Educating in-store associates on the store environment can enable retailers to provide a unique brand experience that differentiates from competitors and fosters customer loyalty.
Bi-Lo Holdings, parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie supermarkets, has adopted the Axonify e-Learning program to engage and mobilize employees on a daily basis. The company is still in the process of developing the platform and expects to roll out the pilot program in March 2015.
With the Axonify platform, Bi-Lo Holdings seeks to tie learning to metrics, specifically around revenue, customer service scores, shrink and incident rates. Axonify designed its platform to deliver a learning experience that is consistent across all three Bi-Lo Holdings supermarket chains, advancing the organization’s goals of providing one unified brand voice. One advantage of the Axonify platform is its ability to engage retail associates to learn industry best practices voluntarily.
“I need for employees to be what I call 80% ready to go,” Sinclair said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “For example, if a prior manager didn’t do their job correctly, than I already have a more competent employee coming out of this program that would be able to fill that void. We prefer an employee that understands this process versus someone who either wasn’t trained or took the job but couldn’t retain the information provided in their traditional learning process.”
A major feature of the e-Learning platform is its gamification capabilities, which enable the associate to learn using tablet devices. By answering work-related questions correctly throughout the game, associates can win reward points and potentially redeem them for prize items. The gamification process serves as a motivational tactic for these associates, according to Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify.
“Using that kind of experience or desire on the part of an individual and incorporating that into a corporate purpose is a way to have consistency or extend the consumer experience into the enterprise,” Leaman said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The fact that it’s fun and very fast mimics that personal experience, but interestingly, employees quite often say to us that one of the key reasons they love the platform is because they see their personal learning path and they understand that they’re actually learning things. When people feel knowledgeable, it translates into confidence on the job, and when they’re confident they do better and they get recognized for it.”
Not only does the Bi-Lo team expect to motivate the in-store associates to learn more, it also expects to measure the effectiveness of in-store promotions and test compliance issues on a store-to-store basis
“We’re using this differently for end-to-end training, which isn’t exactly how Axonify opened the platform, and it still works for us,” Sinclair stated. “We’re actually using this not just to reinforce something we want them to know, but for a bigger talent management need, such as knowing how to get a cashier up and running.”