The TD2000 judges had enormous difficulty in picking the winner of the Award. Patrick McCurry looks at the impressive work of the runners up
Both Barclay’s Bank Small Business Banking and TGI Friday’s - the runners up in the TD2000 Award - showed an impressive commitment to training and had put in place major programmes that were linked to the companies’ business strategies.
At restaurant chain TGI Friday’s an element of fun is injected into the training of its predominantly young workforce. But the overall strategy is serious - to enable the company to grow and maintain its leadership position in the UK’s upmarket American-style restaurant market.
For Barclays’ Small Business Banking the challenge has been to transform its branch-based small business managers into proactive winners of new customers by training them in sourcing new business, cold calling and improved customer service.
On TGI Fridays’ approach, co-judge Nigel Crouch says, “We found a tremendous energy among staff, from the managing director to table and back-of-house employees, and a lot of that is down to the training.”
He adds that he was particularly impressed by the training of restaurant staff in customer service and how to respond to different categories of customer. The company’s innovative programme includes an invented board game in which staff are put in teams and asked questions on menus and customer care. Chocolate bars are awarded to the winning team.
Crouch’s judging colleague Paul Kearns agrees. “In a very competitive business, TGI Fridays’ customer care training has obviously helped them enormously in their success.”
On Barclays, Crouch stresses the significant culture change that the training department is pushing through. “It is always very difficult changing a company’s culture but the Barclays’ trainers seem to have been very successful in giving people the tools and the confidence to change behaviour.”
Both companies have made significant efforts to introduce effective evaluation of training and use the Kirpatrick model.
But evaluation, particularly measuring the impact of training on the bottom line, is st