Kasia Lapinska is a Senior Account Manager at Today Translations who works with some of the biggest brands in the retail industry.
If you work in retail, you’ll know it’s pretty hectic, with constantly changing ranges, new promotions and a near-constant staff turnaround.
Of course, retailers are always looking to make cost savings where they can. But we’d all agree that staff training and onboarding are critical, right? So how do you deliver great training without being compromised on costs?
In retail, a little e-learning goes a long way. You can train your staff, regardless of department, with little disruption to their workload. They can even soak up training courses after work, at home on a laptop or tablet.
e-Learning – Cost Savings
With e-learning, there’s no need for staff to travel to courses and pay train fares and hotel fees. And you don’t need to bring in trainers, which can cost you a penny or two and be tough to organise for lots of staff all at once.
This latter point is important. If you’re paying megabucks to a training organisation, you’ll want to fill the room with as many staff as possible to get maximum value. That can, of course, mean that you have very few people actually doing their jobs.
The other aspect is that you’ll want them there all day, so that you don’t have to go through the whole palaver again any time soon.
The result of all this is pure chaos for your retail operation, and your staff get a poor training experience. Learning is always best in bite-sized chunks, with as close to 1:1 teaching as you can get. Trainees should also be able to act on the information quickly in a live environment.
Short, highly focused modules are the way to go.
e-Learning – Retraining
Let’s look at another key consideration. You’ve trained your staff up to their eyeballs, but they’re so well-qualified that another retailer has snapped them up. They’re off, and now you have to train their replacements. More expense.
Or maybe not. With e-learning, once you’ve bought the courses, it’s there for ever, for staff to use whenever they need it, with very little extra cost apart from time.
No wonder as many as 70% of UK companies now use e-learning, and it’s a market that’s worth around $100 billion.
What else? UK companies are taking on people from all corners of the Earth, many attracted to cool, multicultural London. Six-and-a-half million of them are in the UK at the last count. You can’t book a trainer and expect him to deliver a course in 16 languages all at once.
What you can do is have a suite of e-learning materials ready translated so that your foreign staff can hit the ground running.
e-Learning – Good for Global Brands
Companies are also outsourcing more and more. That means it’s vital that companies can train their staff easily, wherever they are. It makes far more sense to have your materials ready-translated and available in an e-learning format than employing a trainer in every country.
Indeed, multinational Japanese manufacturing company Shimano’s e-learning platform userbase increased 588% after localising for ten regions.
e-Learning also allows staff to learn at their own pace. That might be important culturally – not every nation learns in the same way.
But perhaps the best reason to bring in e-learning is that it allows for corporate uniformity. Six different trainers in different countries might teach in six different ways, with differences in the information they convey. With e-learning, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing all your staff are learning the same things.