As a lone L&D manager in a retail organisation in fast growth I was beginning to look at how I might get learning into stores that complimented the implementation of learning technology. Recruiting Learning Assistants/trainers across our 50 stores was not an option and the use of Area managers was not practical. I looked at an evolving role and began to investigate if developing our area support managers would have the desired impact and consistency across the estate. These individuals were already working with our new store managers on set up and delivering learning on a 1:1 basis and so seemed the perfect people to involve.
I like to think I have had the best training when it comes to face to face. The military always point you towards more practical methods of facilitation and away from the PowerPoint. It was critical for me that these new face-to-face facilitators developed similar skills which is why Stellar Learning was the perfect fit. Having worked with Stella in a previous role and having read her book I was confident that the Brain Friendly Learning (BFL) package was the best for this group.
Stella and her team were completely flexible and worked with me throughout the planning of our workshop. They agreed to deliver 1 day of their 3-day BFL package which was enough to provide an introduction of this way of delivering learning to my 12 facilitators.
I was confident that this style would be new to this group and would be a positive experience for them. I was not prepared for the impact that it has had so far. Not only have the individuals involved demonstrated confidence in delivery and innovation in their facilitation, people around them including directors have begun to adjust their delivery style during meetings. Many managers have heard we delivered the workshop and requested to be involved next time and we are beginning to look at the possibility of delivering this workshop to all our managers so that they begin to consider other ways of getting their messages across. I’m observing area managers working closely with their area support managers to ensure their messages during meetings to branch managers are sticky and they are working with these new facilitators to plan and deliver engaging sessions with their teams.
We are in the initial stages of measuring its impact on customer satisfaction and profit and it will be challenging to completely prove it. That said, I’m absolutely certain we will be able to deliver learning to our stores quicker and easier now that we have begun to choose this style of learning facilitation and believe this will positively impact on our team’s ability to continue to provide exceptional customer service and drives sales.