Anyone who has experience will tell you that the retail market (as opposed to manufacturing, health care or government/education) is very unique. When planning a Workforce Timekeeper upgrade or implementation, a critical aspect of the overall success and adoption of the system is application/system training; a top consideration should be: How can Workforce Timekeeper training be adapted to the retail environment? This is by no means an in-depth blog entry, but more of a quick review, the main ideas expressed here can be used to develop something more individualized for a retail organizations individual needs. So let's start:

RETAIL EMPLOYEES TRAINING ON WORKFORCE TIMEKEEPER ARE UNIQUE...YET THE SAME

Retail is generally a fast-paced environment where exceptional customer service (usually face-to-face customer service) is vital to success. Sam Walton believed it, he put a “greeter” at every one of his stores to prove it. If you happen into a QT service station, you will be greeted (often quite loudly) by every employee that sees you enter—Customer Service! The ability to respond to customer needs is what makes retail so unique.  Unlike other markets, retail customers are serviced quickly. Their view of an organization is often dependent upon a single experience. It is important that retail employees can meet this need. Basically, retail employees are charged with serving the needs of the customer, and that takes up a lot of their time. They generally don't have the time to delve into a time management system thoroughly. 

Often, retail employees are younger in age which means that technology typically isn't considered a threat. Even older retail employees are familiar with using technology, having to ring up sales. Because of this, these employees are much more comfortable using either a terminal, or a kiosk to record time, review accrual balances or request time off than users in other vertical markets.  

Basically, you have a workforce that is familiar with technology, willing to use it, but with limited time.  Workforce training should accommodate these needs.  

TIME IS LIMITED, TRAINING MUST BE IMPACTFUL AND TO THE POINT! 

Courses for retail employees should be quick; often before or after a shift. Generally a 15 to 20 minute course is needed to present the information that these employees must learn to use the system adequately. On the job training is an excellent solution if available. Job aids are also valuable for this type of learning, however if classroom based learning is used, make sure that a manual designed for quick reference (no more than two pages per task incorporating images, steps and expected results) is used. 

CUSTOMIZATION IS ALWAYS SUGGESTED, AND SHOULD BE USED HERE TOO!

Customize training as much as possible. Even when creating a lean, process based curriculum, there will be plenty of opportunities to introduce specific organizational policies and procedures. Don't miss this opportunity. Remember, you don't often get employees in one place, take advantage of it!

REFRESH, REFRESH, REFRESH!

Turnover in retail organizations is often higher than in other vertical markets. With this in mind, training should not be a point in the timeline, something to be planned, managed and completed. Training should be considered an ongoing effort—it’s an ongoing journey. Deliverables should be continually updated as changes are made to policy, or to the configuration of the Workforce Timekeeper application.  Employees should have the opportunity to visit a "Subject Matter Expert" to ask questions and get impromptu training for areas in which they need to grow. The idea of workshop hours is a good one in retail environments. Certain training resources open their calendars for two to four hours a week so that employees can contact them with questions, or visit them and spend face-to-face time mastering tasks that may have caused confusion in the past. 

One very important idea in training these retail employees is that of time. Keep training to the point, show them only what they need, and follow through post training to ensure true user adoption.  Hopefully this will ensure success in your Kronos implementation!


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