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Retail training: are your staff well-equipped for the festive season?

2 Nov 2020 | Lesson Desk Team3 min read

The silly season is once again around the corner for us all and despite the harsh set-backs that this years’ circumstances have brought upon our society; we all want to end off the year on a better note. A key way to do so is by ensuring that your company and employees stand out and are well-equipped for the busyness that the festive season will bring. So, where do you start? The answer is simple – a good dose of quality upskilling!

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a damaging impact on the industries across the globe, leaving many in the current state of recovery. One of these industries, that have relied heavily on technology to survive, is the retail sector. Now, with more and more regulations being relaxed, consumers are returning to brick-and-mortar shopping. This puts a great amount of pressure on the retail industry to ensure that their staff are still able to manage the expectations and requirements of in-store-, as well as online shopping. This means that not only are customer service and communication refresher-training required, but health and safety procedures and -training have never been more important than now.

In addition to this, it will be beneficial for retail companies to re-look the way in which their training content is delivered. Are employees still engaged and interested in training sessions, or are they bored and tired of the way they are learning the information presented to them?

To improve employee engagement and better the Return of Investment (ROI) with training, it is important that employees’ learning material, whether it’s online or paper-based, are of great quality, informative and relevant in order to create excitement, intrigue and eagerness to learn.

When preparing training programmes for the upcoming season, it is essential to find a way to host and distribute training material that can easily be updated to ensure that the process of making future changes is a smooth and seamless task. In the same breath, if retail companies do not have any existing content, they may want to look at a means of delivery, such as an online learning platform, as well as content creation.

In terms of what training is important for when equipping retail staff for the festive season, customer service training is key. This kind of training covers all areas that are imperative for retail employees, such as dealing with customer interactions, requests and complaints effectively, and how to ensure client satisfaction. Training on merchandise, such as proper stocking and packing, also contributes to the overall client experience.

Another important aspect of training to include for the festive season is upselling. This consists of training your staff on how they can upsell on certain products or items. Communication skills are also an important tool in creating great customer service.

Bringing in product training is also paramount as retail staff members need to know the company’s products inside and out in order to effectively sell to customers.

For seasonal hiring, complete and quality onboarding training is critical. This means that all areas are covered in terms of policies, procedures, systems and the product or service itself. Timeous and consistent delivery are important components. Retail companies may want to consider adjusting onboarding for job-specific roles to ensure that staff members are ready for the peak season.

Peak season can be an incredibly stressful time for the retail industry. Therefore, when re-looking at training delivery, online learning is a great option to reduce stress in delivering training without taking away time from productivity and being instore. It also facilitates mobile learning which enables employees to easily access their training via smart phones, tablets or any web-enabled device. You can also adopt a microlearning approach to ensure it takes no longer than fifteen minutes of their time per lesson. With these various training features in today’s market, training can finally be made fun again.

Additional advantages of online learning are that those in charge of facilitating employees’ training can easily update content, report more efficiently and store historical data. Further to that, online training platforms allows training managers or facilitators to easily distribute learning material to hundreds and thousands of staff at a click of a button.

Now more than ever, companies need a competitive edge to effectively get ahead of competitors. With Lesson Desk, businesses can quickly train staff prior and even during the festivities, if critical needs arise, with our unique online Individual and Group Training platforms.

Training can be done using microlearning video lessons to quickly and effectively pass on the required knowledge. With this, each microlearning lesson is accompanied by an assessment that is automatically marked by the system and allows for instant reports to be generated.

This not only saves time from taking staff out of their daily duties but also saves valuable time when it comes to manual marking and analysing data to see if any knowledge gaps exist. Inducting new, or seasonal staff is also simplified as HR staff are able to conduct inductions, as well as training, on Lesson Desk’s training platforms, creating a holistic experience for employees and a streamlined process for the company.

This way, even with the upcoming demand in services and products during the festive season, there is still time to prepare your staff for success!

For more information, contact Lesson Desk at learn@lesssondesk.com or visit our website to request a free demo and ensure that your employees are well-equipped for this year’s festive season.