Does Employee Training and Incentives Improve Quality of Service?

In this article, we will provide information on the advantages of cross-functional integration and transparency with an external partner, particularly suppliers. What we discovered was that companies using training for the suppliers tend to reap more financial benefits from the quality efforts. Training offers a common language helping suppliers understand the impact that defects or other setbacks, such as delays, will have on the final client, thereby resulting in a unified focus on the client and increased financial advantages.

The same concepts of common language, transparency, and understanding the impact of roles on quality should hold true for the company’s staff members. This is why the article will examine more closely the relationship between incentives and staff training programmes.

Training Staff and Financial Value

The training programmes assist employees in developing competencies, establishing a quality-focused work culture, and understanding their role in creating quality services for the client. Respondents were asked to indicate if they had undergone quality-related staff training programmes. While the majority of companies do not present with formal training programmes, it was seen that more organisations are now investing in matrix management training programmes as compared to those in the year 2013.

Although it cannot be argued that there is an intrinsic financial value to offering quality training, certain questions remained unanswered, such as who will receive the training and what training should be provided.

Choosing Employees to Train

The majority of respondent companies (56%) offer their employees involved in quality activities quality management training, either via direct training or a compensation for external training. Approximately half of the respondent companies (44%) also provide quality-related training programmes to the staff driven by the need to embed a quality-focused work culture within the business.

To understand where the company should focus the training resources, with regards to ROI, we performed an analysis of the staff offered training and the companies’ financial advantages of quality.

Using traditional wisdom, it would be best to increase the quality training for all employees, thereby developing a shared perspective and improving the company’s culture of quality. The analysis indicates a drop in financial benefits for companies offering quality training to their staff and shows a larger increase in financial benefits from companies providing training for quality-related employees (particularly those who request training).

Topics to Train Employees In

The majority of companies focus training programmes on quality fundamentals, quality management principles, ISO, auditing, and quality resources. However, few companies include training on customer-value topics, such as the client experience, New Promoter Score and lean. To fully understand what training promotes and increase financial benefit from quality, we conducted an analysis against the training offered and the companies’ financial benefits of quality.

The findings indicated that almost all forms of training programmes discussed in the survey correlated to improved financial benefits. However, the companies providing training on client-value related issues, such as Six Sigma, lean, NPS and the client experience were more likely to result in higher financial benefits. This is understandable given the relationship between financial benefits and client value as discussed in our initial article. Companies utilising quality as a type of competitive differentiator for the benefit of the client and brand image will reap increased financial benefits.

Final Words on the Matter

As can be seen, the best organisations tend to utilise training as a means of driving commitment to quality and helping staff understand their role in service quality, including the impact on the overall driving value and end customer. However, companies must consider the function of the quality efforts before making decisions regarding the types of training programmes, the incentives, and which staff to target for training. If the companies’ goals are to create a culture of quality, then it is recommended to cast a wide net for resources tied to quality and train staff on the fundamentals of quality with the impact on how clients can reap benefits. However, if the company is leveraging quality to offer client value with potential price premiums, then it should consider incorporating training focusing on client experience with related concepts.

Develop a distribution plan with Qupact International


At Qupact International, we specialize in identifying and engaging with the optimal sales and distribution partners on behalf of our clients according to their specific business needs. It is a practice we have grown highly proficient at over our 14 years in business and we take great pride in being able to help grow our clients business through management of their sales channels in foreign markets. However, we also add significant value to those companies that prefer to manage their own sales channels but have difficulty finding the right distribution partners for their business and enacting an efficient, cost-effective distribution sales strategy. We carry out a bespoke sales partner search in our clients target market. We generally identifying between 30-60 potential partners, that are input into our web-optimized application, dataPACT, along with a pre-requisite guided rating and complete company profile. dataPACT constitutes the backbone of our service being the ideal platform on which to present and interpret complex sales data.


data
PACT has a number of tools that our clients can use to generate a comprehensive sales strategy or add value to an existing one. Primary amongst these is our Market Map. The Market Map is a visual representation of your target market and all the players in it so that you know immediately who to engage with and how to approach them. Traditional databases provide customers with endless lists and spreadsheets of companies, dataPACT‘s Market Map shows the relationships between those companies; it is the transformation of raw data into intelligent, useful information. The importance of being able to identify the relationships between potential partners, competitors and suppliers of complimentary products cannot be overstated and is often the difference between success and failure during market entry, dataPACT‘s Market Map put this information into our clients hands.


Figure 1 – Market Map Interface

Supplementing the information presented in the Market Map is the Strategy Pyramid. The Strategy Pyramid is all about routes to market and clearly defines precisely how to engage with potential sales channel partners turned up in the partner search. The Strategy Pyramid defines clear stages along the sales path toward the end-customer and end-user. The strategy is also tiered according to the different categories of partner sought; for example the strategy used to engage with retailers will differ significantly to the one used to engage wholesale distributors. Where the Market Map presents the results of the bespoke partner search, the Strategy Pyramid provide a concise and clear strategy on how to utilize those results.


Highly rated potential channels and pertinent competitors will be given a comprehensive Company Profile, a summary of the critically relevant information regarding that company. This provides fundamental company information regarding structure, size, headquarters, management and contact details. The company profile also includes financial data, which is absolutely crucial in determining the sustainability and growth potential of a sales channel. The last thing you need on market entry is to sign an exclusive contract with an unsustainable company that could fold leaving you stranded! A summary sales analysis, “next-action” function and comments sections complete the company profile.


In considering whether or not to take on a competitor in the market place or even within a single distribution partner, it is quintessential to objectively compare your competing product or service. The
dataPACT Competitive Analysis tool allows our clients to do just that. This feature facilitates a spec-by-spec analysis and comparison of multiple products across multiple competitors. The client is in full control of the parameters being compared and these can be altered at any time to keep up with market dynamics.


data
PACT also a range of other features such as a partner prerequisites documents, interactive dashboard, structured partner proposition document formats and an extensive e-learning facility for early entrepreneurs and seasoned business people alike. All dataPACT features also allow for PDF export to assist clients in their own presentations. 
Whilst Qupact remains committed to utilizing dataPACT to manage our client’s sales channels as effectively as possible, we also want to make dataPACT available to those clients determined to develop their own sales channel strategy.

If you need reps, distributors, VARs or retailers, visit us as
www.qupact.com and see what dataPACT can do for your business.


Article Written by Brian English CEO of Qupact International, Brian English is an internationally renowned expert in sales channel development. A former Vice President at Emerson(St. Louis) and group Managing Director at XP Power (London), he currently delivers on a number of prestigious management development programs such as International Selling and Endeavour as well as lecturing at business schools, universities, industry events and company meetings. After a 20 years career in international business, he set up Qupact International in 2003 and launched PACT – a program

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