Evaluation of the WISE Training ProgramA report submitted to Golf GalaxyLora Evanouski, EdTech 505<br />Contents TOC o "
h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc258490669 h 3Description of Golf Galaxy Training Program PAGEREF _Toc258490670 h 3Evaluation Method PAGEREF _Toc258490671 h 4Results PAGEREF _Toc258490672 h 5Interviews PAGEREF _Toc258490673 h 5Employee Surveys PAGEREF _Toc258490674 h 5Customer Surveys PAGEREF _Toc258490675 h 7Raw Data Tracking Numbers PAGEREF _Toc258490676 h 8Discussion PAGEREF _Toc258490677 h 8Proposed Budget and Actual Cost PAGEREF _Toc258490678 h 10<br />Introduction<br />In order to achieve maximum selling potential, Golf Galaxy (GG) stores currently use the WISE training program as a means to train all employees within their stores. WISE stands for Welcome, Interview, Solution and Experience. The computer-based program is used in order to enhance training along with manager intervention. The flexibility of using computer-based modules is also seen as a cost effectiveness approach to training because of the company having 91 stores in 31 states. <br />The purpose of this report is to measure the effectiveness, impact and quality of the implemented computerized training as well as manager interventions. Because GG utilizes computerized training this document will determine if the procedures in place will affect the outcome of selling more product, enhance the experience of the patrons that visit the store, and influence customer retention. It will also examine the impacts upon employee attitudes. <br />This document is a final evaluation report of the first 3 months of initial implementation of the WISE training program. This report contains a brief description of the program, evaluation methods, results, and recommendations of the evaluation for Golf Galaxy. <br />Description of Golf Galaxy Training Program<br />The focus of this evaluation is to determine the effectiveness of the training on employees and the impact upon selling product to GG customers. The desired objectives of GG training modules are to: (1) create a solid foundation for customer service (2) maintain or increase the customer base (3) define accepted practices of approaches to selling. The expectations of corporate management at GG are two-fold: utilize the training and increase your sales because of the training. According to the training procedures within the GG program, employee confidence creates selling opportunities as well as customer retention. The prescribed training method is designed to improve the employee’s confidence and ability to sell product. It is believed from all stakeholders in corporate management that the post -training atmosphere creates a positive shopping experience within the GG store and furthers customer retention. This information will be used in the following ways:<br /><ul><li>Provide valuable decision making information of current training program- to keep program as is or modify accordingly
Indicator of the training program is meeting expectations</li></ul>As part of GG’s training program they have invested in a two-prong approach to training employees: (1) computerized training (2) manager intervention. The computer section of the training program consists of approximately 3.5 hours of interactive training with the computer. There are 4 units, one for each specific piece of the WISE program and then a final unit consisting of a test. Each unit is then broken down into smaller units within each section. The units are completely self-contained. They can be taken only at the store computers but can be taken at anytime. The computer keeps track of all sections completed with formative evaluation built into the program. The data is reviewed by store and corporate management to ensure training is taking place. The computer-based program is a basic recipe for proven selling techniques and good customer service skills. The final unit consists of a comprehensive test to be taken when all the sections are completed. <br />The second part of the program is manager intervention which consists of role playing, observation, and evaluation. This evaluation is ongoing throughout the career of the employee at GG. The managers can track employee attitude as well as transfer of learning from computer training. This training can be done with any manager and anytime or anywhere during operating hours. All training (computerized and manager intervention) is done with a checklist of objectives to be met derived from the WISE training program. If learning transfer has not been completed, the employee can be remediated back to the computer for more training.<br />Evaluation Method<br />The focus of the evaluation was to determine if the training program at GG was positively impacting (1) sales to customers (2) customer retention and (3) accepted selling policies. The evaluation also closely examined 14 employee attitudes. <br />This evaluation used multiple methods to evaluate the training program in GG. To assess the impact of training qualitative data was collected through (1) semi-structured employee interviews (2) employee surveys (3) customer surveys. Quantitative data was collected through the numbers of sales to customers compared to the amount of customers that walked through the doors. These numbers were also compared from the same time period to the previous year sales. The post test completed after computer training will not be used due to validity concerns.