2 part assignment: Rough Draft & Using Graphics (read carefully)

2 part assignment: Rough Draft & Using Graphics (read carefully)

MEMORANDUM

To: Ken Chessick, CEO

CC: Tania German, Director of Communications

Scott Grece, Senior Human Resources Manager

From: David Kramer, Marketing Manager

Date: September 28, 2016

Subject: Proposal for Online Employee Training Program

Attached is my proposal to implement an online employee training program at Restaurant.com.

At present, the health of the company is a big concern among employees. Morale is at an all-

time low due to the recent layoffs. In an effort to boost confidence and keep the current staff

motivated, I propose an immediate rollout of an online training program. This will enable

employees to feel more connected to their job and the company. We do not want to see a

decrease in productivity during this tumultuous time. Employee training is a necessity because it

helps increase productivity (Farcas & Vuta, 2015).

I have been an employee of Restaurant.com for almost two years. During this time the need for a

training program has become readily apparent. Online training is the most effective solution and

will quickly allow for consistent information to be shared among all employees. If adequate

training is not provided for employees the effects will be detrimental to the company.

Reinvesting in employees’ knowledge can help the company rebuild its brand image both to the

public and staff.

Thank you for your time. I will follow up next week to discuss next steps after you have had a

chance to review my proposal. If there are questions before then you may reach me at

dkramer@restaurant.com, or 555-555-5555.

Commented [CF1]: Cover memo should be brief – about this length. Remind the reader why you are writing, and briefly summarize your proposal idea. Note the clear subject line. It indicates this is a proposal and the focus of the proposal

BENEFITS OF AN ONLINE EMPLOYEE TRAINING PROGRAM

A Proposal Prepared for

Ken Chessick, CEO

Restaurant.com

Prepared by

David Kramer, Marketing Manager

Restaurant.com

September 28, 2016

CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ……………………………………………………………………………………………….4

INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………5

BACKGROUND ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5

RECOMMENDATIONS …………………………………………………………………………………………………..5

BENEFITS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………8

CONCLUSIONS………………………………………………………………………………………………………………9

REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………10

FIGURES

FIGURE 1: IMPLEMENTATION PLAN ………………………………………………………………….7

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The following proposal discusses the need for, and benefits of, an online employee training

program and how this pertains to Restaurant.com. Our organization does not provide adequate

training to newly hired, or existing, employees. We do not have a dedicated training team which

often causes issues. The company is currently downsizing and we risk losing knowledge that

some of the long-time employees possess. We need a streamlined training process so all

employees have access to, and learn, the same information.

Restaurant.com will see an increase in employee productivity with the introduction of an online

employee training program. Employees will no longer have to rely on secondary, or even

tertiary, knowledge sharing. They will be equipped with the knowledge they need to

successfully do their jobs. This can also create an environment of employee satisfaction, and

retention. Job training can be used as a tool to increase employee satisfaction, and have a

positive effect on their performance (Bouris & Sahinidis, 2008).

In the following document I propose a solution to fund this program. I believe we can rebuild

Restaurant.com back to its former self when we start to reinvest in our current staff. The bottom

line is that we must start somewhere. Employee training is the best way to solve some

immediate issues.

Commented [CF2]: The executive summary is for the busy executive. Make it focused and clear. Provide a half page summary of your proposal. Make every word count.

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INTRODUCTION

Restaurant.com should invest in an online employee training program. Our company is in need

of change and we must foster an environment that promotes job loyalty. The organization does

not provide adequate training to newly hired, or existing, employees. We do not have a

dedicated training team which often causes issues. The company is currently downsizing and we

risk losing knowledge that some of the long-time employees possess. Implementing an online

training program will enable employees to become more productive, efficient, and loyal. This

program will also reduce the amount of inaccurate information shared among employees and

with consumers. We need a streamlined training process so all employees have access to, and

learn, the same information.

BACKGROUND

Restaurant.com was founded in 1999. For years, the company maintained a strong foothold in

the discounted restaurant certificate market. This foothold has started to slip over the past few

years. The company’s revenue has significantly decreased over the last three years; declining

from over $75 million dollars per year in 2012 to only $19 million dollars per year in 2015. Staff

has also been reduced from over 300 employees to less than half that number in the last six

months. Restaurant.com currently employs close to 120 employees and almost 30 of those

people live out of state.

