Implementing Effective Training Programs In Your Business

I have been a retail trainer for close to 30 years and probably trained in excess of 10,000 people personally in that time. What I have learnt over those many years is why some training works and other training doesn’t – here are my top four tips for making your training effective:

1) Make all content relevant, so participants can easily work out how they can apply what they learned in their workplace. If participants have to spend time working out how to apply the content in their workplace, you’ve lost them. That’s the biggest issue with books and videos, the reader/viewer has to work out how to best apply the information and examples provided.

2) Training has to be fun and interactive. Powerpoint has often spelt the death of many training courses. Most retailers we train spend so little time sitting down during their working day, how can we then expect them to learn by just watching a series of slides?

3) Senior management has to buy in and be involved. This sends such a powerful message to store managers and their teams if senior management is involved. They also get to see what their teams are learning and understand some of the challenges their team will face back in the store.

Every time we have senior management involvement, the uptake of the training is much higher and this converts to better buy in at the frontline.

4) Training is just the start, the real work happens when participants leave. As training is all about getting participants to change various behaviours, learning is the first step. When participants return to their store and put in place what they have learned, that’s when training has been successful. However, training needs to be followed up back in the store and this follows up needs to continue on an ongoing basis.

Because of point 3) above, we insist that at the very least Area/Regional managers are fully involved in the training process. They need to attend the training and we spend time with them afterward, back in stores, helping them to follow up with their managers. By providing additional training to these key people, this ensures store managers and their team are supported in making positive changes on an ongoing basis.

I hope these four points help to better improve your training processes as I’m passionate that the right training will help to make a massive difference to our valuable customers. And that’s what retail is all about.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.