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Add This to Your Retail Training for Better Associate Engagement

 
1/31/22

Retail Sales Training ProgramTraining programs can do a lot to improve your bottom line and empower your team to increase sales. However, they're not going to have an impact unless your associates are engaged.

An estimated 41% of employees believe that boring and monotonous training courses discourage learning. A Gallup survey from early 2021 found that only 36% of U.S. employees are actively engaged in their jobs.

These are only two of many statistics showing there is plenty of room for improvement in employee engagement. Fortunately, there's a lot that you can do to ensure that your team doesn't fall within those statistics. 

Infusing Fun into Retail Training

You can't deny that transforming the learning process into a fun endeavor makes a difference. There are studies throughout history demonstrating the effectiveness of making education more enjoyable. There's a reason why you see grade-school teachers going above and beyond to turn lessons into entertaining activities.

It gives students the chance to develop a genuine interest in the subject matter. Not only that, but the fun factor creates natural motivation to participate and succeed. Ultimately, making things more enjoyable improves the learner's mood, increases cognitive flexibility, and makes things more engaging.

Those perks don't just apply to young students, either. Adults respond to games in much the same way that kids do. Rather than being a point of procrastination, your training program can become something your team looks forward to and enjoys.

Ways to Make Training Fun and Engaging

Now is the time to get creative! The sky's the limit, and you have plenty of opportunities to make your training content more engaging than ever before. With careful planning, you can improve adoption rates and transform your team into a retail powerhouse. 

In Bob Pike’s book, Five Laws of Adult Learning, Law #3 is “Learning is Directly Proportional to the Amount of Fun You Have.” Here are a few elements we include in the Intel® Retail Edge Program that have successfully engaged our members and created a lot of fun along the way. 

Interactive Content

Think about those days that you had to sit in a classroom and listen to a boring lecture. There's a good chance you didn't retain much of the information you learned. That's because humans can't focus that long on monotonous content. Studies suggest that the attention spans of adult learners begin to wane after 15-20 minutes

However, adding a degree of interactivity can change all that. Interactive content includes media like: 

  • Videos
  • Audio files
  • Digital games
  • Augmented or virtual reality
  • Storytelling
  • Quizzes

Interactive elements result in a concept known as the "Interest Curve." This concept was taken from gaming and, in this case, is used when designing the training content. 

To put it simply, the content is designed to stimulate the brain continually. It generates initial interest, captivates learners with a hook, continuously creates peaks and valleys of engagement, and ends in a satisfying climax that makes participants want more content. 

Gamification

Gamification is becoming more widespread in training programs across several industries. There's a good reason why: It simply works! 

When you gamify something, you add gaming elements to a non-gaming activity. Humans are hard-wired to find enjoyment in play. Whenever you achieve something positive, your brain lights up! Whether you made the correct choice in a multiple-choice question or draw a specific type of card, dopamine neurotransmitters go into overdrive to help you feel good.

Ultimately, gamification creates inherent motivation and the desire to do something willingly. You'd be surprised by how making a tedious activity into a fun game engages your team to participate.

Things get even better when you add rewards and recognition into the mix. To make training more enjoyable, you can: 

  • Offer badges or trophies for completing lessons
  • Create a leveling system with progressive difficulty
  • Publish leaderboards for bragging rights
  • Provide written narratives that drive interest
  • Introduce thematic elements for interactivity

Role-Play

Bringing some of those educational techniques into the real world can considerably impact your team. Role-playing is a fantastic way to expose your team to real-world scenarios. 

Include simulated role-play or interactive games in your training platform with different sales scenarios. Encourage your associates to replicate and role-play these scenarios so they’ll be comfortable when they encounter these situations on the salesfloor. 

You never know what kind of customer will walk through the door. With role-playing, your team can prepare for anything. Plus, it gives them a chance to build a rapport and strengthen the team unit. That way, they can work together to solve complex sales challenges as they come.

Friendly Competition

Contests, ongoing leaderboards, and large-scale competitions can do a lot to keep your team engaged. Once again, creativity knows no bounds here! To guide your associates, establish intent and identify the parameters to success. 

Any competition should align with an overarching training campaign or initiative. Long before it even starts, you can generate interest with clever marketing and teases that capture the attention of everyone.

Before you know it, the sense of competition will be palpable. Whether it's between individuals in your store or a rivalry between different locations, the drive to win can keep all of your employees engaged in their training efforts.

Exciting and Gratifying Retail Training

A touch of fun can turn any training program into something that appeals to every employee. By incorporating gamification elements, friendly competition, interactive content, and simulated roleplay, associates become more knowledgeable about the products they sell and the customers who buy them.

The Intel® Retail Edge Program has seen great success by creating a community and training platform that inspires, engages, and motivates its members. When your associates participate in the Program, they not only learn about Intel® products and the PCs they power, but they also experience fun while doing it.

Find out more about the Intel® Retail Edge Program and how it can benefit you and your retail sales associates.

 

Get more information about the Intel Retail Edge Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article originally appeared here on LinkedIn.

 

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Intel Retail Edge

Written by Intel Retail Edge

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