Three tips for training in retail

Cape Town, 14 March 2018:  Training in the retail sector can be challenging when needing to upskill staff across various business divisions, with different qualifications and experience levels and sometimes a vastly different appetite for personal development.

Three key learnings emerged for Kelvin Wheatley, Spar’s Human Resources Development Manager, when he was faced with the challenge of designing training for 1100 people at the Spar distribution centers in Gauteng.

“In addition to fulfilling training needs within the business, I wanted to create more awareness of training and HR Training department and the services they offered,” said Wheatley.

His experience had been a very low uptake of training in the past with people having little time and staff bored with regular classroom training.  “We pursued a micro-learning model of bite-sized, attention-grabbing lessons that are easy to access and apply directly in the workplace. Micro content means our learning programmes will keep up with business priorities, no matter how fast things change,” he added.

Research from the pilot project identified the following tips for training in retail:

1. Make learning fun and engaging

Integrate social media, infographics and humour into the training and the surrounding communication.  E-Learning is not a silver bullet alone, other training interventions can also be included in the offering to cover all the core business functions.

2. Use of micro-learning

Using the Grovo platform, staff had to complete 32 micro-videos in three months, covering subjects as varied as business communication.

3. Create an appetite for learning

Due to the awareness created by the Microlearning Pilot Project, our applications for bursaries nearly doubled for 2018.

According to Deidre Gouws, Senior Consultant at Eiffel Corp providers of Micro-learning training solutions in Africa, the Spar pilot project has provided a solid foundation for designing training per department for 2018.