Employees are usually the last to know when new processes and products are rolled out. The

company lacks a formal training department and does not regularly update employees on

changes. They are left to learn this new information from various managers and co-workers.

The information can quickly become unclear like a game of telephone. This may cause

employees to become misinformed, and relay incorrect information to consumers. According to

Gutierrez (2016), poor employee performance is a bad reflection of the company, and impacts

the bottom line. Providing an online employee training program will allow employees

immediate access to information that is required for them to properly do their job.

RECOMMENDATIONS

We must be more innovative with training methods. Repackaging training in smaller doses via

an online environment is a growing trend. The advent of technology has caused people to

become easily distracted. Kolodny (2016) discusses a study done by Microsoft which found the

average time a North American person can stay focused on one task has dropped from 12

seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2015. This is an example of the need for online employee

training.

We must invest in a program that will align with our needs. Our company employs some people

who live out of state, and because of this we need something that does not require in-person

training. This solution must house all of our knowledge base for current and future employees

regardless of where they live. We need a program that will hold employees accountable for

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training by accurately tracking their results. Based on features and costs, I have narrowed down

my search to a company named Litmos.

Litmos offers four different price tiers. The Silver package is best option with respect to

company size. The monthly fee for this package is $299, and can support up to 100 active users

and two admins. Once the company begins to grow again we have an option upgrade to the Gold

package. This package costs $699 per month, and supports up to 500 active users and five

admins. Litmos features include the following items:

 Mobile-enabled

 Multi-language support

 Course builders

 Assessments/quizzes

 Course libraries

 Report dashboard

 Gamification (to promote user engagement)

 Shopify integration

 Salesforce integration

 Certifications for completed courses

 Learning paths

 Dropbox compatibility

 Unlimited storage

 Developer API (which would allow us to make changes as needed)

 Email and phone support

Limos is the most comprehensive program for our needs. It will allow us opportunity to

continue to add course content as new processes and products are created. This software also

houses a course library with a search function. This feature makes it easy for any user to quickly

locate the information they seek. Assessments and quizzes are another feature that require the

employee to be more accountable for their training. These will help managers determine areas of

improvement for said employee. Mobile accessibility allows the employee to access the program

anywhere and at any time. If the employee needs more practice in a certain area they have the

option to do so outside of work hours. The user experience is intuitive, and easy to use right

from the start. This program will not intimidate the end user.

I volunteer to become the subject matter expert in lieu of a dedicated training team. I will work

with the department managers to pull together all the necessary materials needed for the platform

(e.g. customer service training guides, product information, process information, human resource

information etc.). I propose that we roll it out one department at a time. This will help us

understand any potential challenges in the process. A staggered rollout will allow time to react

to, and resolve, issues. Customer service is the first department to start with because they are the

face of the company. The next suggested department would be sales. Then it can be rolled out

to marketing, IT and beyond. We can wait until after the fourth quarter to introduce this program

to the teams. Below is a working timeline for the rollout:

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 Week of 1/9/2017: David will train the Customer Service team on Litmos o Because we only have 10 CS reps, I will conduct training over two days o The manager and team leader will be present in each training session to ensure

consistency

 CS manager and CS team leader will provide a curriculum for their team o I will be available for the remainder of the week to answer questions and work

through any glitches that may arise

 Week of 1/16/2017: David will train the Sales team o We have 50 sales reps (internally and externally) and I will conduct training over

four days

o The sales manager will be present in each training session to ensure consistency  Sales manager to provide curriculum for their team

o I will be available for the next full week to answers questions and work through any glitches that may arise

 Week of 1/30/2017: David will train the IT team o We have 30 IT team members and I will conduct training over three days o Director of IT to provide curriculum (if they desire) o I will be available the remainder of the week to answer questions and work

through any glitches that may arise

 Week of 2/6/2017: David will train the Marketing team o Our team only has 15 members and I will conduct training in one day

 Channel directors can provide channel-specific curriculum o I will be available indefinitely to answer questions and work through any glitches

that may arise

We can reduce the Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing budgets by $1200 per year in order

to pay the $3600 annual fee for the Litmos software. Each department receives an annual budget

in excess of its expenses, and this is the most non-invasive way to obtain the necessary funds.

