Retail is one of the largest industries; according to Plunkett Research, there are 15,000 million employees in US alone contributing about 8% to the Nation’s GDP. Training needs of such a diverse workforce are many, product training being one. Product knowledge is important for sales people and customer service personnel and has a direct bearing on the sales. So, how can a large retail force be efficiently trained on a very wide range of products?
ELearning Solution for Product Knowledge Training:
The turnover of employees in retail stores is usually high, which means it may not be financially viable to organize classroom training for each and every employee who is hired. That said, you cannot ignore the need to train either. On the job training takes place but you cannot be sure of the quality of training being imparted as it depends on the proficiency of the immediate supervisor who is in charge of training the new recruit. In this context, eLearning proves to be useful for the following reasons:
- You can have a standard training module that a new hire can take along with the on the job training. So, new recruits can get firsthand experience of the latest concepts or inputs through online training.
- Another benefit of product training through eLearning is that every employee receives consistent and professional training on products, features and benefits, giving no room for misrepresentation of facts and inconsistencies in communication.
- Training can be accessed by sales people during their lean time cutting down the need to devote a prolonged and dedicated training schedule. By developing short modules, an insignificant amount of time of say, 15 to 30 minutes over a period of 1 week can be devoted to access the online modules. It is fairly doable when compared to organizing a classroom training that requires more time, resources and skilled trainers.
- It becomes easy to provide periodic updates about new products, as the products and promotions change frequently in the retail industry.
- Space is a constraint in retail sector and most of the time dedicated training space is not financially as well as practically viable. Retail staff can access training using desktops or even through mobile devices such as laptops, tablet PCs or Smartphones. Nike, the leading sports goods manufacturer has successfully used such devices to train their retail staff.
In the retail industry, the familiarity of the staff with the products is important since it is only with adequate knowledge of the products will the retail staff be able to guide customers to the right products based on their needs. Training cannot be dispensed with because of lack of space, time, or money as it would prove disadvantageous to the retailer. However, eLearning can provide options to make training a more affordable and viable option to bring employees up to speed with the retail industry demands.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
It is an accepted truth that employees are the valued resources of any organization. Organizational success depends entirely on the performance of the employees. In order to face their competitors, organizations have to ensure efficient employees who are capable of updating themselves in the continuously changing business environment. Now, companies spend lots of money to train and educate their employees. The importance of training and developing the employees’ skills is rapidly growing.
According to a report published by Docebo, eLearning revenues from Europe are likely to touch $ 8.1 billion by 2016.
Small and mid-sized businesses are finding it easy to provide technology-enabled learning to their employees at affordable prices. Moreover, online courses can be taken anywhere, anytime, and this useful feature helps overcome barriers such as availability of time and space.
Instructional design is the most significant aspect of a good eLearning course. Being an instructional designer or a learning technology professional, you need to design the course in such a way that it should assist the learner in applying what he has learnt to his work.
As we know, every organization follows a set of rules and regulations. Employees need to be trained on those rules and regulations to have a basic knowledge of their standards toward the organization and customers. And, they have a clear understanding of what they can do and what they cannot. So, organizations may not be at risk when their employees know about their legal duties.
E-learning is a cost-effective and an easy way to train employees, when compared to the traditional methods of teaching. So, most of the organizationsare using eLearning to fulfill their training needs. The healthcare industry makes extensive use of the online training medium.
Training managers put a lot of effort while rolling out an eLearning project, as it involves many complex tasks.
As an eLearning professional, I often work with many training managers and admire their managerial skills. It involves a lot of work like training needs analysis, collecting content, dealing with Subject-matter Experts (SMEs) and developing the course for the stakeholders and learners.
Every organization needs to use their resources well to meet business goals and enhance productivity. As we know, the pharmaceutical sector is highly regulated and non-compliance to applicable laws and regulatory norms could be costly. So, you have to train your employees about rules, regulations, standards and recommended guidelines to avoid mistakes.
In my last blog, we have seen how E-learning, webinars and Mobile apps can be used to impart product training. In this blog, we will look at some more methods.
E-learning is the continuous process of learning through electronic media. Instructional design is a systematic process of learning, and this learning facilitates achievement of the intended goals. Many think that instructional design is all about using technology, but this is not the case.
“A major challenge we face today, therefore, is to create a desire in people to learn; and to foster and facilitate this desire throughout their lives.”
- Bryn Holmes(Author, eLearning Concepts and Practice, 2006)