Norcros Groundworks Academy launched

Norcros South Africa, consisting of tile and bathroomware retailer Tile Africa; adhesive manufacturer TAL and tile manufacturer Johnson Tiles recently launched its Norcros Groundworks Academy, a newly built training facility at its head office in Olifantsfontein, Gauteng.

The facility and programmes were developed to create and sustain a culture of learning within Norcros SA that will also encourage staff to offer excellent service to customers in stores. Through the academy, Norcros SA hopes to produce skilled and knowledgeable design advisors and managers, and identify talent for future development.

“We value, encourage and reward the talent, hard work and loyalty of our staff and for this reason we launched the Norcros Groundworks Academy as well as our Design Advisor programme for sales staff in December 2013,” says Marilize van den Berg, Talent Manager at Tile Africa.

The first programme ran in December last year. “The feedback has been extremely positive, we made some changes to the programme after our pilot session and just completed our second programme,” she says.

This year, 100 sales staff as well as branch and floor managers from across the country will have the opportunity to receive training.

The academy offers two programmes, a Design Advisor programme for sales staff and a Management programme for branch and sales floor managers. However, the academy also caters to all Tile Africa employees and employees from sister companies TAL and Johnson Tiles and therefore also offers Adult Basic Education and Training; learnership and skill programmes as well as customer training; legislated training, which includes forklift and health and safety training amongst others; computer training and other short courses.

Tile Africa’s Design Advisor programme aimed at sales staff is a newly developed curriculum that was launched during the opening of the academy.

This programme comprises of modules that cover basic information on the company; standard operating procedures and the company’s operating system; product knowledge on tiling adhesives, tiles and bathroomware; understanding the basic principles of tiling and plumbing; the most common tiling complaints and how to deal with them; how to assist customers with design ideas and how to provide excellent service to customers.

“We’re equipping our employees with the necessary know-how to enable them to deliver a shopping experience that will delight our customers,” she says.

All the modules have a practical component, as well as a competence assessment. Similar programmes are being presented to branch managers and sales floor managers.

“We identified a need for our sales staff to offer sound design advice to customers,” says Richard Nuss, Marketing Manager at Tile Africa. “Customers are looking for our staff to guide them from the moment they enter our stores, whether it’s technical advice on the correct tile to use for a specific application or design advice on the most suitable colour and style,” he explains.

The Design Concepts module forms part of the Design Advisor programme and was developed to address this need. It equips sales staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to assist and guide customers with design ideas. The module covers the creative and technical aspects involved in creating indoor and outdoor spaces that are both functional and pleasing to the eye. It consists of practical exercises such as role play, storyboards and discussions on new trends.

“We see the academy as a place where the foundation is built for our employees’ careers within the company. My wish is that all employees attending a course at our Norcros Groundworks Academy will obtain competencies to really make a difference in their current roles as well as to our business,” van den Berg says.

For more information contact Norcros SA on 011 206 9700.

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