When it comes to effective employee training, retail businesses haven’t got it easy. Their workforce is often dispersed across multiple locations, and training time away from the business can disrupt day-to-day operations.
Add to this the legislation, health and safety rules, product information and customer service practices that each employee has to learn; and it’s clear, effective training is essential for retail businesses. So you’d think that retailer employers would have this pretty near the top of their priority list, right? Wrong. A recent survey was conducted on a sample of around 2,000 retail store staff, and the majority felt that their induction and ongoing training was not up to scratch.
71% did not feel that their induction training was the best that it could be.
Staff turnover within the retail sector is notoriously high, and most of this occurs within the first 90 days. To make new staff members feel like part of the team straight away and to improve staff retention levels, effective employee induction plays a vital role. By providing new employees with a clear overview of the business and their role within the team, they will have an understanding of how they can contribute to the company’s success. Retailers also need to consider the performance of their induction process for seasonal staff. These members of staff are employed over periods which are typically very busy and need to be up and running efficiently within the shortest time period. By providing engaging induction training, employers can help staff to achieve shorter ‘time to productivity’ rates and help employees to feel settled, confident and capable within their new positions.
75% of all employees did not agree that their employer offered excellent training.
Of course, some training is better than none at all, but mediocre training provisions can manifest into knowledge gaps and confidence issues – both of which are detrimental to productivity and employee loyalty. Better training equals better results, higher performance and a greater sense of the team working towards a common goal. Despite this, many employers are reluctant to invest time - and money - into employee training as they believe this money will be ‘wasted’ if an employee moves on from their company. However, it has been proven that an investment in effective employee training results in an enriched team which is loyal to the company and have a vested interest in remaining part of this culture. If opportunities for progression and career growth are available to them – why would they leave?
81% felt that they did not receive training which was both regular and relevant.
Within today’s retail industry, things within a business change at a rapid rate. Changes to legislation, updated health and safety information, new IT systems and product rollouts are regular occurrences. One day workshops may rally the troops for a while, but inevitably this will taper off without further reinforcement. To develop a team of hardworking, engaged and loyal employees the investment in their career needs to be ongoing. The key is relevancy: employees need training which is tailored for their roles, aligned to real targets and job activities to understand how this information affects them directly. Your customer services assistant doesn’t need to know the details about the shift rotations of store security. Focus the training you provide to include the most relevant information to that person’s role or position. This allows learners to focus on aspects of the training which are relevant to their role.
Whilst providing ongoing training, employers can pinpoint skill and knowledge gaps and provide additional training for this. Training that is available at their point of need allows employees to access the materials they need, when they need it. Continual development gives employees a great sense of achievement by not only being good at their job, but also possessing skills and knowledge that they did not have at the start of their employment. If employees feel confident that they can deliver, they represent your business more effectively.
If you are interested in providing high-impact, effective training for your retail business, then talk to a member of our team. At BOLT Learning, we are experts in delivering powerful online training which is engaging, interactive and promotes maximum levels of retention – all tailored specifically for your business’s needs.