In France, Conforama has 206 stores and 10,000 employees. The group's message is based on providing a variety of household goods at great prices. The company recently launched a management training program for all of its floor managers and store directors in collaboration with Grenoble Ecole de Management
The initiative is an important one for the company, which is one of the sector's European leaders. "The goal is to train 450 floor managers over two years. The managers will be at stores throughout France. The training program was created in collaboration with GEM in June of 2017 and it was launched in September. After training floor managers, the program will provide training for the group's store directors," explains Cécile Darmon, an affiliate professor at GEM and a coach and trainer in Grenoble.
The goal of this training program is to enable the group's managers to learn skills and tools that will improve their management position and their customer service. "The end goal of this custom program is to obtain a level 2 certificate recognized by the RNCP French registry. As a result, the program has to meet the specific needs of the Conforama group as well as the requirements of a recognized certificate," highlights Cécile Darmon. The initiative includes three phases: in-class learning, which will be delivered at stores around the country; an e-learning program; and in the field support for employees, including store directors.
The training will first focus on strategy, change management, and individual and group management. Afterwards, the program will provide training on self-management as well as operational areas such as sales and finance. At the group's request, customer service is the guiding principle along with developing salespersons' autonomy. "All of the projects are tested in the field in relation to the customer experience and concrete management issues."
Creating a foundation of shared knowledge
After training floor managers, Conforama will launch training for store directors. This phase will enable the acquisition of a level two certificate and a "culture of service" badge that meets RNCP requirements. The program will focus on management, self-empowerment, agility, process communication, self-awareness, service culture and driving performance. The teaching will be built around a hands on approach with concrete experiences in the field. "This initiative will provide all of the company's participants with a shared foundation in terms of fundamental knowledge," concludes Cécile Darmon.
Program details for floors managers
- Seven two-day units
- An average of ten teachers per unit, who will travel to stores throughout France
- 38 classes with 12 people, with classes being spread out six to eight weeks from each other
- A learning experience that can be modified to match the workload at a given time in a given store
Three steps to validate the program
- E-learning multiple choice tests
- A written report that includes: pair-work to describe a Conforama project, a personal roadmap and a presentation in front of a GEM/Conforama jury panel
- Delivery of a level two RNCP certificate (operational unit manager)