Posted on 18th September, 2017 by Ben Miller
In the retail sector, a culture of practical learning is something most L&D teams strive to create. Theoretical training can have an important role to play in retail, but when employees see that they can apply knowledge directly, it increases the likeliness that they will find the material meaningful and remember it. Blended learning is a great way to flow learning content into a programme tailored to the areas you want your workforce to become confident in.
LEO Learning’s podcast on blended learning puts the retail sector front and centre, and offers expert advice about the elements you can add to a blend to create the ideal learning programme for your organisation, as well as equipping your employees with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
Blended learning is specific to each organisation
An effective blend will combine techniques that specifically support the different needs of your organisation. While a video of best practice, for example, is a powerful learning tool in its own right, it is substantially enhanced when it is supported by practical, step-by-step demonstrations, or a buddy system to help employees when they are on the shop floor.
As the podcast discusses, blended learning can incorporate any manner of learning assets, tailored to the needs of the organisation seeking a solution. A blended learning approach could consist of a series of webinars or a game, with the key issues discussed in a face-to-face seminar.
The philosophy of blended learning is that one size does not fit all learners, and the perfect blend can differ widely between businesses. Learning programmes in retail usually need to be provided to a large and disparate group of workers.
These employees tend to work at different hours and be time-poor, so one of the obvious benefits of a blended learning approach for retail is giving people the option to access content on their preferred platforms, straight into their hands at a time and place that suits them.
Better still, giving employees an easy way to access learning should lead to them actively looking for and consulting the training resources you provide as part of a high-quality programme, rather than just having it ‘pushed’ to them.
Creating a culture of learning
Learning works best when it’s varied and dynamic in nature. Through clever design and relatable content, a blended learning course will give your learners the desire to keep expanding their knowledge across numerous platforms.
A key part of achieving this, as our expert, LEO Learning Programme Manager Sophie Ryde, explains, is choosing the right authoring tool and tone of voice. It’s also vital to ensure that learning has responsive design – meaning it looks great on any device.
There are a few challenges you are likely to face in the process of creating effective blended learning, and the podcast, ‘How to create blended learning programmes for the retail sector’, takes a concise look at a few of them, including the need to provide flexibility, localisation and content translation in different languages where required.
For L&D teams, being able to curate learning content well is an important skill, as it helps to ensure that employees know where to find the material they need and how to access it quickly.
It can also allow them to catch up on new learning, even if they are on the move and offline, and for issues to be clarified and explored in greater depth.
How can you get the blend right?
Effective blended learning can enhance employees’ emotional readiness to learn, offer incentives to improve their performance, provide feedback to guide behaviour change and help supervisors and management to become better mentors.
The podcast is essential listening for anyone looking to take the first steps towards the perfect blend. Whether you want to explore bite-sized learning, virtual classrooms or gamification, make sure you listen to LEO Learning’s uncomplicated introduction to the opportunities provided by blended learning in the retail sector.