Retail training platforms. Everyone’s talking about them - ourselves included - and if you don’t already have one in place… what have you been doing?
First of all, let’s establish why finding a training platform is necessary in the first place:
- Regular, continuous training is the most effective way of retaining information
- A well-informed employee provides better customer service, which reflects positively on your brand and increases sales
- Workers who feel like their professional development is a priority for their employer will be happier in their role and stick around for longer
So now we’re all on board with why you should invest in team training. Now for the how part.
You could have the best training resources in the world, but if they’re not presented to your employees in a way that excites and engages them, it’s all pretty much for nothing.
Here are some key features to look out for that will ensure that your teams don’t just use the platform, they actually enjoy it!
It should be user-friendly
How often have you opened a web page or app to find that it was so poorly done that you abandoned it immediately?
According to Chartbeat, 55% of people spend less than 15 seconds on a page they’ve clicked on. If something doesn’t grab our attention immediately, we’re likely to give up on it and move on to something else.
With this in mind, usability should feature high on the priorities list when choosing a platform, and store teams and managers should be involved in the process of rolling out the new system as early on in the process as possible. They are the ones who will be using it every day, so it’s important that they actually like it!
The platform should also be easy to navigate, contain all the relevant information for the user in one place, and have the same look and feel as a social media platform.
That last one is crucial. Social media really does have an addictive quality - an average of 1.59 billion people log onto Facebook daily. A platform with a similar layout will encourage users to open the app and complete more and more training.
It should make learning fun
Gamification is one of the hottest buzzwords in the industry right now, with numerous studies illustrating the positive effects of gamified learning on both knowledge retention and engagement. In 2018, 87% of employees felt that gamified learning made them more productive, and 84% said it made them feel more engaged in their work.
Learning through fun, interactive quizzes - best done in short, regular bursts of microlearning - helps people retain information better in the long term. That means no more running to the back office to check things every time a customer asks a question!
As well as the self-improvement aspect of gamified learning, adding features such as battles between colleagues, points, badges and leaderboards will help to create a spirit of friendly competition and encourage individual users to up their game.
It should feel collaborative
There’s nothing worse as an employee than feeling patronized or overlooked, but sometimes training can feel like exactly that.
In the days before digitized learning platforms, training would mainly consist of either:
- a hasty run-through of the million-and-one things you needed to know by an overworked manager on your first day, or;
- an afternoon listening to some guy in a suit you’ve never met before droning on about something you’d all immediately forget.
With a digitized and customizable training platform, however, the user takes an active role in their own learning process, making them feel more like part of a team.
Social learning - that is, the sharing of knowledge and best practices between colleagues - also helps to foster a collaborative environment which will encourage users to add their own input and stay engaged in their work.
It should be easily integrable
This one is important to bear in mind from a logistical perspective. Regular training is great in theory, but how does it actually fit in with the day-to-day routines of your store teams?
Busy retail employees will inevitably feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to commit to training on top of their myriad other tasks.
The best way to fix this is by integrating training into the everyday routines and systems your teams already use.
Pairing tasks with their related training courses is one useful way to do this. For example: if a store associate has to implement a new visual merchandising display, they should have the option to complete a mini training course on how to do it.
So simple, right? It keeps the information fresh and gives the user a little confidence boost.
And of course, easy integration into pre-existing systems certainly saves HQ the headache of tricky implementation. A training platform should make everyone’s lives easier, not harder!
Team training is key to employee engagement, which is something we’re passionate about here at YOOBIC. In fact, we just wrote an entire eBook about it! Download it below: