Is your retail training enhancing employee performance?

Employee training is an incredibly important investment. According to Training Magazine’s 2018 Training Industry Report, training expenditures in the USA, including payroll and spending on external products and services, amounted to $87.6 billion.

Spending on outside products and services rose from $7.5 billion to $11 billion, while other training expenditures (i.e. travel, facilities, equipment) decreased from $44.5 billion to $29.6 billion. The decrease in external training expenditures demonstrates the movement away from traditional training methods to digital learning.

But why invest so much money into training? Put simply, enhancing the employee experience improves the customer experience. Knowledgeable, motivated employees can deliver better customer service which, in turn, creates loyal customers and more revenue for an organisation. Other reasons to invest in training are to increase employee retention, boost workplace morale and to save money overall, as losing employees and productivity can be costly.

Monitoring performance vs learning

Training is extremely valuable to the retail industry. One study found that employees who completed one module of training sold 69% more than those who didn’t. In addition to this, associates who completed six or more modules sold 123% more than those who didn’t participate in any training. It’s evident that training has a profound effect on performance, and measuring this is fairly simple:

  • Monitoring employees – simply watching employees interact with customers will be very telling of how they are performing. A satisfied customer will indicate a high performing employee!
  • Customer satisfaction surveys – collecting customer feedback about their store experience will help organisations identify their current problems and decide how best to approach them. They will be able to see if this directly involves their employees.
  • Setting KPIs – every business will have key performance indicators (KPIs) of some kind. Within retail, these could include sales per employee or conversion rate in a store. Directly linking KPIs to your employees will be very telling of their performance.

Monitoring overall performance can be done in a variety of ways, but the real challenge for organisations is pinning whether training has a significant impact on employee performance. As employee training is such a huge investment for industries, including retail, it’s important that these companies can successfully measure training and its effectiveness to see a return on their investment.

Employee learning can be measured effectively through regular assessment and in-depth analytics. Both methods are able to pinpoint certain areas employees are struggling with. Being able to improve and develop their knowledge surrounding these areas will help filter through and enhance their work performance.

What Wranx can offer

In order to make the right investment, organisations should look for an online training provider that can offer multiple features, such as assessment and analytics, to track employee learning. Wranx offers exactly this.

Employee assessments can be created to accompany content modules – these can be either multiple-choice or Certainty Based Marking assessments (CBM). Although multiple-choice appears to be the most standard option, it makes it easier for employees to guess the correct answer. CBM assessments decreases the chance of this, as the learner is required to rate their certainty before selecting the answer. This stimulates a higher level of thinking and creates a more accurate indication of the learners’ knowledge level.

This can be extremely helpful for retail employees, as knowing specific details of a product is a significant part of their role. CBM assessments can help employers determine the level of their employees’ product knowledge and how confident they are with it. Following a month of retail-based learning with Wranx, The North Face® saw 80% of learners improve their CBM score, meaning they could answer questions more accurately and confidently after completing their module. 73% of learners who took the assessments improved in raw knowledge from pre to post-assessment, demonstrating how effective Wranx’s method of Spaced Repetition learning can be in just four weeks.

On the Wranx platform, there is also a separate analytics dashboard. Wranx’s performance analytics displays all the necessary information about employee progress and knowledge levels all in one place. There are separate dashboards for all users, individuals and content. The latter allows a closer look at modules and assessments, where employers could see how many questions have been answered by employees. Employers can further filter data by date, team or division and specific content. This is beneficial for the retail industry as it provides a breakdown of training progress by region and specific stores, enabling them to compare performance levels.

Employee performance is easy to monitor within a retail store – an employee meeting KPIs and sales targets demonstrates that they are performing well. The real challenge is determining the effectiveness of training for employees. Accurate assessments, such as CBM, are a good way to gauge employee knowledge and confidence. Combining this with analytics allows employers to access key data within seconds, helping them to determine knowledge levels and employee engagement in training.

Therefore, investment in an online provider with these specific features will demonstrate its value in the long term. By cross-referencing engagement against performance, the true cost of training is revealed, and the links between training activity and increases in KPIs and revenue or margin will become clearer. At the same time, employees are made to feel valued and their skills are continuously developed, contributing to a company’s success!

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 4 Oct, 2019