An investment in your employees

Retailers are keen to save money where they can. But when assessing the cost of staff training industry experts argue it’s worth considering the potential cost of not training.

TRAINING and the development of people is often argued to be fundamental to a business and its growth. With the introduction of the National Living Wage earlier this year and the upcoming rise in the National Minimum Wage (not to mention other costs) retailers are under increasing pressure to cut spending. Staff training courses are an added expense that some retailers would rather live without.
However, Emma Brock, training manager at Nisa Retail Academy, says investing in people is key.
“There’s a well-known saying: ‘The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them’,” she said.
“Investing time in training staff on the fundamentals of the store, such as keeping them refreshed on legal areas and customer service, will ensure the business is not only trading legally but will help to drive sales and loyalty.”
Nisa provides a full suite of training through its Retail Academy, offering training in both paper format, via training guides, and by online learning. The guides and the online learning both offer training in all aspects of retailing, and ensure retailers have a robust legal training process that will keep their business safe and legal.

Nisa training manager Emma Brock with Helen Beecher and Kay Gilbert from Upskill People at the launch of Nisa Retail Academy’s online portal.
Nisa training manager Emma Brock with Helen Beecher and Kay Gilbert from Upskill People at the launch of Nisa Retail Academy’s online portal.

“Online learning is a great way to effectively train staff without taking a lot of time away from the shop floor. The courses are engaging and relevant and can be targeted at key areas of the business. Online learning has the advantage of being trackable, which means that as a business we can monitor its usage and evaluate the return on investment of the training.
“For Scotland the emphasis will always be on ensuring staff are fully trained and up to date on alcohol; this has now become routine for Scottish retailers so their attention can now be drawn to other key areas which will drive sales and loyalty. For instance, delivering a great fresh food offering and offering the best customer service in town – these are some of the things that can set our members apart from the competition.
“Plain packing legislation comes into force in 2017 meaning that it will soon be illegal to sell non-plain packs. In the lead up to this legislation coming into force we will be implementing a suite of training and communication channels using online learning, fact sheets and refresher training.”

• Last year, specialist online learning provider Upskill People partnered with Nisa Retail Academy to provide a fully Nisa-branded online learning portal to its retail members.
However, you don’t have to be a Nisa member to access the company’s catalogue of more than 120 courses for people operating within retail and hospitality.
The firm has since launched a service directly to independent retailers.
The platform can be accessed on any device that’s online, PC/Mac, tablet, smartphone. Managers can access up-to-date reporting on any device and courses are available from as little as £1 per person. See for more.