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Last updated: 15.08.18

How e-learning training for supermarkets can support retail skill development

E-learning training for supermarket staff can help to support retail skill development – something that Waitrose, part of the John Lewis group, knows only too well.

Back in 2011, we reported on how the supermarket was boosting its retail business training offering with e-learning, providing staff with tools to support both personal and team development as the business underwent a period of significant growth.

How Waitrose developed e-learning for retailers

Waitrose launched PartnerLearn, an e-learning platform for its then 47,000 staff to improve their customer service skills, while learning more about the company at the same time.

The Waitrose learning and development team worked with the Open University and Ashridge Business School to create the e-learning package, featuring audio, visual and text-based concepts to suit every type of learner.

At the time, head of talent at Waitrose, Jo Kelly, 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.’

E-learning training for supermarket staff: The benefits

With supermarket staff working a variety of shifts, running a training session at a time that suits every member of the team can be a challenge. This often means that sessions need to take place more than once, which can be costly to a business.

However, delivering retail training courses digitally makes learning much more flexible and accessible to all, and it provides organisations with a more cost-effective training option too.

Waitrose's PartnerLearn was designed to help staff achieve their full potential but at a time and place convenient to them. It's the same with Enable, Virtual College's Learning Management System – learners can access courses at home or at work as long as they have their log-in details.

With new technology such as contactless payments and self-scanning tills constantly evolving the shopping landscape, retail skill development needs to be a continual task in the sector, and providing staff with access to e-learning opportunities allows that to be the case.

Explore the full range of Virtual College e-learning courses here.