You are the HRD Manager at Cellular Today, a cellular service provider selling mobile devices and wireless connectivity to customers for data and telephone calls. Cellular Today has recently embarked on a growth strategy.
So as to support the implementation of the growth strategy, the Cellular Today Management Committee have identified that the company needs to boost sales while keeping costs as low as possible. You suggest to the Management Committee that this be achieved through the appointment of 20 contact centre sales agents who have a matric, but who do not have any post-school qualifications and work experience. Appointing contact centre sales agents who have a matric, but no work experience or post-school qualifications, presents a couple of advantages for Cellular Today including:
• This will keep remuneration related costs down as the contact centre sales agents will receive entry level salaries.
• Matriculants with no work experience are ‘blank slates’, which will make it easier to train them in Cellular Today’s specific methods and practices. In turn, once trained, these contact centre sales agents should readily and effectively be able to apply Cellular Today’s methods as they do not come with the ‘baggage’ of other companies’ practices.

Note: In preparing answers to the various project questions, learners are required to read beyond the scope of the MANCOSA Module Guide. Consult a range of sound academic sources (such as textbooks and academic journal articles) in completing this project.

QUESTION 1 (25 marks)

When you first proposed that 20 matriculants be employed as contact centre sales agents to support Cellular Today’s new growth strategy, the Management Committee was sceptical. A number of the Management Committee members were particularly concerned that the new hires would not have the skills to effectively perform in the job of contact centre sales agent, and felt that it would not be possible to develop the full range of skills required.
Jabu, the Finance Manager, said, “I am particularly worried that we are going to overlook some of the key training needs required. Imagine if this does indeed happen. We will have a contact centre full of matriculants, but with no sales.”
Vishnu, the Operations Manager, added, “Throwing a bunch of ad hoc training courses at a group of matriculants is most definitely not going to transform them into a high performing contact centre sales team!”
You respond to the concerns of Jabu, Vishnu and the rest of the Management Committee by explaining that the HRD process that will be applied in developing the matriculants appointed as contact centre sales agents is not ad hoc, but that it is systematic and comprehensive. The CEO asks that you provide the Management Committee with further information in this regard in the form of an email.
As HRD Manager, write an email to the Cellular Today Management Committee in which you discuss the four phases of the HRD process, detailing how these phases will be implemented in practice in the roll out of the contact centre sales agent project.

QUESTION 2 (25 marks)

Design an HRD programme which will be effective in developing the skills which the matriculant new hires require to perform in the job of contact centre sales agent at Cellular Today. The design of the HRD programme should address the objectives, the duration, and the training delivery methods. Refer to relevant theory to substantiate your HRD programme design.

QUESTION 3 (25 marks)

Six months after the 20 contact centre sales agents have been trained using your HRD programme, performance problems start to emerge. Five of the contact centre sales agents are not making the required number of sales calls per day and as a result sales are falling. The contact centre manager has contacted you indicating that he wishes to dismiss these five contact centre sales agents due to their poor performance.
As HRD manager, write an email to the contact centre manager in which you highlight the importance of coaching to remedy poor performance. Provide guidelines, with examples, as to how the contact centre manager should go about coaching the five poor performing contact centre sales agents.

QUESTION 4 (25 marks)

Two years have passed since the appointment of the contact centre sales agents, and now only eight remain. These eight remaining contact centre sales agents are high performing employees and regularly exceed their performance targets. As HRD manager you are impressed with the commitment and conscientiousness shown by these eight contact centre sales agents, and you believe that it is important for Cellular Today to assist them with their career management, but first you need to secure the buy-in of the Management Committee.
As HRD manager, prepare a report to the Management Committee, identifying the relevance and importance of career management for the employees of Cellular Today, and make recommendations for its implementation.

Answers to Above Case Study Questions

Answer 1: The four phases of HRD processes that will be followed in order to roll out the contact centre sales agent project are assessment and analysis phase, design and development phase, implementation phase and evaluation phase. The ways in which all these four important phases will be implemented are discussed as follows:

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