Everyone knows properly training a new hire is critical. What retailers may not realize is that it’s equally important to continue training for employees of all levels throughout their careers. In addition to staying up to date on product knowledge and customer service best practices, there are several benefits that come from ongoing education, such as staff retention, increased sales and interest from prospective employees.
Your company will attract millennials.
The desire to continuously improve their skills and to obtain education based on their careers and interests are trends across the millennial generation. The ability to participate in industry-specific ongoing education will likely be a plus in their book.
Training builds teams and ups morale.
Training doesn’t have to be traditional. Some retailers include team-building in their training. It can be as simple as asking employees to complete an online training module together or as detailed as creating a friendly game or competition around training.
Employees stick around longer.
When a staff member is well-versed in the home improvement industry and operations specific to your business, they feel more confident and connected to their job. When an employee feels comfortable and empowered, they’re likely to be satisfied.
You benefit from different perspectives.
When a business owner exposes employees to various processes and procedures through training and education, fresh sets of eyes may be able to offer suggestions for improvement or point out holes that someone close to the business didn’t see.
Training boosts the bottom line.
Employees educated on DIY projects and commonly needed products will be able to suggest add-on items at checkout or while helping a customer. Trained staff can deliver customer service that is sure to bring customers back again and again.
How to Get Started
Retailers looking to start or improve their training program can look to their trade association, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), which offers the following training resources. Find these tools and more here.
Train the Trainer. This guide gives trainers the knowledge they need to start or improve an employee training program, complete with step-by-step instructions, practical tips for success, real-life examples from retailers and an appendix of resources.
Trainer’s Toolbox. This series of quick training tools includes three- to five-minute lessons on topics like product knowledge, operations, merchandising and selling skills, presented in the form of videos, presentations, worksheets and more.
NRHA Training Membership. Being a training member gives retailers access to 240 training modules across eight in-depth online courses on topics including basic retail accounting, product knowledge, loss prevention, merchandising, selling skills and more. Training comes with testing and record-keeping on NRHA’s new, easy-to-use learning management system.