The world is evolving and retailers must evolve with it. In turn, jobs and skills are also evolving and changing. Therefore, the way that we think about training, about learning and about development must also change and transform. In this episode, Paul Jocelyn explains why now is the time to transform ‘Learning and Development’ (L&D) and shift into a learning organisation.

So, I’m delighted to welcome Paul Jocelyn back to the Retail Transformation Show. Listen now to discover:

  • How transforming L&D could give you a different perspective on productivity.
  • What is a ‘learning organisation’ – and why you must pay attention to this.
  • Why retail training should not just replicate a school environment.
  • How to build a multi-skilled, flexible and adaptable workforce.

Introducing Paul Jocelyn

Paul-JocelynPaul is an independent consultant who helps businesses to revolutionise their learning capability and empower the L&D department to proactively work to enable the wider organisation to deliver the business strategy.

He believes that many organisations have a critical player missing from the strategic table: ’Learning and Development.’ The new role for L&D should be to build an adaptable, connected organisation capable of evolving and shifting faster than their competitors.

Paul help L&D teams and business leaders develop and embed continuous learning strategies that actually improve adaptability, alignment and performance.In turn, L&D can play a critical role in defining and developing the future of retail.

Find Paul on Twitter @pauljocelyn, on LinkedIn and by email at paul@jocelynconsultingltd.co.uk.

Plus, listen to more of Paul’s thoughts by tuning to episode 13 where he shares more about what’s exciting him in 2019.

“Our people are our greatest asset” – do you really mean it?

Retailers often refer to their people as their greatest asset. But, you need to critically ask yourself if you are investing enough into refurbishing and maintaining that asset? Are you modernising that asset to stop it depreciating to a zero value item?

I know that way of thinking can seem cold. But, if you do consider your people as an asset, then you should also consider the best way to renew, update and look after that asset. Just as you would for an expensive piece of equipment.

Often, retail training is seen as a compliance activity

Historically, retail, and in particular in store teams, can see training as a compliance activity. Everyone must to training course in [insert subject here] by this date and must sign their training record cards. Paul argues this is old fashioned and out of date for the modern world.

Of course, there is an element of safety and legal procedures which must maintain a “must do” curriculum based on the role of an individual. However, outside of this remit, you should think about L&D in a different way to build different capabilities. In turn, you’ll set up a different culture for the people who are working directly with customers on a day to day basis.

The idea of packaging learning and training courses and resources used to make sense when the pace of change was slower and it was slower to bring training to market. So when the pace is increasing, how do we create a different approach?

Building a ‘learning organisation’

A learning organisation is one that is flexible and adaptable to our changing world. It looks at equipping people with multiple skills and capabilities and encourages ongoing learning.

A learning organisation recognises the social nature of organisations. Essentially, Paul points out that learning as a community and supporting each other offers huge opportunities. So, consider how you can build social learning into your organisational strategy.

Finally, a learning organisation is also one that is continually learning. The team will develop skills when needed and will work together to ensure that everyone is supported to get the job done. Part of this continual learning is to upskill people in a variety of functions. But the other aspect is that it builds flexibility and adaptability. Essentially, your team will be ready for change.

Did you know: Amazon support a continuous learning in their warehouses. They encourage learning to upskill in multiple areas and jobs. This offers flexibility to be able to instantly move the workforce to the part of the operation that needs more manpower. They also encourage external learning (e.g. to become a nurse or a teacher) and have a selection of benefits to make this happen.

Replicating school in the workplace

Our organisations have developed into a school like learning environment. Lessons, tests and exams are all focused on solo performance. But in the workplace, we aim to work as a team.

We should not live in a world where a training course is the solution to every problem. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes this is true, but not always.

If and where people are genuinely going to be the point of difference for a retailer, then we need to shift the ways of working for L&D. Now, we need to shift from people who are great at complying to those that have confidence. We must add leadership support and encourage people to bring themselves to work and to make more autonomous decisions. We all must take responsibility in a different way.

Bringing your workforce into the digital era

Let’s not beat around the bush. This is more than just simply moving to online training or e-learning.

The digital era puts more control in the hands of the individual. So, how can you create more autonomy? How can you decouple the person from the learning process?

A learning organisation allows for this digital era. In fact, it actively supports it. In turn, everything becomes easier and more accessible from an employee’s perspective. The result of this is an increase in engagement and loyalty to you and your brand.

Learn how to put this into practice in part 2

Listen in for part 2, coming out on the 10th June where you can learn:

  • The 3 characteristics and examples of a learning organisation.
  • Discover how to get started with actionable advice and begin to build a learning organisation.

In the meantime, remember to subscribe and tell your colleagues and peers about this podcast too.

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