo, audio and video production, informational overviews, and materials such as brochures and fact sheets for on-the-job use. It also includes face-to-face training guides, simulations and programs for collaborative learnings. Good design of the course is aimed to achieve the objective of training which is to make the learning “fun, memorable and effective”.
(Creative Channel Services, 2011) Section III: Internal and External Resources The Internal Resources at Best Buy include Training and Development department of Human Resource Management that engages training managers on the basis of stores, regions, countries and required skills set. Assistance in tuition fee is offered to U. S. employees who seek to get education from outside of Best Bay so that their abilities and knowledge are enhanced. A total of ten million dollars were reimbursed in tuition fees to six thousand four hundred employees in the past year.
(Best Buy, 2011) The External Resource is Creative Channel Services (CCS). Best Buy partners with Creative Channel Services who develops and manages its e-Learning website “Learning Lounge”. Figure 3 shows the main activities of Creative Channel Services and how it helps Best Buy to train its employees by developing courses through training methodologies given in Section II above. (Creative Channel Services, 2011) Figure 3: Main features of partnering with Create Channels (Creative Channel Services, 2011) Section IV: Training programs for orientation, diversity and harassment Training programs at Learning Lounge offer most effective learning contents which are developed on the basis of authenticity and interactivity.
Authenticity refers to the realistic information of workplace such as objects and its tasks. Interactivity refers to the engagement of the trainees during the process of training through questioning and assessment activities such as quiz, games, etc. (Creative Channel Services, 2011) On-the-job experiences in real-world are managed efficiently through applied knowledge. It is shown that the gap between abstract learning and applied knowledge is bridged effectively by authenticity and interactivity. Figure 4 shows that in the year 2011 average hours of training given to each US, China and Mexico employees is 46%, 33% and 10% respectively.
(Best Buy, 2011) Figure 4: Average hours of training (Best Buy, 2011) Section V: Training program unique to Best Bay In U. K. an intensive training program named “wireless boot camp” about new products and services was given to eight thousand employees.
Laptop was rewarded to all those employees who cleared the subsequent test. (Best Buy, 2011) Section VI: Evaluation of Training program The training programs are evaluated by awarding certifications to the successful employees. In the year 2011 four million three hundred thousand courses were taken out of which four hundred and six thousand certifications were awarded. As shown in Figure 5, one million hours were spent on learning and ninty three percent of employees of the Retail Stores learned at the Learning Lounge.
(Best Buy, 2011) Figure 5: Training at Learning Lounge (Best Buy, 2011) Section VII: Programs for Developing Talent Best Buy employees are given several opportunities for learning leadership skills. Action plan for each employee’s development is made. Interested employees are offered to participate in leading relationship with local communities and efforts for conservation at stores through Employee Business Networks (EBNs).
Figure 6 lists several programs such as BEN University and Women’s Leadership Forum’s (WOLF) that developed leadership talent and abilities to take new roles by the employees. (Best Buy, 2011) Figure 6: Talent Development Programs at Best Buy (Best Buy, 2011) Section VIII: Demonstration of Value of Training Best Buy demonstrates value of training through appreciation and gratitude by way of having enterprise-based and locally based appreciation programs. Figure 7 shows these programs which include cash rewards, certificates, trips and other prizes.
(Best Buy, 2011) Figure 7: Appreciation Programs at Best Buy (Best Buy, 2011) Section IX: Talent Attraction and Retention Best Buy employees are attracted and retained through offerings of rewards and benefits in such a manner that their financial, mental and physical well-being is maximized. These include competitive pay, package of incentives, health and retirement programs and paid time-off. These programs are made on the basis of geographic location and tailored to the needs and preferences of employees.
Figure 8 shows the aim and objectives of the Best Buy’s logo “Inspired Workplace”. (Best Buy, 2011) Figure 8: Best Buy’s Inspired Workplace (Best Buy, 2011) References Best Buy, (2011). Our World Connected, Fiscal 2011 Sustainability Report, Best Buy, U.K. Retrieved from http: //sustainability. bby. com/wp-content/themes/bby/inc/report-2011/BBY%20Fiscal%202011%20Sustainability%20Report. pdf Creative Channel Services, (2011). Our Approach to Training, Retrieved from http: //www. creativechannel. com/solutions/trainingDevelopment/ourApproach. cfm VU Handouts. (2005). MGT501 Human Resource Management. In (pp. 001-199). Lahore: Virtual University of Pakistan.