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Employee Retention of UTStarcom -
April 25th, 2011
UTStarcom is a Fortune 1000 company that specializes in IP-based networking products for telecommunications companies and service providers. Its core markets are multimedia communications and broadband, including IP and entertainment (IPTV), next generation broadband networks and optical network solutions. It also sells handsets and other consumer products including DSL modems and Voice over IP terminal adapters. It has a large customer base in Asia, particularly in China, where it manufactures the majority of its products and where most of its employees are located. It also has business operations in the United States, India, Ireland, France and Japan as well as research and design operations in the United States, China, Korea and India.
Effective training also contributes to your employee retention, especially if these individuals learn what they really need to be successful in their jobs and if they earn rewards for their new knowledge.
Verizon Wireless understands the importance of proper training, and for the past few years we have been recognized as one the country’s best training organizations. This year Training magazine ranks our company No. 4 among its top 125 training organizations in America, noting especially our Data Certification program. We don’t have all the answers to training but, as this recognition shows, what we have learned can be of help to other companies as they develop their training.
Through Data Certification and our other training programs, Verizon Wireless strives to achieve four specific goals. They are to: 1) motivate employees to learn through incentives; 2) establish training goals that align with company business objectives; 3) provide a strong combination of training methods; and 4) ultimately help the company deliver better service to our growing customer base.
The Data Certification program is divided into four stages: Learn it consists of classroom and online instruction; Show it requires employees to demonstrate what they’ve learned to their managers; Prove it involves a certification test and attainment of certain sales and customer-service quality goals; and Earn it is designed to give employees recognition and financial rewards for hitting their sales targets.
Use Certification Programs as Incentives
Certification programs, like ours, which reward individuals who master new products and services, can help employees overcome their resistance to change and keep them excited about the influx of new devices and applications. Moreover, giving employees recognition, financial rewards or other benefits for completing certification programs can be a powerful incentive for them to stay with your company. Employees are more likely to stay when they have tangible evidence that their expertise is appreciated. The results are obvious. The company has better trained, more experienced employees and lower employee-turnover expenses.
Tie Training to Company Objectives
To make sure our training efforts are closely aligned with our ever-changing array of products and services, Verizon Wireless has placed the training function in the Marketing department rather than in Human Resources, where it typically resides. Marketing is a lot closer than HR to our products and services so our training is better able to focus on those we have identified as key to our company’s growth. As a result, the success of our training program is measured by an increase in sales of these key products and services. That is, training is tied directly to company business objectives.
We have also learned that a flexible infrastructure is essential for training programs to be successful. This is especially true if you have third-party partners who sell and service your products, because they represent the face of your company to customers. Extending training programs through online learning portals, for example, further ties training to your business goals.
Customize Your Training Methods
Another reason our training is effective is that we customize it to particular audiences. Specifically, we reach out to our sales and customer service departments and gather their input as we develop our programs. Training is then tailored to their specific needs—in terms of both content and delivery method.
While many of our training programs are still conducted in classroom settings, a new generation of electronic training tools is beginning to supplement or replace traditional classroom instruction. Among the electronic tools we’re using are online learning, training CDs and e-learning (computer-enhanced learning such as CD-ROMs, websites and online simulations). Today, we are evaluating even newer training delivery methods, such as m-learning (using mobile devices as the delivery method or actual training device) on wireless phones, PDAs and MP3 players.
These high-tech training methods offer a great deal of flexibility and convenience for marketers of almost any product or service. In addition, as we have also learned, they can be particularly useful for companies selling high-tech products that can be incorporated right into their training programs. For those individuals who benefit from a hands-on approach to learning, Verizon Wireless is piloting a new program through which employees can check out particular devices for up to 30 days. Once they’ve become familiar with a device, they simply return it and wait for the next one in their queue to arrive. Through this hands-on experience, our employees are developing a thorough and lasting understanding of the products they are selling.
A major benefit of this program is that it incorporates what the employee feels he or she needs to learn rather than just what the curriculum dictates. This focus on the learner improves both the training itself and our employee retention rates. Of course, the better our employees understand our products and services, the more effectively they can educate our customers and offer them more value.
Rewarding employees through certification and other incentive programs, tying training directly to company objectives and choosing the right methods for training are key factors in ensuring that the substantial investment companies make in employee training today actually contributes to their bottom-line results.
Health Benefits. The Company shall pay to the Covered Employee an amount equal to twelve (12) months of the premiums for continuation coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, as amended (“COBRA”) of each Covered Employee (and any eligible dependents) under the Company’s medical, dental and vision plans at the same level of coverage in effect on the Severance Date, payable within thirty (30) days following the Involuntary Termination; provided, however, that if the Covered Employee is a Specified Employee at the time of such termination, payment shall be delayed as provided for in Section 11.3.
Overall, the people at UTStarcom are great to work with from the U.S., India, China, Mexico, South America and Europe (excluding Senior Management). The pay and benefits are good compared to other companies in the same industry. If you are working for a good manager; it's a good place to work. However, if you have a BAD manager it could really suck......
Senior Leadership (CEO,COO, CFO) put too much trust in senior management (Sr. VP, VP,etc..) to make personnel decisions and strategy during this tight economy. These are the same senior managers (Sr. VP, VP, etc.) who in most cases travel 80% of the time to meetings, outings, etc. on the company dime and the remaining 20% of the time working from home or attending to vacation.
So, how can they make an informed decision on personnel reductions; if they really don't know their own staff members within their organization and physically show up in the office.
In my opinion, the overall strategy is to off-shore all operations to China and India for pennies; while the Senior Leadership team cash in on stock and bonuses $$$$$$.......
I've seen very competent, educated and qualified employees being part of reduction in force because senior management is protecting and fostering personal relationships with selective employees; instead of making informed decisions for the best interest of the organization.
At the end of the day; if you out shine your senior management, you are consider a threat and would be terminated (Reduction in Force) or transfered out... However, if you are a person to take orders and never challenge or question management, this is the place for you to work and perhaps retire.