<br />The semi-structured employee interviews focused on attitudes before and after completion of the computer training. All employees at the Boise store were interviewed. This was completed in order to check for any behavior changes due to the training. It was also done in order to check for any preconceptions about the training. Lastly, the interviews checked for any specific needs that were either addressed or not addressed in the training. It was for future training purposes these questions were included. <br />The employee surveys were given in order to check for a willingness to participate in the program as well as to implement the training program into real selling opportunities. The survey consisted of ten Likert-type items where items rated from (1) excellent (2) good (3) fair (4) poor and one open ended question. The survey was completed by all participants in the GG Boise store after training was completed. <br />The customer surveys were done to capture the opinions and attitudes of the customers that shop at GG. The survey was given at the end of each customer’s purchase where 4 closed questions were in the short survey form. The surveys were gathered over a 5 week period. The cashier worked 6 hour shifts from 3pm-9pm one day a week on varying days of the week. The questions were designed to be short and to the point. Candy was used as an inducement for answers because customers do not want to be questioned at length at the end of a shopping session. The survey was designed to assess customer satisfaction and retention. All surveys were anonymous.<br />The sales numbers were checked quantitatively against the sales number per customers for the same time period of last year. These numbers were accessed through the store management team located in Boise ID. The numbers will take into account how many employees on the sales force in both years.<br />Results<br />Interviews<br />The semi-structured interview is summarized in this section. The interviews focused on the impressions of the program before and after training, attitudes about training and amount of support perceived before, during and after training by employees. Overall the employees indicated a positive reaction to the training. Pre-training questions about behaviors towards training did not indicate any negative attitudes. All participants indicated a willingness to learn more effective techniques and were motivated by earning extra money for training. Three employees had never completed training for employment and were eager to learn. Overwhelmingly, all post-training participants concluded the training was good and was appropriate for the expectations of the company. All participants indicated that the training received could be used in other areas of their lives with a positive impact. Only one employee indicated he did not need training but still thought the training was good. Three employees responded that the role play should be more involved. Finally, one employee remarked that more one to one coaching should be done. <br />Employee Surveys<br />Responses to employee survey are summarized below in Table 1. The summary shows the number of employees selecting each response, the mean for individual questions and the overall mean for the survey. <br />Questions1Excellent2Good3Fair4PoorMEANConfident with approaching a customer210112.1Satisfaction with the support from the training18502.2Confident to sell more products68001.6Satisfaction with the WISE training38212.1Satisfaction with the access to the training68001.6Your enjoyment of the training14812.6The content of the training is relevant to my job 130101.1The training gave me sufficient practice and feedback03922.9The pace of the training was appropriate28401.9The training lived up to my expectations37402.1Totals35543342.0<br />The table reveals that overall the employees are satisfied with the WISE training program. The overall mean is 2.0 indicating a rate of “good”. Responses to general attitude and satisfaction of training ranged from 1.6 to 2.6. Responses to question about sufficient practice and feedback for training rated the highest dissatisfaction number of 2.9. The questions concerning confidence in approaching a customer and selling products rated at 2.1 and 1.6 respectively. <br />Figure 1 reproduces and summarizes the open ended question I posed to the participants.<br />Customer Surveys<br />Responses to the customer satisfaction survey are summarized in Table 2. The summary shows the number of customers selecting each response, the mean for individual questions and the overall mean for the survey. A total of 52 surveys were collected in the process. All were used in the survey.