Intellectual Output 1 focuses on the research, identification and elaboration of training needs in the area of customer service. This was achieved through a series of distinct activities:
The customers’ questionnaire has been developed by KEK ELTA S.A. and converted into digital format by SQLearn. Its scope was to investigate customers’ satisfaction after the service provision in postal facilities and the importance of customer service elements, thus identifying certain weaknesses based on customers’ responses. It was given for completion, through a technology tool provided by SQLEARN team, by all Project partners to their customers using postal services. Customers’ selection was random and from different countries than those of the postal partners. In total, 200 questionnaires were completed.
The results were further synchronized to the results from the survey in the post office personnel, in order to prioritize, associate and determine the specific focus areas- for the rest of the project- to be addressed through training.
The counter employees’ questionnaire, developed by KEK ELTA team, evaluated their perceptions on the operations/tasks carried out daily (per professional activity: before, during and after the transaction with the customer), as well as on the requirements needed for the improvement of their working conditions. It was given for completion, through a technology tool provided by SQLEARN team, by the project’s transnational postal partners. Employees’ selection was random and from different countries and representative post offices from their postal commercial network. In total, 500 questionnaires were completed.
The Competency Workbook has been developed by KEK ELTA S.A. and has been used in several intra-organizational training programs. It is an objective and reliable tool that shows the extent to which the employees can effectively capitalize on knowledge, skills and competencies required for the specific job. The Competency Workbook consisted of 1 case study, combining data/ experiences from the post office employees’ everyday life, and 6 relevant questions. It was filled-in using the project platform. The time for filling-in the workbook was specific and it was up to the employee- user to decide when to use the platform, as it was accessible at all times. The Competency Workbook was given to employees working at the front office desk of the 3 postal partners who were selected randomly and had not participated in the initial research. 50 workbooks were filled in by the partners.
The concept of the NaviGaTor approach, coined by KEK ELTA S.A. researchers, is to cope with the complex task of training programs design aiming at providing a structured and systematic participative methodology, which identifies not only the trainees’/ participants’ training needs (in terms of required knowledge, skills and competencies) but also training programs, methodologies and training evaluation techniques responding to specific corporate problems/issues.
The tool was applied in three relevant workshops- one per each country (GR, CY, RO)- were a group of participants (10-12 participants per country- counter employees, heads of post offices, HR, marketing/ sales Direction, employees from regional Directions) were asked to generate their ideas and exchange views (brainstorm) on certain customer service elements through a 6-step approach (decision area). At the end of each step, they were asked to vote the top five statements/ ideas per service element. Their ideas were recorded through the NaviGaTor’s web application.
The application of the methodological tool NAVIGATOR 3.1 led to the assessment of the employees’ training needs of all three transnational groups of participants.
The above mentioned tools were further enhanced by narrative gathering, which delivered narratives (interviews) from the three participating countries (12 employees per country) and focused on the topics identified as “blind spots” from the employees’ daily practice. These narratives are crucial and will be used to construct the training scenarios within the framework of the project’s Intellectual Output 3.
Narratives were gathered, on an anonymity basis, through semi-structured interviews aided by an interview guide. The participants who provided the narratives were first line employees, as well as staff from HR and Customers Service departments, adequately selected on the basis of their availability and willingness to say something that was relevant to the examined topics.
An overview of the Intellectual Output 1 evolution and results was provided to all project partners through a dedicated e-workshop on 30.05.2016.