Personalised learning for everyone
Traditional top-down training has its place, but colleague-led learning can be a valuable addition. Retailers have had to operate flexibly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, adapting team sizes and roles. As we look to the next fiscal year, a key challenge ahead will be training and onboarding colleagues at pace.
A self-led approach empowers colleagues by encouraging them to set training goals. This is more in line with the way we learn outside of work; the internet has enabled people to pursue skills and knowledge independently. Studies show that 69% of colleagues will autonomously seek out better ways of performing their jobs, and 66% expect to access training information immediately.
Personalised learning is a better fit for modern working styles., meaning new colleagues can join teams on a rolling basis. By allowing colleagues to learn as they work, we speed up onboarding without having to remove colleagues from the shop floor. This approach allows newer colleagues to learn from more experienced team members. A recent study found that 87% of companies who pair up fresh hires with experienced colleagues notice an improvement in proficiency.
Supporting temporary colleagues
While the pandemic has caused job losses in many industries, retail has bucked the trend. Tesco responded to the first lockdown by hiring 16,000 new colleagues, all of whom were given permanent roles in August. Overall, 80% of retail businesses took on more temporary colleagues than usual this year.
With a constant influx of new colleagues, a more flexible approach to training is needed. The pressure of meeting customer demands makes it impossible to remove colleagues for extended training sessions, so on the job training is a must. This is trickier than usual as social distancing measures make it difficult for newer colleagues to shadow more experienced team members. The solution is better team communication.
Team communication and faster onboarding
VoCoVo is all about connecting colleagues. Whether they are in the same room, at opposite ends of the store, or in different parts of the country. By providing a clear channel of communication, regardless of physical distance, our technology gives you a whole new range of onboarding options.
Our headsets enable immediate crystal clear communication between colleagues. Unlike a walkie talkie, audio flows in both directions thanks to duplex technology. This allows for a more natural conversation, as colleagues can speak and listen at the same time.
This natural feel is a huge help when it comes to training. Newer colleagues can ask for advice without it feeling like an imposition. At the push of a button, they can connect with more experienced colleagues anywhere in the store. This allows you to carry out practical training without sacrificing social distancing. It also improves efficiency as experienced colleagues can perform training remotely while performing other activities.
Headsets also allow you to conduct socially distanced team meetings. Managers can address the entire team at once without the need to congregate in the same room. This ensures that newer colleagues don’t miss any important updates, as well as helping them to feel part of the team.
Finally, headsets give colleagues access to personalised voice reminders. These are automated messages that can be set to play at a given time. This allows you to remind newer colleagues of their tasks without taking away their sense of autonomy. VoCoVo is also developing a personalised message casting feature. This will allow you to set individual task lists for each colleague, further personalising the onboarding process.
VoCoVo headsets also allow you to perform more specific training via the conference feature. You can create a conference with a selected group of colleagues, allowing them to communicate amongst themselves on a separate channel. Newer colleagues can switch between conferences based on the area of expertise they require. Once again, this empowers colleagues to take control of their own training. If they feel that they are struggling with a particular task, they can tune in to the appropriate conference and get advice from the relevant experts. It’s the workplace equivalent of searching for an instructional video on Youtube.
With an uncertain few months ahead, flexible hiring will be vital for retailers. By using technology to focus on shared learning, you can train newer colleagues faster and more effectively.