<br />Questions1Excellent2Good3Fair4PoorMEANHow would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service received at GG?2618501.5How likely will you recommend GG to friends or family?2815901.6How likely are you to repurchase products and services from GG?13281102.0How would you rate the associate’s response to your needs?1430801.9Totals81913301.8<br /> <br />The table of customer surveys reveals an overall positive satisfaction from the service received at GG. The overall rating from customers is split between excellent and good, right on the edge of excellent at 1.8. The highest response rating was for overall satisfaction of service at 1.5 which was then followed by recommending GG to friends and family at 1.6. The lowest response rating was for repurchase from GG at 2.0. Three customers did not respond to the overall satisfaction question. <br />Raw Data Tracking Numbers<br />Table 3 reveals the raw data captured from sales in ’09 and ’10. It is total sales for each month for the quarter, Jan-Mar. Corresponding amount of customers are listed next. Each year is shown with the corresponding change in sales and traffic at the end. All numbers were extracted and formulated from GG.<br />Month‘09 Year- 12 employeesCustomers ‘09‘10 Year- 14 employeesCustomers ‘10% Change in sales% traffic DifferenceJan755892866914483092+21+7.9Feb11949639851644024456+37.6+11.8Mar25096567062855327464+13.8+4.3Total4460501355754138215012+21.37+10.73<br />The overall comparison of sales to customer traffic shows a positive trend in the first quarter. The table reveals a positive shift in customers visiting the store for all three months. The highest overall % difference was in Feb for sales and traffic at +37.6% and +11.8% respectively. The smallest gains in the quarter were in Mar at +13.8% for sales and +4.3% in traffic. The amount of customers that entered the store also increased for all three months. The difference in traffic through the quarter was +10.73%.<br />Discussion<br />This evaluation was meant to determine if the WISE training program had an impact upon sales to GG customers, retain GG customers, and use accepted selling practices. The overall number of sales was significantly higher than in the previous year. This indicates that the WISE training program has a positive impact upon training its employees. Also, the majority of GG employees were satisfied with the WISE training and thought it was appropriate. In addition, GG customers were satisfied with the amount of customer service and knowledge from all trained employees.<br />The interviews and surveys of employees revealed an overwhelmingly majority of positive aspects of the WISE training program. Although when customers were asked about repurchase the rating showed the rate of 2.0 which is in the optimum level of customer retention. More significantly is what the combined numbers revealed; 39 of the 52 customers surveyed would likely consider another purchase from GG in the future. This means 75% of customers surveyed are willing to repurchase at the GG store. Another key figure in the raw data numbers revealed customers had increased their purchases by an overall +10.73% in the quarter.<br />The interviews of GG employees revealed a positive willingness to participate. The interviews also revealed that all GG employees felt the training was good and appropriate. The training was viewed as a positive factor that could be used in all aspects of life. Because such a positive rating was indicated, GG should maintain the WISE training to ensure confidence and selling aptitude among its employees within its operations. The highest dissatisfaction rate at 2.9 was due to the GG employees wanting more practice and feedback.<br />The evaluation recommends the following limitations on the raw data numbers. In 2009, the economy was in a major recession. The numbers used to compare should be taken with these considerations. The amount of employees rose from 12 employees in ’09 to 14 employees as compared to ’10. By having more employees on the sales floor, this will impact sales due to more employees being able to come into contact with more customers and influence sales. Another key factor that may influence the numbers of 2009 is the weather played a critical role in hampering sales. In Jan-Mar of ‘09 the Boise area received a large amount of snow or inclement weather which was unusual for the area. Most golf courses did not have players on their course which led to less consumers needing equipment to play golf. In Jan-Mar of ’10 the Boise area had very mild weather where the participants could actively engage in golf thus leading to more actively purchasing customers.<br />In summary, the WISE training program implemented at GG was successful at meeting the stated objectives; because a solid foundation was built for customer service, more sales were realized using the accepted selling practices. The training program at GG had a positive impact upon the employees and sales. At the store level, the managers may consider requiring more role play among the employees to retain learning transfer from the WISE training.<br />Proposed Budget and Actual Cost<br />Personnel:<br />Lora Evanouski 5 days (5 x $250)$1250<br />Travel and per Diem:<br />4 trips to GG at .55 per mile$44(4@20 mi round trip x .55 as per IRS table)<br />Office Supplies and Postage:<br />Printing and communication$25<br />Total Expenses$1319<br />