There are several key components that must work together to deliver a best-in-class L&D program, and there are very few L&D platforms that can handle all of them. In our post on May 26, titled “Why Rewards-based Learning and Development Programs Work Better”, we started breaking down those components. Today we continue the discussion by focusing on training content, and the top factors impacting training content engagement at the store level.
When speaking of training content, it is important to note that there is a fundamental shift that needs to happen at the retailer level in order to maximize training engagement at the store level - and that is for retailers to start looking at their employees as consumers of content, rather than as subjects to train. This is important because we’ve already learned that consumers won’t engage if the wrong content is served the wrong way or in the wrong medium, and retail employees won’t either.
We’ve learned that once this is in place, the following factors can be optimized and leveraged to drive high training content engagement and retention, given your L&D platform can handle it.
The average store associate’s attention span is about one to two minutes these days, especially if you are trying to engage them while on the sales floor. The relatively low attention span is mainly driven by the typical in-store environment and by conditioning, coming from consuming almost all information on smartphones and through mobile apps, including social media apps, where most content is bite-sized.
Attention span varies a bit by content type, but overall, serving content in longer increments does not add much value. This understanding has to shape your focus, content development and best practices on micro-learning, where content should be delivered in 30-90 second snippets, allowing store associates to engage incrementally at their own pace.
Getting “sticky” in the mind of the store associate is about driving varying impressions as often as possible, not about keeping their attention as long as possible, only once in a while. For example, training on a particular product works better when the most important points that a store associate needs to remember get reinforced often, over time and at a steady pace. This is where the ability to release new and reinforce current content at high velocity makes a huge difference in driving competence, retention and confidence in a subject.
Content fatigue is a real challenge in digital engagement. Ability to deliver a message in a variety of ways through different content types and channels is very important in offsetting fatigue and driving retention. For example, training on a subject can begin with a short push notification that opens a micro-learning course. The course can contain alternating modules, including a 30-second video, rich text with images, and interactive elements. More push notifications can later drive attendance of a short live virtual event with an expert on the subject matter, then a forum post reinforcing key takeaways and links to reference tools that employees can use in their day-to-day interactions with customers. Some people may retain more from the videos, others from the virtual events or the bite-sized text material, but all people will benefit from the repeated and frequent exposure to varying content delivery vehicles.
Bringing it all together.
Bottom line, there are many avenues you can take when devising or fine-tuning your store personnel L&D strategy. Not all are created equal, or even possible without the right technology solution.
SellPro is the retail employee training, engagement and rewards platform specifically designed to bring together effective micro-learning, gamification, rewards, virtual events, sales tools and real-time communication in a single experience. Learn more.
Want more retail training insights? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Training Retail Employees.
Written by Kristian F. Beloff
We write to help you train retail personnel better and increase retail sales. Sign up to get notified every time we post something new.