T21UK Training and Development has announced a new initiative with independent electrical retailer Hughes Electrical which is scheduled to launch in early 2016.
The project involves the building of a whole new online training platform through which new and updated training content and essential information for 800 staff across Hughes’ 43 UK stores plus service centres and subsidiaries will be made available. As well as building the online platform itself, T21 will be tasking its trainers to design innovative sales-training courses for shop floor staff as well as working with Hughes to update and modify the retailer’s own successful in-house training material for online engagement across the business.
T21UK managing director Paul Laville commented: “It’s a wonderful project, and I’m really pleased that Hughes, who are proactive leaders within this industry, have selected us to build this for them. The management of Hughes recognise that it doesn’t matter how successful you already are right now, the world moves on at a rapid pace and developing the vocational skill-set of your personnel, giving them the means to stay fresh and up to date with changes in technology, in consumer behaviour and buying trends for example, and being able to consistently respond to those changes, benefits the business greatly.
“Too often we’ve seen businesses which fail to see the benefits of training and how it is vital for profitability fall so far behind their competition that they struggle to stay afloat. That said, I can see why it’s difficult for some, particularly in this industry where managers are hard-pressed to find the time to release their staff to take part in vocational courses. But this is where online training really shows its strengths.”
The project incorporates all aspects of Hughes’ business, including Retail, Rental, Web, Distribution, Service & Installation and its Smarthome department. T21 and Hughes will be designing new e-learning programmes that will equip customer-facing new staff with comprehensive and relevant selling approaches, T21UK says. These programmes will also take the staff already working in those departments to the next level in order to provide the best possible consumer experience through Hughes’ stores.
Hughes Electrical HR director Nick Heffer said: “We have for many years offered our staff focused training and development to Investors in People Gold standard. However we needed a more exciting and modern approach that gives staff better access and motivation to engage. The online training platform offered by T21 gives us more integration and focus. We are also looking forward to T21’s innovative and responsive approach to collaborating with us in shaping our learning and development initiatives to ensure they are relevant, customer-focused, profitable and interesting for the ongoing future.”
As with the recently-launched retra online training, also developed by T21, the plan is to support Hughes’ online courses with specially-produced training films scripted to highlight essential learnings within the training content.
Paul added: “The films we produced for retra have gone down an absolute storm amongst retra trainees. They’re a big success and we’re keen to make more of them, not only because film allows you to transmit multiple messages simultaneously, which makes them a core component of our e-learning programmes, but also because we really enjoyed making them! They’re part of a package, and when you get that package right – the content, the media mix and the delivery platform itself – then each component becomes doubly effective. We really want to push the envelope of online training in retail, making it more engaging, more accessible and even more effective, and I’m really excited to bring this concept to life for Hughes.”