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Measure twice, cut once

Several years ago, Kirsten Riechelmann, change manager for Mitre 10 (NZ) Ltd, got together with ServiceIQ, ITO for the retail industry and others, to custom design a range of on-job training programmes that would help Mitre 10 employees increase their knowledge and skills, and gain nationally recognised qualifications. 

In the past, Mitre 10 used separate in-house and ITO training to upskill staff. But the method felt disjointed, and now the company “aims to integrate the programmes with what we do in the business”, says Riechelmann.

“The beauty of the streamlined approach is that we created the content and set the benchmarks for what we as a business wanted to achieve,” she says. “We were able to take this to ServiceIQ and ask for our requirements to be incorporated with the qualification training. We wanted to teach the Mitre 10 way and have our people achieve the standards we set. This aligns with their qualification and generates very positive customer reviews.” 

Mitre 10’s training ranges from retail essentials for new staff through to first line and senior retail management skills (Level 5 Diploma) for experienced supervisors. Staff can complete each of the Level 2, 3 and 4 programmes on the job, earning as they learn.

“We can take people from team members on the floor right up to general manager,” says Riechelmann.

Quality on-job training programmes also help staff nail satisfying careers in an industry where detailed knowledge and skill is expected and appreciated by customers.  

“We are showing people a career in retail, and a career with Mitre 10,” says Riechelmann. “And having the ability to gain a recognised qualification at the end of all the hard work is something that people really hold on to. We get people in our industry who found that school wasn’t for them, especially around low literacy or numeracy, so being able to work with ServiceIQ to come up with programmes that are all about us has really helped.”      

“We’re seeing a higher number of people get started with training because they want to move up and gain management qualifications. People who start at Level 2 sign up for Level 3 and then Level 4. People are transitioning from programme to programme which is exactly what it’s all about.”

It’s a method that Riechelmann strongly recommends to other businesses which want to strengthen their customer service by retaining and developing talented staff.

“It’s been a large and rewarding piece of work for us,” she says. “ServiceIQ is one of the top ITOs I’ve worked with and I think that if you really want to attract and keep people engaged in a career in your industry, this is a brilliant way to do it.

“Otherwise you get people seeing your business as just a job for now, and they’ll go off and do their training elsewhere or end up in another industry.  

“For us it’s been about how we keep people. How we train them up so that they’ve got the skills we need in our business, and give them back a qualification that some may never have dreamed of having.”

ServiceIQ is the industry-endorsed training partner for the retail, tourism, hospitality, aviation and museum sectors of the service industry. We are committed to helping New Zealand businesses achieve success through world-class skills, knowledge, customer service and qualified people. We develop top quality on-job training programmes that make a positive difference for many of New Zealand’s best known brands and businesses of all sizes nationwide. 

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