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Microlearning in retail: How two retail organizations successfully employed microlearning for their frontline teams

Over 83% of shoppers believe they’re more knowledgeable than sales associates. 

How can the frontline workforce deliver excellent in-store customer experience and value to these shoppers and drive sales? 

We are living in an era where the pace of change is the fastest it has ever been. The ever-evolving technology compels businesses to adapt and maintain their competitive advantage while becoming more resilient. 

How does the retail industry, which has been grappling with a high attrition rate, stay ahead in this highly competitive landscape?

Here’s an example of a leading pharmacy retail chain – Wellness Forever, that fosters a culture that promotes and provides continuous learning to teams that work apart.

Founded in 2008, Wellness Forever has more than 200 stores across Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka and has 4000+ employees.

Let’s look at the challenges that led the company to employ microlearning for its frontline teams: 

  • While they already had an L&D solution in place, multiple factors deterred the effectiveness of the platform, like it was time-consuming, expensive, and non-scalable.
  • When upskilling and right skilling is the need of the hour, the company hadn’t yet adopted change management and learning culture. 

Here’s how Disprz works with Wellness Forever to solve these challenges and accelerates their time to productivity

  • Faster onboarding: A 30-day onboarding process and knowledge assimilation, the platform initiated KPI-driven digital learning after the first 30 days
  • Personalized learning: AI-driven Microlearning on how to stock up medicines, prescribe the right drugs, etc., through bite-sized lessons and flashcards.
  • User-generated content: Employees were encouraged to create content for their colleagues to inspire and instill a learning culture. 

Tackling these challenges helped the team achieve these key outcomes & benefits: 

  • Reduced in-class training time from 5 days to 2 days per store per month
  • More than 80% completion rate across stores
  • Faster onboarding – within 30 days

Understanding the employees’ skill gaps and keeping the industry requirements in mind, the retail chain initiated and implemented KPI-driven digital learning for all employees and is now successfully skilling its always-on-the-move workforce.

Microlearning in retail

Just like Wellness Forever, other companies like Amazon and Delhivery have also realized the power of microlearning to formulate and validate new strategies and improve the frontline team’s performance.

They personalize the learning pathway and create varied learning experiences with ILT, microlearning, webinars, and Free Web Content (YouTube, etc.)

What makes microlearning an ideal fit for the retail workforce? 

  • The learning content is bite-sized and usually shorter than 20 minutes
  • Engaging mobile-driven learning modules
  • Fast, fresh information discourse; just-in-time learning aids in the field or at the workplace
  • Self-paced learning
  • Improves retention by nearly 25-60%
  • Facilitates feedback and positive reinforcement
  • Direct impact on performance
  • Competitive advantage

Microlearning and digital talent transformation during COVID-19

The pandemic has put healthcare workers in the limelight. The unprecedented crisis made it imperative to listen to the team, keep them in the loop, and teach them to cope with unusual scenarios. 

Coming back to our example, here’s how Wellness Forever tackled this challenge:

The fear of the pandemic made both the consumer and the employees extremely anxious. The retail chain stores across India saw a 40% growth in monthly business because of Covid-19. 

The sudden spike in business volume affected productivity since they could not operate standard procedures, which created a lot of confusion.

To ensure productivity and address its employees’ concerns, the company launched a 6-week journey, “Taming anxiety and hacking your way into productivity,” in collaboration with Disprz.

This journey included:

  • Mandatory 10-mins learning every day for the next six weeks
  • 10-mins Learning included different experience every day – 
    • Microlearning, Live webinar, Live chat for concerns, and Assessment
  • Weekly hero stories on key achievement by frontline employees during these unprecedented time (recommended by Store Manager)
  • Fortnightly live address by the CEO of the company to empower and motivate the employees

Leveraging microlearning for their frontline teams, Wellness Forever successfully engaged, educated, and motivated its employees during the pandemic. 

Employing microlearning to track learning impact 

According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, Microlearning makes the transfer of learning from the classroom to the desk 17% more efficient.

So how can organizations track these learning metrics and their impact? 

This was one of the most significant challenges faced by Chaayos, a chain of retail stores that sells flavored tea across India. In addition to the lack of mobile or scalable learning platforms to disseminate product knowledge to employees and time-consuming training procedures. 

Founded in 2012, Chaayos has 52 stores across the country and has 1100 employees. 

Here’s how Chaayos trains its workforce in the flow of work, reduces time and costs of training, with the help of Disprz: 

  • A mobile learning platform helps build a personalized progression journey mapped for each employee
  • Offering quick access to product knowledge through video-based micro-learning resources
  • Real-time analytics tracks progress, enabling trainers to keep track of learning completion through leaderboard scores and metrics (like learning agility score)

Here’s how implementing microlearning helps Chaayos achieve its key outcomes: 

  • On any given day, there are 500 active users (900 users overall) on the learning platform
  • Completion ratio of 77%, higher than the industry average
  • Ease of assessments and analysis through metrics and scores

Chaayos now offers 1200 personalized chai options. Disprz’ platform facilitated constant learning and upskilling, helping the Chaayos team structure their training programs in a timely and transparent manner, improving retention while keeping track of the direct impact on KPIs and performance. 

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