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4 Tips for Effective Employee Training in Retail

By: Gary Iles on August 23, 2017


Don’t look now, but summer’s almost over, which means you’ll be hiring holiday staff soon and your training will need to be on-point. Here’s four recommendations that we’ve found for effective employee training and modern learning techniques in retail, whether seasonal or full-time employees..

1. Keep training simple

We’ve all had the frustration of not understanding something in class, and just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, there’s another thing to learn. Separate each lesson and communicate what skill or tactic will be taught so that the trainee knows up front that they will have all the information by the end of the segment. Clear, self-contained lessons give the learner a feeling of accomplishment when completed, which then encourages your staff to want to learn more.

2. Microlearning

Microlearning helps keep training simple by limiting lesson content to a brief video or graphic. The concept of microlearning is relatively new to corporate learning and development but it’s a valuable tool as it doesn’t overwhelm with lots of details. Instead, microlearning delivers targeted knowledge into their hands without having to spend significant time in lengthy training sessions off the sales floor. Moreover, retention from detached training sessions is dismal, with people typically remembering only 40% of what was learned just the day before.


The ubiquity and low cost of Mobile Devices have contributed to the rise of microlearning. Mobile eLearning allows your staff to keep up on product knowledge where and when they need it, which is often on the sales floor. Instead of disengaging from a customer which could potentially lose the sale, putting access to product information and service details in their hands keeps the employee in dialogue and positions them as having all the answers.

4. Feedback

Provide specific and timely feedback to individual employees after training sessions. Generalized feedback to a group leads to people disregarding the information, thinking it’s not about them. Discussing training results and outcomes with staff members soon after the lesson ends lets them know that you’re paying attention to them and their development, further boosting their engagement levels.

To recap, straightforward microlearning tutorials on mobile devices followed shortly by detailed feedback in a one-on-one session encourages your staff, which increases their engagement. Employees who feel involved in the success of the business are much less likely to leave, which further reduces hiring and training costs, a result that your executives and finance department are sure to love.

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