Last updated: 07.10.11

E-learning 'benefits supermarket sector'

One of the UK's leading supermarkets has joined the e-learning revolution and has opted to train its staff using online services.

Waitrose, part of the John Lewis group, has launched a campaign to provide tools for personal and team development to staff across its growing business.

The grocery provider aims to help its 47,000 staff in all areas of the company to better their customer service skills as well as learn more about the company. The system, named PartnerLearn, will help staff to achieve their full potential and can be used at work or at home with a remote access setting.

Waitrose bosses have said they want the scheme to be able to fit around employee schedules.

The online learning facility has been developed over the past year by the Waitrose learning and development team with the Open University and Ashridge Business School.

E-learning for the supermarket will incorporate audio, visual and text-based concepts so that employees can choose the type of learning that suits them best.

Jo Kelly, head of talent at Waitrose, said: "We're a rapidly growing company so it was important that we came up with a new tool to help embed learning and development across a large and complex business. PartnerLearn will be integral in our continued commitment to help all partners develop their skills and achieve their career aspirations."

She added that the plan has been long-anticipated and will be a welcome addition to staff training resources.

The initiative was piloted by selected test members of staff between April and June this year and the feedback has been mostly positive, illustrating the clear benefits that e-learning can provide.

Member feedback will continue to be used to develop the site, according to Ms Kelly.

This replaces an existing course facilitated by the supermarket's learning & development team.

A study posted by Emerald suggests that e-learning is an affordable and accessible option for training and development teams, with almost all respondents to a survey saying they would recommend it.