Canadian Retailer - Spring 2011 - (Page 46)

| closing time have your say TRAINING STAFF TO EFFECTIVELY USE TECHNOLOGY A s technological innovation continues to advance, many retailers across the country are seizing opportunities to enhance everything from the in-store experience for their customer to the accurate management of their inventory. To ensure that new and existing technology is leveraged most effectively within the retail environment, however, staff training and engagement is critical. Canadian Retailer asked Human Resources professionals how they are training their staff and introducing them to new technologies. CARI GILES Director, Retail Sales, Canada Post Canada Post has a large diverse retail network consisting of corporate and franchise employees spanning from one end of the country to the other. When new technology is introduced or upgraded we offer training in a multitude of formats – self-training guides, computer based, on-the-job and classroom. The training is provided as close as possible to the technology go-live date and is facilitated by internal corporate trainers, peer trainers and/or external suppliers. To support employees with their transition to the use of new technologies we provide a support network consisting of project coordinators, subject matter experts, peer trainers, team leaders, users and a 1-800 helpline. We gauge proper usage and engagement by monitoring system reports and obtaining feedback from trainers, staff, franchise partners, territory managers and customers. The information obtained from reports and feedback is then used to continuously improve our technology and define ongoing training requirements. PATRICK ARMSTRONG Human Resources Retail Training Supervisor, Co-op Atlantic Retailers will benefit from understanding that the generations entering, and currently within our workforce, are very diverse when it comes to their aptitudes and willingness in absorbing new technology. Generations X and Y demand accessibility at the recruiting stages - the ability to email resumes, to fill out online applications, and view employer websites, etc. that their employer of choice is technologically up-to-date on equipment and software. When communication in the workplace is effective, it leads to the employee being more effective in their role, and answers to their need for work-life balance – working from home, job sharing, EAP, etc. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are comfortable with technology but won't necessarily demand for more resources like the younger generations do. They still enjoy, and sometimes prefer, verbal conversations, paper documentation for review, and face-to-face meetings. This is not to say that all Baby Boomers feel this way. Many are environmentally conscious and have embraced technology. As employers, we need to do our best to stay current with technology and trends as it enhances our business, and the customer’s experience. At Co-op Atlantic, our training initiatives still support face-to-face facilitator training, while delivering enhanced knowledge based modules online, to support the expectations of current and future generations. If we cannot satisfy our workforce, by enhancing their knowledge of our business, as well as meeting their expectations, how then can we as retailers expect our customers’ experience to also be enhanced on a consistent basis? JILL JENNINGS Director, Human Resources, West 49 Inc. Because our employee demographic is so youthful, we find that they’re quite savvy with respect to their use and understanding of technologies related to social media and the Internet. They do, however, require training when it comes to office programs like Excel, Word and Outlook. With respect to all other in-house training, we have worked with SkillSoft to develop online modules where employees can learn anytime, anywhere. Success with this new form of training has been great, as our need to travel across the country to all of our stores to train staff has been eliminated. Though, having said that, face-to-face training and engagement is still very much a necessary and appreciated form of training among our staff. Have Your Say — send your thoughts and opinions on this matter to Your insights may be featured within a future issue of Canadian Retailer, or on our website at 46 | canadian retailer | spring 2011 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - Spring 2011

Canadian Retailer - Spring 2011
Table of Contents
Publisher’s Desk
Shop Talk
Mobile Retail
Leadership Series
In Your Best Interest
RCC Forms New Grocery Division
The Titans of Mobile
Promoting Your Brand in the Digital Age
We’re Number 1
Virtually Revolutionizing Online Behaviour
Back to Front
Trending Consumer Behaviour… Online
Dissolving Borders
Advertisers’ Index
Have Your Say

Canadian Retailer - Spring 2011