The Wall Street Journal reported today Mercedes-Benz is investing $19 million in China to build its biggest training facility in the world for car dealers as it strives to catch up with rivals Audi AG and BMW AG
Mercedes expects to add 100 new distribution outlets this year to bring the total to 440.
That’s a lot of trainees. And an interesting marketing challenge – in what ways should Mercedes adjust its brand image to appeal to the Chinese market? Mercedes knows its product, and presumably, its dealers know their customers. Putting training resources on the ground in China will permit Mercedes executives to use the training sessions as research opportunities as well as for traditional instruction.
Does your organization have any newsworthy training initiatives this year? Are they simply top-down transmissions of information? Or is management paying attention to what the trainees have to say about implementation challenges when new policies are taken to the field?
These days, attending to what trainees are seeing in the field can be as simple as pulling down the transcript of their responses to questions posed to them in the online portion of their training.
The best systems permit team leaders to check into what’s going on with their team members in their training, not just to evaluate trainee performance, but also to get a sense of how they are thinking and what obstacles they are encountering as they attempt to apply what they are learning. Because we think the whole organization, not just the instructor, should partake of the learning benefits which always attend teaching.