M&S staff need to be trained properly, Skillsoft warns
E-learning solutions provider Skillsoft has expressed caution after the recent announcement by Marks & Spencer to recruit thousands of staff during the busy Christmas period.
The recruitment drive by M&S will see 20,000 staff join its UK and Republic of Ireland stores this Christmas, 5,000 more than last year.
Tony Glass, vice-president of corporate sales at Skillsoft, said that it's good that job opportunities are being made available, but warned that if staff are not trained properly, the initiative could do more harm than good.
"While it's great to hear that Marks & Spencer is planning to recruit 20,000 more staff to help with the busy Christmas period they need to approach this in a strategic and targeted manner. With such a large onboarding of staff in a short period of time, it is vital that M&S has sufficient training programmes in place to help new starters get up-to-speed as quickly as possible," he said.
"While the majority of recruits are likely to be temporary employees, they will all be seen as representatives of M&S so need to be provided with a targeted induction plan and overview of key processes and policies. The danger when bringing in a high volume of staff is that they fail to be briefed adequately on important areas such as health and safety, gross misconduct and customer service.
"By introducing appropriate e-learning programmes early on, if not before these new employees even start their contracts; this can prove a valuable training method, saving money and resources, while enabling new hires to complete compulsory training. Training can also be shared easily across the different stores within the organisation, while new hires can complete the various modules in their own time.
"Companies like M&S will regularly employ additional seasonal staff to cope with busy periods, but if new staff are not trained properly from the outset, bringing in extra resource could do a business more harm than good."