Transforming Learning to Propel Long-Term Success
Lowes uses Bridge to create a culture of quick and relevant learning in the rapidly evolving retail world.
Brands have to constantly work hard to maintain relevance, market share and loyalty. With the average consumer’s attention span operating around eight seconds - one less than that of a goldfish - it’s no surprise brands have the colossal task to capture (and keep) the attention of buyers. In the era of instant gratification and binge watching entire seasons of television in multi-day marathons (thanks, Netflix!); it’s no surprise future-thinking iconic 120-year-old Australian menswear retail establishment, Lowes, was determined to empower its employees with mobile-ready, context-applicable learning. In order to preserve their legacy as the long-standing, family-owned established clothing outlet, Lowes had to transform how learning and knowledge transfer was managed across all of their retail locations for over 2,000 employees, if they were to ensure continued relevance in a world of rapid and constant change.
“Operating close to 200 sites across Australia, and a very well established retail organization, you can imagine that we have a very diverse set of cultures across all the regions we serve. Additionally, we have tremendous pockets of wealth of information from employees who have been with the organization for 30...40...50 years. It’s imperative for us to capture and share that knowledge across the organization, but also account for new and evolving trends that are hitting the market, as we speak. With retail, it is an ever changing environment, it was important for us to be able to find a solution that would help us share information and learning with all our employees,” says Danial Gyftakis, Regional Human Resource Manager for Lowes.
Due to the varying degrees of foothold and brand awareness within the different regions, it was essential that training provided across all regions was consistent, while respecting cultural nuances, learner aptitude, and the training team’s ability to quickly author and publish relevant content for all employees.
As the HR Team at Lowes were tasked with creating training and development for all its locations, they needed to account for a model that would allow employees to engage and navigate content of topics from customer service, new and updated regulations as well product updates - just to name a few.
Lowes had previously introduced an intranet that served as a knowledge base for employees to engage in their training. Although the intranet was meant to assist in resolving training issues, the team were unable to easily author and publish content to employees, struggled to scale trainings as each session had to be managed in-person and some materials had to be printed out. Reporting on course and program completion and enrollments was a significant roadblock with in the intranet system.
To add to the complexity of the process, each region had their own system to administer face to face training, which lead to a lack of consistency across the business. As Lowes continued to expand their services and retail locations, it became quickly apparent that in order to effectively increase the efficiency, they needed to replace the arduously manual process of creating PowerPoint presentations, checklists and emailing large Excel files tracking course completions.
With the introduction of Bridge Learn, Lowes inaugural learning management solution, the HR Team would be able to:
- Easily author relevant, just-in-time content for all employees
- Publish region specific content, as needed
- Empower employees to engage in mobile-enabled learning, from anywhere, at anytime
- Track and report on learning - across the organization
How Lowes Measures Success
- Simplicity in learning – “Employees were not sure what to expect with Bridge Learn but with the help of the Bridge Implementation team, it was a smooth integration. Our team members felt the system to be seamless and most importantly user friendly.” says Danial Gyftakis. As employees started to engage with Bridge, they quickly found value as they integrated it in into their daily routine. This daily engagement allowed for greater learner adoption.
- Easy authoring, creating relevant content - “In retail there is constant change, as there is in the sphere of Human Resources. From legislation updates to general content it’s important for us to make sure that we keep our employees informed. Make it easy for them to find content, courses and other materials that would help provide value to their learning.” For Lowes, Bridge allows the business to create a learning library to help upskill team members at any time during the team member’s lifecycle. “Bridge allows us to cover what we want but also what we need to because as things change, we can easily and quickly respond. We can continuously improve and respond the way we need to, with the speed and agility required of us.”
- Mobile-ready learning - With mobile-ready courses, the HR team is better able to deliver content to employees across all their retail locations. By leveraging a blended learning model through Bridge, Lowes is now able to empower managers to deliver learning both off and on-site which is critical in making learning readily available for employees - when and where they need it. The HR team also plans to include evidence-based learning, using checkpoints and assessments, as part of their programs as they continue to roll out the Bridge solution across the organization.
- Flexible evaluation process – Lowes incorporated a custom, hands-on and live coaching and evaluation system which reflects the tactical learning environment expected of apparel retailing today and into the future. “Supervisors and team members are able to participate in real time role play or demonstrations to complete their learnings within a framework of coaching and evaluation. This is an integral part of the Learning and Development strategy”, says Jason Heap, Head of People at Lowes.
- Insightful reporting - By creating learning paths for employees in Bridge, the HR team helps employees stay abreast of current and relevant content as it affects their roles, their respective locations and interactions with customers. “We have already seen double digit increase in our customer success metrics in the few months that we have set KPIs to track how training affects interactions. Previously, we had no way to even track course completions, without manually checking Excel documents but now Bridge allows us to easily see data across the entire organization - not just a single instance. We are able to see trends and we can better utilize data,” points out Danial when referencing the real-time data presented in the Insights dashboards within Bridge. “With data highlighting completions, engagement metrics, course attendance and much more, data becomes much more than numbers, it becomes a roadmap to strategic improvement.”
To learn more about how Lowes is preparing today’s retail learning and development champions to respond with technology-first, impactful blended learning with Bridge Learn, contact us at [email protected] or 1300 299 510.