Online Retail and Hospitality Training

Online Retail and Hospitality Training – Why mLearning May Not Work!

Happy and motivated employees often create successful organizations, especially in the retail and hospitality industry. Here their role

Happy and motivated employees often create successful organizations, especially in the retail and hospitality industry. Here their role is critical in ensuring customer satisfaction and drive value. Businesses with a strong learning culture enjoy 30-50% higher employee engagement and retention rates than those that don’t. It is also true that in industries like retail and hospitality, empowering and equipping employees with the right skills is essential to create an outstanding customer experience. Although modern training programs can positively drive organizational revenue, contrary to popular belief – online retail and hospitality training through mLearning initiatives may not deliver the expected results. Let’s find out why!

What makes online retail and hospitality training different?

The retail and hospitality industries are extremely fast-paced and are characterized by several distinct features that make them very different from others.

Retail

Hospitality

With customers becoming increasingly demanding, employees have to constantly be trained on the latest in the market – technology, processes, marketing tactics etc. Attrition levels are extremely high, that makes training employees a challenging task.
As eCommerce cuts into the brick and mortar retail market, demotivation and dissatisfaction among retail employees is ever-present. The fast-paced nature of the industry offers very little time for skill upgrade and training.
Since many retail jobs are entry-level, training generally focuses on getting them ready for the job as quickly as possible, and not on honing their skills for the long term. Because a large part of the workforce is temporary, investing in training programs is, at best, a temporary measure.
With employees expected to possess a variety of skills – from product knowledge to communication skills, product availability to customer service, business awareness to selling skills – training every employee on every skill is not easy. Since the workforce comprises people from various educational backgrounds, they have to be trained on myriad different skills
As large retail organizations set up stores across geographies, getting together all employees for a training session is not possible. Considering the fact that employees are distributed across several locations, offering a unified training program is a herculean task.
During Thanksgiving and Christmas, seasonal workers constitute a major portion of the workforce. This is a training challenge in terms of timing as well as scale. With a sizeable population working part-time, expecting them to take up training courses after their work hours is not feasible.
Multi-location retail employees also have to be trained on the appropriate language skills – which is extremely time-consuming. With the regulatory and compliance landscape getting more and more complex, regularly training employees on new requirements is challenging.
With customer experience being one of the most critical factors for success, employees have to constantly be trained on innovative marketing, communication, and customer service techniques. As new jobs are being created at an alarmingly high rate and employees are expected to be multi-taskers, providing the required training to every new employee is quite a task.
As new products keep coming in, training every employee on the features of every product is certainly an arduous task. With a large percentage of the workforce comprising millennials, training has to be extremely engaging, intuitive and interesting.

Why mLearning will fail?

Due to the distinct characteristics of retail training and hospitality training, both face several hurdles and challenges. mLearning has been thought of as a natural training avenue in this scenario -after all, everyone has a smartphone, this lends itself well to self-learning, and content can be made fun and engaging. But there is a high chance that mLearning will fail.

Here’s why. Despite the fact that online retail and hospitality training through mLearning courses can be accessed from any device and from any location, a vast majority of retail and hospitality establishments have stringent guidelines around the use of mobile devices during work hours. Since success in these industries depends on the effectiveness of interpersonal communication and customer service, employees cannot be glued to their mobile phones when they are actually supposed to be interacting with or servicing customers.  Most organizations do not permit the use of mobile hours during work hours – employees can only access them before or after work, or during breaks. Also, since most workers are paid by the hour -the organizations cannot expect them to access training materials over the phone on their own time.

With such restrictions on mobile phone usage, offering an mLearning training program is potentially a recipe for disaster. Instead, opting for other forms of online retail and hospitality training that can be accessed on computers and personal PCs is a better option. Making these workers train outside their usual working hours definitely sounds bad; but, is there another solution to this? Training cannot be downplayed for any reason, if your employees are being paid for the services they offer, it is important that they offer their best. And, this can only be achieved through training.

What you can do?

We all agree that eLearning is an indispensable part of every retail and every hospitality organizations training strategy. That said, a solution to the mLearning problems is to offer a modern, mobile-like interface on a dedicated PC or a tablet for training. These are also online retail and hospitality training solutions; it is just that they aren’t mLearnign or mobile learning.

  • By providing every employee with a distinct login, you can enable individual access to training content and resources based on their convenience and availability.
  • You can include all levels of content across all jobs and enable high responsiveness through the use of modern eLearning elements like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), microlearning, gamification, machine learning and analytics and more.
  • Through constant updating, you can align the training program to suit the needs of the role and the market, while simultaneously making training flexible and efficient.
  • Employees across departments and locations can log in on the dedicated device whenever they get time and complete the courses that have been assigned to them.
  • Personalized notifications and alerts can remind employees to take the upcoming course, be on top of their work, and ensure great customer experiences.
  • Such self-directed courses can enable staff to learn at their own pace and reach learning objectives in their own time.
  • Using self-assessment tools, employees can even receive instant feedback and drive focus on improving in areas that need more attention.

With the retail and hospitality industries working 24×7, an eLearning approach like this is the best way to enhance the skills of your workforce and get trained on their job most efficiently. It’s mLearning -just not as you know it!

At eNyota we provide multiple online retail and hospitality training options for your organization to choose from. We believe in guiding our customers along the right path, and ensuring your success is our foremost priority. Do drop us a mail at contacus@enyotalearning.com or click here and one of our representatives will connect with you to better understand your needs.CTA_Banner

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