This is a nominal amount and should not cause issues for any of the departments. We are

currently downsizing staff and must look at existing budgets for funding. Since we are not hiring

a trainer no other additional costs will be incurred.

Figure 1: Implementation Plan

– Roll out training to all employees

– Set clear milestones

– Give concrete deadlines for completion

Execute

– Create library wtih course content

– Create training programs for existing and new employees (e.g. customer service, marketing etc.)

– Complete seed group testing

Implement

– After thorough research, purchase cost effective program

– Obtain monies from an excess in department budgets

Purchase

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BENEFITS

Cost savings is important to Restaurant.com as revenue continues to decline. This poses several

new challenges which include employee training. The company employs almost 30 employees

who live out of state. When new products or programs are rolled out the company must provide

training. It no longer makes sense to pay travel costs for employees to be trained in person. We

need an alternative, and this is where online training becomes important. Reyes (2015) says that

regular use of online training tools can cut travel-related costs without impacting the quality of

training.

The need for cross training is crucial because of the company’s downsizing. We need to ensure

our smaller staff can wear many different hats in order to maximize a return. This is especially

important now that we are approaching the last quarter of the year. There are many benefits

when employees have easy access to training. Some of these benefits include assuming new

roles/responsibilities, efficient time management, and increased quality of communication

(Farcas & Vula, 2015). This is closely related to cost savings. Our company can enjoy the

benefit of having many subject matter experts across teams without having to hire on new team

members.

We need a reliable platform since the company is cutting costs. The company cannot afford to

invest in software that may require additional external support costs. We do not have to worry

about this with the Litmos platform. All support costs are included in the monthly subscription

fee. This platform will not require our IT staff to install actual software. They are currently

operating on a skeleton crew and we do not want to add unnecessary tasks to their plate. This

software is all cloud based which makes it easily accessible and saves time since no installation

is required. This will save us money on time and resources. They also offer a free trial of the

software before purchase. This is beneficial because we can determine if there are any bugs to

the program, or if it needs any customization before purchase.

One last benefit of this software program is its integration with Shopify. Once we complete our

move to the Shopify platform we can link to Litmos to pull more accurate shopper data. This

would be a huge win for our team because we can further target our promo messages based on

the shopper audience. Another plus is that Litmos offers Salesforce integration. We currently

utilize Exacttarget for our consumer email program. Exacttarget is a Salesforce product and this

means all of our email reporting can also be integrated into Litmos. This will provide more

visibility as a company into the performance of our email campaigns. We have been asked to

provide more transparency in the past, and I am confident Litmos is the solution to this

challenge.

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CONCLUSIONS

All successful companies require employee training. Restaurant.com needs to reinvest in its

employee base. Due to the recent layoffs that have occurred we must ensure our current staff is

retained. Any additional losses in staff could cause havoc for the company. In order to stay

competitive, and encourage retention (both employee and customer), an online training program

is a necessity for Restaurant.com. Training employees not only encourages knowledge, but also

promotes a positive work environment. Once we properly train our employees, they will be able

to convey accurate information to our consumers. This is especially crucial in the company’s

current state. We stand to lose more revenue if consumer confidence in our products decreases.

According to Levoy (2011), well-trained employees are ambassadors for the organization, and

project a positive picture. Levoy also states that training new employees and having them leave

can be a concern…but that not training new employees and having them stay can be more

dangerous to a company. It is easy to see that the cost of training is invaluable both to the

employer and employee. I welcome the opportunity to implement this program as soon as

possible. I am excited to show you the value that this program will bring to our employees and

the organization as a whole

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REFERENCES

Bouris, J. & Sahinidis, A. (2008). Employee perceived training effectiveness relationship to

employee attitudes. Journal of European Industrial Training, (32)1, 63-76.

Farcas, A. & Vuta, D. (2015). The role of training in organizational and employee development.

Revista Academiei Fortelor Terestre, (20)3, 367-372.

Gutierrez, K. (2016, May 6). The true cost of not providing employee training [Blog post].

Retrieved from http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/the-true-cost-of-not-providing-employee-

training

Kolodny, L. (2016). The latest approach to employee training. The Wall Street Journal.

Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-latest-approach-to-employee-training-

1457921560

Levoy, B. (2011). The many benefits of employee training. Podiatry Management, (30)9,

41-42.

Reyes, G. (2015). Travel cuts? Boost training and collaboration online. Government Executive,

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