While most retail decision makers recognise the importance of training, it seems that many have underestimated the amount of guidance that associates need when it comes to smart technology. We recently surveyed 1,000 associates and 250 decision makers about their attitudes to smart technology. Training turned out to be a major area of disagreement:
- 84% of decision makers believe that associates have received enough training to use smart technology effectively.
- But 35% of associates feel that they need more guidance to use these devices with confidence.
- 31% of associates feel that head office doesn’t understand the challenges they face.
- 41% believe that decision makers don’t consider their needs when implementing smart technology.
With so many seasonal and casual associates in the retail sector, it’s no surprise that retail decision makers are struggling to keep up with training. Luckily, we have a solution. Our devices can be used to train associates without work being interrupted, making it easy to bring new hires up to speed. Here’s how.
The smart revolution is leaving associates behind
Whether it’s contactless payments or self-service checkouts, new technology has a way of transforming retail. Smart technology is the latest addition, and it may be the most significant change of all.
Retail smart devices have been around for a while, but the pandemic sped up their adoption significantly. Fast service became a matter of public safety, and smart technology was the easiest way to provide it. Since 2020, the number of in-store smart devices has exploded, and this trend shows no sign of slowing:
- 45% of associates now use smart technology at least twice a day
- 71% of senior decision makers are planning to implement more smart technology in the next year
Decision makers should be praised for embracing the future, but installing smart devices is only the beginning. In order for new technology to make a difference, associates need the skills to use it properly. This is where many stores are falling short.
Poor training leads to poor retention
Our survey results are typical of general attitudes towards training. Another study found that, across all industries, 40% of employees will leave a job in the first 12 months if they don’t receive sufficient training. With one in five retail associates already planning to quit, neglecting training could be a costly mistake.
In order to keep associates happy and engaged, you need to provide meaningful training around smart devices. An introductory classroom session is a good start, but it’s not enough. For training to be truly effective, it has to be practical and ongoing. This is where we can help:
- Headsets let you provide hands-on training to multiple associates at once.
- Associates can shadow senior team members while they perform their usual tasks. Headsets are hands-free, so experienced associates can explain these tasks without pausing their work.
- Full-duplex technology means that associates can speak and listen at the same time. This gives training a conversational feel, making it less intimidating for associates to ask questions.
- Our conference feature lets you set up multiple channels. You can dedicate an entire channel to smart technology support, allowing inexperienced associates to speak to experts in a matter of seconds.
35% of associates are afraid of being replaced by technology, even though 85% of decision makers consider them to be irreplaceable. By providing personalized training and ongoing support, you can show your team that they have nothing to fear. Download our report to find out more.