Last updated: 06-05-2018

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Change is constant, and it certainly holds true for today’s retail industries that continues to bolster at a brisk pace. This, in turn, results in the need for employees to constantly upskill, adapt and evolve. Employees must keep up with the current trend to deliver in their roles. The contemporary retail workspace is characterized by relatively young employees who are restless, overwhelmed and distracted. They are busy meeting stringent deadlines and constantly trying to keep up with their ever-changing roles and responsibilities. With this being said, the question that pops up is that where is the “time” to learn and upskill? How can the employee learning experience be improved in such an environment of implacable stress?

For retail sector, it is not only the compliance and product training that is required. Being in this sector and succeeding in it requires training in an array of soft skills such as communication, selling techniques, ensuring customer satisfaction, etc. Along with this, several technical skills are also essential, such as financial knowledge for handling cash in stores and keeping sale records, carrying out various store operations etc. Even a slight mistake in any of these areas can lead to huge losses.

Skill development in retail industry is challenging and the key challenge is rapidly changing product offerings and delivering the need to offer “Just-in-time” learning to the employees. Now, enters microlearning. Microlearning doesn’t necessarily refer to breaking down classroom training manuals into short nugget-sized modules. It offers the learners focused and practical information to help them achieve a specific and actionable objective.

So, how can small-nugget sized practical information help the retail employees? Let’s have a look at a few microlearning strategies.

People love seeing, interacting and experiencing things. We are more likely to be drawn to something interactive than to something static.

As the sales force is always on the move in retain industry it will be difficult for them to sit on a desktop and to log into company LMS and to complete a module, instead, the company can develop interactive videos. Also, the retail industry has a lot of physical tasks to be performed on the floor which can be converted into simple interactive videos. This hand-holds the employees through various scenarios they might face on the job

Cheat sheets can be used for employees to immediately access the data before performing an operation. For example, a factory engineer can use the cheat sheet to recall the standard operating procedures to start the machine. Likewise, checklists can be used by the engineer to check the safety precautions before operating the machine.

People retain information better if they if you have an emotional connection with the thing being learned. Create small and simple stories or situations learners can relate to. This helps with retaining the knowledge but also with understanding it better. Be careful not to overcomplicate things, it’s easy to get carried away with small details and forget what the learning objectives were supposed to be in the first place. For example, explaining certain scenarios information security or sharing of passwords, this is one of the best-known methods.

Creating exciting, yet informative, eLearning experiences for learners can be a challenging feat even for the most knowledgeable and experienced eLearning professionals. Learning cards have been the go-to tools for educators, as they help to prevent cognitive overload and make the learning experience enjoyable.

In the retail industry, delivering training content for workplace safety in digestible and specific nuggets can help them act fast in case of an emergency. Also, job-aids in the form of learning cards can be provided to improve knowledge retention.

40% of retail employees say that they do not have time for traditional Learning and Development programs. Microlearning thus provides segments of short information that can be provided as the main training courses with better accessibility for the employees to improve their skills while taking up as little of their time as possible. In the modern fast-paced, tech-centric world utilizing microlearning enables effective, distraction-free retention of content using smaller segments.

Microlearning and mobile devices are like bread and butter—they just belong together.

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