“Online learning is not the next big thing, it is the now big thing.” This quote from Donna Abernathy, former editor of Training + Development Magazine explains the increase in adoption of online training for convenience stores. More and more store owners are following the lead of business principals in other industries. In fact, training industry analysts estimate that 98% of all businesses will adopt some form of online training by the year 2020.
Why Online Learning?
Online learning for convenience stores has many benefits. Take a look:
- Easy to implement with hourly employees.
- Streamlines on-boarding time to get new employees serving customers quickly.
- Provides a consistent message to all employee in all locations.
- More cost effective than instructor-led training programs.
- Features tracking and assessment functionality, especially important for compliance topics.
What Does it Cost?
There are many different ways to implement online learning for convenience stores. Here are a few of the most common:
- Low cost: Store operators can spend a relatively small amount per trainee to cover specific training topics. This is often a good option when online learning is needed to fulfill an immediate compliance requirement, such as with state-specific alcohol or tobacco training.
- High cost: Some companies invest in online training authoring tools and create their own courses. Licensing these tools is usually expensive, and it also requires extensive resource allocation.
- Middle of the road: In the middle of the cost spectrum, many operators subscribe to a learning management system that already has content specific to the needs of convenience stores. Many LMS subscription plans give you access to existing courses and allow you to implement your own content as well.
How is ROI Determined?
You can easily figure the amount of your investment in online learning by taking the cost of the option you choose, plus the staffing required to administer it. Figuring out your return on that investment can be a bit more challenging. You have to consider how online training impacts your business on multiple levels, from the trainees to the store managers to the corporate office. Then, consider how online training mitigates monetary risks that are created from having an untrained staff. This ranges from indirect costs, such as poor customer service, to direct costs, such as regulatory fines from a lack of compliance. The ROI of online training for convenience stores isn’t always to a direct line from your investment to improvements in your bottom line, but over time, a well-trained staff pays for itself.