Following on from the two previous events in the ‘employee qualification for the retail trade in 2010’ series, the third professional education forum event on 24 September 1997 focused on successful projects and practical measures to implement greater customer focus in the retail trade.
Experts from renowned retail companies (including Edeka, the Globus Group and Karstadt), a representative from the world of science (HTW Saar), and the federal board of the German Salaried Employees’ Union (DAG) analysed suitable tools to improve customer focus and the correspondingly changed requirements of employee qualification. Various pilot measures and projects from the shop floor and numerous practical examples were also referenced and presented.
The increasing importance of employee focus was the central topic of all the expert presentations. In summary, it was emphasised that there should be a greater commitment to increasing customer focus and readiness to serve for employees in companies, not just in the retail trade but also in many other areas of the economy, as employee satisfaction is vital in order to ensure customer satisfaction. This requires adjustments and changes to occupational education and further training, as well as a paradigm shift in society, economy and politics (professional image, remuneration systems and bonus schemes).
Three working groups took a closer look at the topic of employee focus and discussed the opportunities and limits of involving employees in developing and implementing customer benefit strategies in practice. As a result, increased employee focus was also called for within management, both at the grass roots and in further training and education. Employees should no longer be viewed as a cost factor, but should instead be considered a service provider.