Competency-Based Training and Work Performance of the Sales Workforce in a Telecommunication Company
Abu Zarim, Zainal (2004) Competency-Based Training and Work Performance of the Sales Workforce in a Telecommunication Company. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Competent workforce is crucial for any organisation facing the global challenges and competition. Competency is very much linked to employee performance; and with proper competency and capabilities, it will increase productivity. The objective of the study is to examine the level of generic sales competencies of the sales workforce in a telecommunication company. Since competency-based training is an important element and antecedents for the competency level, the study examined the preferred learning styles of the respondents using Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory. The study also examined the relationship between the dependent variables (work performance) and selected independent variables.A self-administered questionnaire was used as a mode of data collection with a sample size of 289 respondents. All instrument items used in the study were constructed by the researcher except for Kolb Learning Styles Inventory. Descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation and percentage were used, besides t-test, ANOVA, Pearson Product-Moment Correlation and Multiple Linear Regression Analysis were used for the statistical test. The findings indicated that the preferred learning styles among the sales workforce were converger. In this style, they were motivated to discover the relevancy or “how” of a situation. The respondents also perceived that competency-based training was moderately effective, where only about 50 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the program. The major areas that required further improvements were contents of the module and instructional methods. The study found that the competency level of the sales workforce was average. The study also found that there were weak relationships between work performance and respondents’ age, working experience, effectiveness of competency-based training and competency level. Eight competencies were found to have significant relationships with work performance; these were interpersonal skill, teamwork, business understanding, analytical thinking, marketing skill, selling skill, product knowledge and sales strategy. Regression analysis confirmed that two variables contributed to the work performance; they were teamwork and business understanding. This indicated that the competency of the employees and the teaching method should be considered as an important element for the employees’ performance and effective intervention programs needed to be carried out to narrow and ultimately close the gap.
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