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Channel Islands' Co-op adopts e-learning

By Retail Technology | Wednesday December 4 2013

Regional co-operative is to roll out online learning across its retail brands to provide staff with ongoing skills and competency training following a successful pilot

The Channel Islands' Co-operative Society (CICS) is to rollout an online learning platform from Upskill People across its food, travel, funeral, garage forecourt and wholesale brands. 

The e-learning platform has already been piloted across head office and three Locale stores and the continued roll out will take place across all food stores in Jersey and Guernsey by spring 2014.

The training aims to provide ongoing skills and competency across five key areas: health and safety; legal/compliance; food hygiene; sales & service and operations. All new CICS employees will be required to undergo essential induction training, while existing employees will be using the online learning system as a refresher.

Digital interactive training 

All stores have a touchscreen installed in the main staff area, which complements the interactive method of training inherent in the provider’s training courses. According to participants of the course, 92% felt the system was easy to use and 79% of participants enjoyed learning in this way and found that the interactive nature helped them to understand and remember the content better. A further 89% agreed that they attained new knowledge and skills from the course.

Donna Abel, head of human resources (HR) at The Channel Islands' Co-operative Society, commented: "Managers like the fact that training is not dependent upon their time and that it is interactive. Online learning provides consistency and minimal impact on instore resourcing, as it easily fits around store shift patterns. 

“Colleague feedback indicates that participants like the format of the courses, they are up-to-date and challenging enough to keep the interest of even our more experienced colleagues and managers. A number of our colleagues have English as a second language, yet they have found the training course intuitive, easy to use and they can learn at their own pace.”

Adding management flexibility 

For those that prefer to learn at home, or on the move, the courses can be accessed from any location, making it easy for participants of the training to choose the best time for them to learn.

From an HR perspective, the learning platform provides the opportunity to train consistently, with little disruption to store operations and reduces administration. This, in turn, allows head office staff to be more proactive and strategic towards the support they provide to stores. 

The ability to be able to access reporting at the touch of a button also means that managers and head office staff have access to meaningful information when they need it. As a result, managers are now more empowered to evaluate their own team training needs and ensure that all new recruits have received basic induction training within two weeks of starting. To date, the courses have had over an 80% uptake.

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