November 6, 2017

4 Reasons to Integrate Online Learning Into Your Retail Operation to Fight Turnover

It’s not a secret that the retail industry is plagued by high turnover. A Bloomberg report indicates that turnover in the retail sector has been steadily rising and now stands at 5 percent per month. That means that the average retailer is faced with replacing up to 60% of their staff over the course of a single year.  This result? A revolving door of needing to recruit and hire consistently, which adds up over time!

Financial costs aside, this employee turnover has other negative impacts, such as a lack of continuity in the operation, disruption in the day-to-day operations, and lower team morale.

Addressing high turnover is more than a matter of remuneration. That’s truly only part of the equation as employees are seeking opportunities for advancement and work that’s meaningful and/or exciting.

To retain your best staff and fight turnover in your retail operation, you need to create and communicate a clear path for their growth and invest in developing their skills. Here are FOUR ways you can help to reduce employee turnover with training and development driven by online learning:

1) Train Staff Quickly In-Store: One of the biggest struggles for retailers is being able to deliver training in a timely manner. The operational challenges of training make scheduling and delivering training outside of the store both costly and inflexible.

Instead of having to schedule employees for training, waiting to train new employees, and other delays, online learning allows for you to deliver training quickly in the store, or anywhere else the employee has access to a phone or tablet.

For example, let’s say you have a holiday campaign that you require each employee to receive some training on. Instead of pulling them out of the store into a classroom, or having them huddle in the back for 10 minutes or initialing a print out, you can push the training to all required employees for them to complete at their own pace by a certain date. That way, you know each employee has completed the training and you can ensure everyone gets the right information at the right time. No employee is left feeling out of the loop or disconnected when they come in for a shift and wonder what’s going on.

2) Consistent Employee Onboarding: Employee onboarding is a critical part of each new hire’s experience, and many times how employees are onboarded leaves a lot to be desired. New employees may receive very little training, be left waiting for classroom training, or find themselves simply thrown into the operation and left to figure it out with the assistance of another associate.

E-learning provides a way to ensure that every position, across every location delivers a consistent and well thought-out training experience. This helps new employees succeed faster, and can ultimately increase their loyalty to the brand, as they feel like they are valued and a part of something bigger.

3) Give Managers What They Need to Succeed: Your retail managers are left to handle many things in a day or week, and training is just one thing on the list. Many of them have moved through the ranks in your stores: they are knowledgeable, but they are by no means training experts.

Training can be seen as a hassle or a chore; while your managers know it’s important, they want to cross it off the list and avoid having to work late. By moving away from classroom-style training or informal in-store training to e-learning platforms, you’re moving the burden of administering training away from your managers.

With e-learning, your manager simply needs to get new employees set up. They are able to monitor who’s done what training and when. At the corporate level, you’ll have insight into what’s happening with your training, and have the power to ensure that every employee across your retail operation gets the training they need.

4) Understand What Each Employee Wants: To retain employees, you need to understand what each individual employee is looking for. One associate may be motivated by the opportunity to advance within the organization, and your merchandiser may be more interested in opportunities to be innovative or creative.

By moving training off the shoulders of your managers, they then can focus on the performance and development of each employee. They’ll have more time to address needs at the employee level. E-learning can help support this by providing each employee with the training that they need to help them progress and grow in their role.

While training your frontline retail staff can be challenging, online learning offers you a powerful and proven way to engage, motivate, and retain your staff. To learn more about how to adopt e-learning for your retail organization, click here for more information on how I can help, or contact me for a free consultation today at [email protected].


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