Although Instagram influencers may have millions of followers, it’s the associates on the sales floor that are the faces of brands on that day, in that moment for the consumer. Yet shockingly, brands and retailers make more investment in getting products and information into the hands of influencers than on those people on the front line.
“When a retail organization thinks about how they compete in a global marketplace and how they engender loyalty from customers and get them to walk into the store, the employee on the floor is incredibly important to the financial success of the organization,” said Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify.
Axonify partnered with research firm Ipsos on their third annual State of Frontline Employee Workplace Training report.
- 31% of all frontline retail employees say they do not receive any formal workplace training.
- For those receiving training, as many as 27% say it isn’t effective because it is too boring and not engaging enough.
- Research shows that, in training sessions, the average person stops listening after 11 minutes.
- The format of retailer training overloads much information in a short period of time. The average person only remembers 7-9% of what they learned 30 days after the session took place.
- Only 41% of frontline workers across industries say their organization offers additional training designed to develop skills for the future, while 76% want such additional training.
- Retail employees rate their training as 55%, slightly below the 58% of manufacturing employees who did the same. Retailers rank well behind two industries in training effectiveness: Professional Sales (70%) and Finance and Insurance (67%).
- 81% of employees say training helps them feel more engaged at work.
“Historically speaking, retailers have lagged in terms of their applications of new technologies, new processes and things that are going to help them be much more competitive,” Ms. Leaman said. “Fortunately, I think it’s changing. They’re being dragged, whether they like it or not, into the present day in the modern world, both because of globally competitive factors and also the changing demographic of their customers and their workforce.”
You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Associates need to have access to the same information a consumer has on their mobile phone in-store. Keeping retail associates engaged requires providing them information instantly on the sales floor in an interesting, Google-like format that provides the information they are seeking.
Download the full Axion State of Frontline Workplace Training Study.
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