Short Report

AAssessment Item 2 – Short ReportSESSMENT ITEM 2” SHORT REPORT

Due date: 4th May ASSESSMENT
Weighting: 40% 2
Length: 2000 words (plus or minus 10% excluding reference list)

This assessment item relates to the course learning outcomes numbers 1, 4 and 6 as stated on page 1.
learning outcomes:
1 demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, principles and theories of HRD
4 evaluate the effectiveness of HRD interventions
6 synthesise concepts and theories covered in the course to aid in developing HRD interventions for practical workplace contexts.

The following case study outlines a situation in an organisation. Read it carefully and then address the guide question and criteria that follow:

Finnish Bookstore
A Finnish Bookstore wanted to improve the quality of their sales force s customer service skills. Most employees had been taught generic sales skills in a two-day immersive sales training program. The existing classroom training, which the Finnish Bookstore ran from time to time for all sales personnel, was already ten years old, so there was need to develop a new kind of training program. With major help from external vendor specialized in digital solutions, the Finnish Bookstore developed a simulation-based online program that engaged participants in solving real-world sales situations. The training comprised one day working online with a live coach and a group of peers, then the possibility to continue working alone with the online program later over the intranet. The general goal of the training was to focus on building on practical skills rather than merely on delivering information.
A simulation-based program was designed based on dialogue between a salesperson and a customer who visits the store twice. At various points in the dialogue the learner, as salesperson in the dialogue, had to select one response among a series of responses offered by the program. The virtual customer was a difficult one, prone to walk out of the shop if the salesperson did not offer a response that satisfied her. The program was divided into two customer dialogues. The first dialogue provided the sales person the chance to try their hand at approaching the customer, probing for her needs and positioning the product. The second dialogue concentrated on practicing taking orders, managing counterarguments and closing the sale.
The online program was introduced with a live coach in all individual stores in the Finnish Bookstore chain. The coach assisted participants to engage with the online simulation, evaluate their own prior experiences and construct individual understandings before defending and discussing those understandings with their colleagues. This blended approach was intended to motivate the learners to initiate and continue the discussion with their colleagues during and after the one-day session.

Source: Gibb, S 2010, Human resource development, 3rd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, New York. Pages copied: 306 “ 307.

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