AS ONE OF THE youngest participants in the HKRMA Service and Courtesy Awards Supervisory category, Mannings assistant store manager Leona Tsang Sum-man said she was surprised when she won the Supermarkets and Convenience Stores Award. Miss Tsang, 23, has been working in the retail industry for less than two years. However, as a hand-picked recruit for Mannings' store manager trainee programme, she is on a fast track to becoming a fully fledged store manager. It usually takes a sales assistant at least two years to be promoted to assistant store manager. Miss Tsang was promoted to the position after just three months of on-the-job training. Mannings set up its store manager trainee programme to nurture university graduates. In addition to developing management skills the programme covers topics including presentation skills, techniques for handling customer complaints, total service concepts, personal selling techniques, problem-solving and creative thinking. 'I am a very outgoing person and like to communicate with others, so being a member of the Mannings management operation team is an ideal job for me,' said Miss Tsang, who joined the company after graduating from university last year. Before that, she tried several summer jobs and decided the hands-on experience provided exciting reasons for carving out a career in retail. As an assistant manager, Miss Tsang said, she used the SCAN (smile, care, award and new) concept to motivate colleagues to deliver quality service. 'I find that by smiling a lot, showing I care about my colleagues, awarding praise for a job well done and assigning new but achievable tasks together we develop a team spirit.' Ms Tsang said it was easier to meet the needs of her colleagues and customers when she treated them as close friends or even family members. 'When I think this way I can easily motivate and deliver customer service without the need to remind myself of any rules or techniques.' The award would motivate her to continue providing good service, she said. 'I was really excited and proud to win the Supervisory Award. I know this year's competition attracted some very talented people, so I wasn't really expecting to win. I tried my very best throughout the role play and interview stages. When I was announced as the prize winner, I was very happy. I feel that my efforts have been recognised.' Miss Tsang said she learnt valuable lessons through taking part in the competition, which would help her in her career and personal development. 'The ideas and concepts shared by other competitors and their approach to customer service have broadened my outlook and will help me to provide better service to customers in the future,' she said. The day after winning the award, Miss Tsang received another surprise - her colleagues had collected newspapers with the photographs of her being presented with her award and decorated her locker and noticeboard with the pictures. 'I was very touched,' she said.