Anna Hernández: “Investing in Training isn’t a Business Expense but a Benefit”

Interview with Anna Hernández, Human Resources Manager of Punt Fresc

Training is a very important aspect of your business. Since when is this so?
As new stores were added to the Punt Fresc network, we saw the need to focus on training as the best way of unifying concepts, criteria, values and aims among all our shop employees.

What type of courses do you run for these employees?
First of all, we offer a specific store-manager course for managers, setting out the duties they must perform. Second, we provide a course for Punt Fresc shop assistants, in which we work on aspects such as business values, image, presence and customer courtesy.

It’s a course for people who are joining the business, isn’t it?
No, the courses are aimed both at new employees and those who have been with us for a long time and have to retrain.

What does this training do for employees?
We believe it’s a good motivating element. Our employees are happy because they know we hold them in esteem and this satisfaction understandably leads to a better attitude towards their jobs. And too, it’s an opportunity for employees working in the different shops to get together and swap experiences.

And for the business?
It brings us major benefits that aren’t seen immediately but rather in the long term. Through the training courses we obtain staff trained to meet our needs. It also creates loyalty because we give them the respect and value that other businesses might not. This gives us a competitive edge.

So the Mercabarna Training Area set up this shop assistant course in line with your own needs...
Yes, it was tailor-made for us. We explained our needs to them and the course content was put together based on that information. They provided us with a trainer and offered us the chance of running the course in our shops and following a timetable of our own choice.

Some of your employees have received training in languages, IT...
We’ve noticed that our warehouse and office employees are also keen on training, either to retrain or to gain new skills. For this reason, this year we’ll put even more emphasis on areas such as languages, IT and so on. Furthermore, the proximity to the workplace and timetable adaptation make the Mercabarna Training Area course offer that much more appealing to our employees.

The Area handles business credits for employee training. What does this entail?
All businesses are entitled to a credit for training their employees. The Mercabarna Training Area sees to handling these subsidies with the different administrations. It’s really very convenient and we don’t have to worry about a thing.

Why do you think there are still businesses that don’t train their employees?
Many businesses are unaware of the credit assigned to small and medium-sized enterprises for staff training. And it’s such a pity not to take advantage of these resources! In fact, you’re investing in your staff so that they will be ready, motivated and happy. Training shouldn’t be viewed as a business expense but rather an investment.