British Telecom (BT) is using new technology to assess its call centre staff
in order to identify potential training needs.
The assessment tool can identify weaknesses in staff and can also highlight
training needs on an individual, regional, departmental or group basis.
A pilot of more than 2,500 staff has proved so successful that the web-based
tool is being rolled out across the company.
Chris Roberts, general manager for customer service and satisfaction at BT,
said the scheme had helped improve the performance of the present workforce,
and also aided the recruitment of people with the right skills.
"It gives a holistic view of the person and provides a clear picture of
what standard we should recruit and train to," he said.
"It’s been very accurate. As more and more staff went through the
assessment, we also discovered shared training needs. For example, typing
skills were generally too slow."
The test, designed by Select International, takes around 90 minutes to
complete and comprises a range of scenario and psychometric-based questions,
which lead to an overall score. BT set an ideal score based on international
benchmarking, which is used to judge how much training individuals need to be
brought up to standard.
Each individual is then given a future development plan detailing which
skills need to be developed. HR is able to use this data to identify general,
regional and national learning gaps.
"It’s consistent and objective and enables HR to develop plans for the
individual, groups or right across the board," he added.