- The National Retail Federation Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the NRF, recently announced an initiative to upskill workers who wish to enter or climb the ladder in the industry. In a partnership with Penn Foster, the NRF has created its RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills and Education) initiative.
- The self-paced program is optimized for mobile learners, allowing entry-level workers access to their Retail Industry Fundamentals training and credentialing. Workers will learn the skills they need to secure jobs, and the program is set to enhance their confidence in their own abilities.
- Credentialing includes customer care, sales and merchandising as well as workplace safety initiatives. The 10-hour curriculum uses interactive exercises to enhance learner engagement and also allows for self-assessment with self-check questions and flashcards. The program is aimed at job seekers and underemployed workers looking to begin a career in the growing retail industry.
Retail hiring is on the upswing, with a surge in the DIY accelerating growth. The need to find, train and upskill workers for the industry has become mission-critical for employers. As more companies increase starting wages in an attempt to attract a more skilled workforce, it’s clear that training will also be needed to achieve and maintain headcount.
For businesses that can’t or won’t keep enough sales staff on the floor, the risk of losing customers as well as revenue is high. One study suggests business may be losing up to 14% of sales with reduced staffing levels. Some large retailers, like Walmart, have created their own universities in-house to train floor level staffers for management, inventory and administrative positions. Walmart University reportedly graduated over 200,000 learners in 2017.
Training for retail workers has taken a quantum leap with the advent of mobile-optimized learning. For the deskless worker, the ability to access knowledge on demand and as needed increases learning as well as retention.