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BEST PRACTICE in skills development: TOP Rent-a-car, Bulgaria

In today’s rapidly evolving tourism industry, developing a strategic approach on skills development within organisations is crucial for a futureproof sector and workforce to remain competitive and responsive to changing market demands. In this series of best practices we highlight key areas of skills development necessary for the digital and sustainable transformation and inclusive tourism growth. We discuss best practices that have been carefully selected in the PANTOUR project countries to get inspired. In this blog, we focus on TOP Rent-a-Car. Top Rent-a-Car is the leading national car rental company in Bulgaria. They operate the largest fleet in the country, which currently consists of over 2000 cars (90% of them are brand new), and offer national coverage of the service through more than 13 offices in the country.

Background information

Behind the leading Bulgarian car hire company stays a team of professionals committed to the mission always to provide outstanding service to the customers. In order to offer the best customer care, the company has elaborated a portfolio of programmes for initial and regular training for all employees, as well as other stimuli for developing their social, green and digital skills. The trainings are fully standardised in order to ensure a consistent high quality of service throughout all offices of the company. The focus is on the social skills (efficient communication and multicultural interaction), but the employees also develop certain digital skills (in order to work with the internal system), and green skills (especially in recommending particular car models, which are environmentally friendly).

 

Examples and case studies

The Initial /Introductory training is a clear well-structured system, encompassing all processes and tasks for the newly recruited employees. It is based on 2 internal documents – Standards and Instructions Manual, and Internal Regulations Book. The entire duration of the Initial Training is 3 weeks. Every new employee gets a Mentor, who is his/her direct supervisor. After getting to know the main standards and regulations, the new employee starts the practical part. During the first week the employee only watches the processes and learns all steps and standards of operation. Thus, the trainee gets oriented not only in his/her job, but also understands how the company operates. In this time the employee learns the internal software system (gets digital skills), gets acquainted with the colleagues from the same department (social skills), and studies the main vision and principles of the company, committed to offer the best customer service and alleviate the carbon footprint on the environment (social and green skills). During the second week of the training the employee starts to work with real clients and situations, all the time accompanied by his/her supervisor.

The trainee can now apply all knowledge and excel her/his skills in a fully controlled environment. The supervisor stays next to the trainee all the time, lets him/her implement all tasks, and interferes only if necessary. The last week of the training provides almost full independence for the trainee. He/she works alone, but still anytime can ask for help the supervisor. After the training is over, the employee is ready to work in a full capacity. TOP Rent-a-car understands the value its employees bring to the customers and the company, and organizes regular trainings (2-3 times a year) to enhance the employees’ skills. The topics of the trainings depend on the particular needs of the employees, e.g. leadership, talent management, team work, etc.

Potential pitfalls and challenges

One of the main challenges in front of the Top Rent-a-car company is the opportunity to organize training for all employees simultaneously, since the offices are dispersed around the country. Therefore, most of the trainings are implemented on regional or city level.

 

Benefits and outcomes

There are Monthly Assessments – another internal system for evaluation of the employees’ competences, needs and performance. The Monthly Assessment is the mean of four elements – Quality & Control grade, Supervisor’s grade, Customers’ grade and Standards application grade. It provides a holistic evaluation of the employee’s performance and sets the ground for additional trainings, if necessary. Moreover, on the basis of the Monthly Assessment, the employees are awarded with promotion or financial stimuli.

Responsibility and accountability

The trainings are organized by the HR team of Top Rent-a-car and coordinated with the regional managers of the company.

 

References and external resources

Website of the company: https://toprentacar.bg 

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