4th Forum | 16 September 1998

Improving customer focus with targeted staff development in practice

Starting point

Employees in the retail trade, from cost factor to service provider

This was the topic of the 1997/1998 practical project, the implementation of which resulted from discussions and suggestions developed during the 1995 and 1996 forums. One key result of these events was the conclusion that reorienting companies’ employee policies was a vital prerequisite for implementing customer value strategies. A performance-oriented examination of employees in the retail trade, and not just a cost-oriented one, is the desirable approach. The aim of the project was to develop and test staff development concepts and tools in practice, as well as a toolkit for evaluating their effectiveness. It also sought to improve the image of the profession of businessman or businesswoman in the retail trade, and demonstrate development opportunities for people working in this field.

Forum events and objectives

The event focused on the practical project’s documentation. The group of experts consisted solely of representatives of companies involved in the project. They presented the starting point and progress of the project, reported on their findings and experiences during the project phase, and documented the results of the practical project from a business perspective. They were then available to answer questions from participants.

In the afternoon, experts and participants formed up into three working groups to tackle the topic of staff development in company practice. The first working group discussed the increasing importance of staff development in the field of marketing. The second group formulated the current requirements of staff development measures and opportunities to increase and evaluate them, and the third group tackled the practical implementation of staff development projects.

The summary and discussion of results at the end of the event produced starting points for the thematic groupings of future events, as well as suggestions and cause for thought for decision-makers in companies, organisations, associations and politics.

The program overview