Securing a competitive advantage in the retail industry
Keidi Mägi is Coop Estonia’s E-learning Development Manager
Coop is a cooperative retail chain in Estonia with 18 consumer cooperatives and Coop Eesti Keskühistu. Employing more than 6,000 people, it is also the largest retailer in the country. Unlike traditional organizations, courses are created and managed centrally, but each member has the freedom to choose which courses to offer their workers.
Why an LMS was needed
Coop exemplifies an organization in need of a learning system. Maintaining a unified level of information and understanding company processes is crucial for meeting company goals. The retail sector is known for high employee turnover, which is also true for Coop. With people joining and leaving each month, it becomes impossible to keep everyone on the same page solely through classroom trainings. Additionally, employees come from multiple nationalities, so courses are provided in various languages for easier and faster comprehension.
Trainings for every audience
There are around 20 trainings available for employees, covering essential workplace processes such as good client service practices, work safety, and proper merchandise display. Trainings cater to everyone, from cashiers to managers. Some workers handling food or managing payment systems also have mandatory compliance trainings. Voluntary options, like webinars about pensions or cyber safety, are available as well.
Using (nearly) all the features
Coop utilizes many of the system’s features, including automatic planning, training material creation, assesment, feedback, and reports. Coop has also tested task list functionality but has not implemented it yet.
For Coop, classroom trainings remain important on some occasions. Training managers use the functionality to manage registration and participation with Coursy. Previously done on paper and in spreadsheets, an integrated solution has streamlined workflows.
Fun fact – Coursy has a functionality to add handwritten signatures to verify classroom participation, and Coop was using it as well. However, when the COVID pandemic hit, using a shared tablet for signing became unhygienic. Once the outbreak subsided, they realized they could manage without these signatures altogether.
Many positive changes
Getting the entire organization on the same page regarding information, processes, and policies has been invaluable. All employee data is stored in Stafflogic Time Planning Software and synced with Coursy, automatically adding everyone who needs training to the system. Timely trainings have improved onboarding and knowledge acquisition. The ability to review completed courses has been popular among employees, while managers can easily track course completion. The ability to manage classroom trainings keeps all learning tasks in one application. Positive feedback on well-designed courses has reassured the training team that they are truly helping employees in their careers.
But also some challenges
Sometimes, older individuals don’t have email addresses or other verification methods. In these cases, store managers help them sign up for an email service, and they can take courses using office computers. Some people are hesitant to use computers and digital systems in general. Fortunately, they can attend classroom sessions, although this may involve waiting and planning. The vast majority have no issues using the digital system.
Currently, employees receive all their courses at once, sometimes struggling to complete them in time. Plans are underway to build learning paths so that courses will be assigned over time in logical order, with monthly iterations, reducing time pressure and helping workers master skills sequentially.
Implementing a new company-wide system, especially in a large organization like Coop, raises the question of resources. Creating high-quality training materials, setting up automated training logic, and supporting the team in using the system can be time-consuming, particularly in the early days and weeks.
Suggestions for companies looking for an LMS
If possible, designate a dedicated person or team responsible for digital learning. This time-consuming role involves material creation, system management, communication, and support duties.
It’s important to get all necessary management levels on board. When decision-makers understand the need to effectively onboard, train, upskill, and reskill employees, the entire process becomes smoother. Digital learning, when done correctly, offers a competitive advantage.
Once the system is in implementation, start small. Learn the system basics, build your first course, import some users, and grow from there. Taking on too much at first can make it feel overwhelming. And finally, since the Coursy community is constantly growing, it’s a good idea to contact your peers and ask them for insights and helpful tips!
Want to see how Coursy can help your organization?
Don’t hesitate to contact our digital learning consultant Marko Vene