Author: Poornima Mohandas
Time to read: 2 minutes
The training manager at Bangalore-based high-end retailer of fine writing instruments and lifestyle accessories, William Penn, was having a tough week at work. She had just travelled across Bangalore, Kochi, and Mysore to conduct training and competency tests for the newly recruited store assistant. At the end of the week, she was totally spent. She realized she spent way too much time on travel rather than on talent attraction and employee retention.
She decided to take some action. She moved her company from classroom training to online training with Wooqer and the results were overwhelming! She could now:
- Minimize her travel and spend more time with her family
- Free up time wasted in delivering training and grading assignments
- Better assess training consumption and effectiveness
- Have time to work on new training content
Training your store staff is directly proportional to your sales. We find that retailers who recognize that and are willing to invest in training are far ahead of their peers.
According to PwC, 40% of consumers feel that sales associates with deep and extensive product knowledge improve their shopping experiences considerably
Here’s a quick test to see if you need to invest more in training your store assistants:
- Are your store staff in tier II and III cities able to articulate the value of your products?
- Are they able to direct customers to appropriate sections of the store?
- Do they speak confidently about the latest promotions and offers?
If you said no to any of the above, read on. We’ll tell you about the many advantages of online training.
1. Make Training Convenient and Engaging
Training needs to be convenient not just for the trainee but also for the trainer. Online training can significantly lift the burden on the trainer.
Says Sunil Sadagopal, General Manager – Operations at Home Centre, “Earlier every time a bulk of new employees joined, Home Centre would arrange classroom training for them. We had to print all the training material.” But now Home Centre, –which is part of the $6 billion Landmark group and has 49 stores and 1,500 employees across India– uses Wooqer to train new employees. “Now we give new joiners login credentials and they can learn and take assessments at their own pace.”
Let your training be easy to consume anytime, anywhere, using any device. Store staff should be able to consume training when they are riding the bus to work. Make training engaging with explainer videos, images, contests, and interactive sessions.
2. Offer Bite-Sized Learning and Reinforcement to Improve Retention
According to German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus’ landmark research in the 1880s, we forget 75% of what we were taught in six days without any reinforcement.
So what can you do to make training stick:
- Serve up bite-sized training that people can snack on
- Reinforce training with tests, quizzes, and contests
- Provide different formats of training to appeal to visual learners
- Make your staff repeat the same online course periodically
3. Increase SSPD from Tier II & Tier III Stores
Classroom training is not scalable. Your trainers may visit and train the stores in tier I cities but what about your tier II and tier III stores? The only way to make training scalable is to switch to online training. This way, training becomes democratic and you can increase SSPD (sales per square foot) from your tier II and tier III stores.
4. Get Better Visibility of Training Effectiveness
So you have delivered your training, now what? You want to know if your training was effective. In online training you should be able to:
- Monitor and drive training consumption
- Assess training effectiveness
- Gauge feedback easily
5. Cut Down Travel and Printing Costs
Once you switch to online training you can have savings on two fronts: travel costs and paper and printing costs. Say goodbye to printing training material for your staff.
“The biggest saving is on paper and printing costs,” says Sadagopal from Home Centre after switching to Wooqer for training.
What’s more, you can market your company as an environmentally conscious retailer and appeal to the discerning millennial customer.
6. Allow Your Trainers To Be More Effective
Once you move to online training you can allow your trainers to be more strategic. Suddenly there is an effort shift from content delivery to content creation. It also frees up time for other initiatives around attracting new talent and employee retention.
To sum up, conducting classroom training sessions is not convenient and neither is it scalable. Your coverage tends to be patchy at best. Online training can help you cut down on travel and paper costs and gives you real-time visibility into training consumption and effectiveness. Invest in training today to increase your SSPD. The first-mover advantage will solidly lie with the early technology adopters.