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Ringing the Belle on training

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Terence Wat, senior manager of learning and development (corporate), for Belle Worldwide, talks about field attachment, interactive activities and training as the three pillars of learning at this retailer.

Training is a key element in enhancing staff and today’s best training practices are no longer about teaching staff a particular skill or knowledge.

At Belle we took a comprehensive approach towards training by enhancing staff’s morale and ability as well as developing a sense of belonging.

Train to be FIT

FIT is the three values of Belle’s training philosophy – field attachment, interactive activities and trainings. As one of the biggest retailers in Hong Kong and a listed company, we believe integration between front line sales and functional departments in the back office is of vital importance.

We make an effort for every back-office employee to spend time at shops every year to learn about the front line’s operation.

Every staff member is required to spend nine hours a year in field attachment, nine hours with interactive activities, which refers to corporate activities, and 12 hours of internal/external training. Their efforts are evaluated as part of their appraisal.

Some of the corporate activities include sporting events, volunteer work initiated by the company and participating in programmes run by social enterprises such as Dialogue in the Dark to enhance teamwork in the workplace.

Every staff member is required to spend nine hours a year in field attachment, nine hours in interactive activities, and 12 hours of internal/external training.

New definition of CSR – corporate staff relations

We understand that retail has long working hours and a high turnover rate. Even if the company has great activities on offer, staff may not be able to attend them because of work, so we decided to go the extra mile in staff engagement.

At Belle, CSR means more than corporate social responsibilities, it also means corporate staff relations.

Three years ago we started the CSR sector under the HR department to focus on engaging staff, while this year we formed the corporate communications team to further enhance employee relationships.

When there is a company activity, for example, a basketball tournament, merely putting up a poster in the office is not enough.

The corporate communications team runs a mini quiz about the competition on social media in the hope of creating more noise. There are also promotion videos of the event distributed through Facebook.

Starting at the job interview, we ask candidates about their preferences for interest classes, volunteer works and team-building activities.

We want to provide what staff want whenever possible. Starting at the job interview, we ask candidates about their preferences for interest classes, volunteer works and team-building activities.

We also started publishing “So Belle”, a quarterly internal publication to help staff keep track of the company’s events.

We aim to develop a learning culture of our own, of which staff are committed and self-motivated in pursuit of their goals and knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.

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