Delivering a better customer experience
As the hub for the Pearl River Delta region and neighbouring countries, TNT Hong Kong looks for dedicated employees to provide reliable and efficient delivery services to customers. The company has designed comprehensive training programmes aimed at helping employees provide a better customer experience.
During 31 years of operating, the express delivery service company has established programmes to train its 450 employees and equip them with the skills to provide effective parcel delivery services to customers.
Entry-level employees have to complete training programmes that last about three months, including a company-wide induction programme, on-the-job training, classroom training, attachment programmes, and a structured coaching programme where senior managers of different departments coach new colleagues.
The company teaches employees about the workplace, products and services, employees' roles and responsibilities, policies and processes of the company, and trains employees to understand and meet customers' needs.
Supervisory level employees are required to attend the "007 Supervisory Series", which includes 12 modules aimed at performance management, team-building exercises and coaching training.
"We are in discussions with a top university in Hong Kong to further strengthen and redeliver this supervisory series," says Gillian Pang, director of human resources, TNT Hong Kong. The company has developed a modular business reward programme with the Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick in Britain. These programmes are able to provide professional training to employees and widen their knowledge and exposure in the field.
The company provides employees with a chance to network with colleagues in different functions and countries during the overseas training programmes.
"We try to ensure all colleagues receive at least five days of training per year," Pang says.
Middle and senior managers are provided with chances to attend overseas leadership training programmes that help them build their leadership skills through interaction, learning and exchanging ideas with colleagues stationed at overseas offices of the company.
A two-week residential programme called "Gateway to Leadership" was held in Shanghai last year. Participants were able to enhance their leadership skills through the introduction of various tools and business case studies.
"I spoke with a manager who attended the programme and he mentioned that he found it really enlightening and has been able to apply all that he has learned with the team he manages," Pang says. "He believes that this programme has really strengthened his leadership style."
To maintain stable and effective communication, senior managers hold a breakfast meeting with frontline employees once every two months. This gives staff an opportunity to have an open dialogue with managers, voice their opinions and address their concerns.
TNT Hong Kong has come up with other initiatives including an "I-Suggest" scheme that encourages employees to engage more in the business and daily operations of the company by giving their ideas for improvement.
"Employees are encouraged to make suggestions to improve internal and external customer processes, the customer experience and any other areas pertaining to the business strategy and business objectives," Pang says.
The company also offers a "Voice of the Customer" initiative that trains and reminds employees to listen and understand the needs of customers. The training programmes aim to help employees understand the job better by including many leadership assessment tools and business simulations that help them provide more personalised services.
Employees are then prepared and equipped with skills that will help them advance to the next level. The leadership programmes grant employees insight into their leadership styles.
TNT Hong Kong emphasises its "People, Service, Growth, Profit" philosophy and the training programmes help strengthen an understanding of its corporate culture among employees.
"It all starts with our people," Pang says. "We invest in them and equip them so that they can provide outstanding customer service, and in turn this leads to customer growth and retention, which ultimately leads to profit. We then channel all this back to the people."
The company's human resources programmes and strategies help reinforce customer experiences and through training, reinforcing and displaying these initiatives that new employees will be able to understand the importance of the company's corporate culture and how it helps them advance in the company.
"Only with the best people can we provide the best service, maintain growth and increase profit," Pang says.