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The New World of Retail Requires a New Type of Talent

Investment in the development of employees pays off. One study conducted by ICF International Inc. reported that the median company return on such programs was 7X the initial investment.

Opportunities for ongoing learning and development can be powerful motivators for employees and can help solidify the employee/employer relationship for improved retention and performance- and evidence shows it’s something that employees want. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 56% of employees say they would spend more time on learning and development if courses were recommended by their manager, and 94% say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development (LinkedIn Learning and Development Report).  Executing a formalized learning and development program is easier said than done and many well-intentioned courses ultimately come up short. Why are so many development programs struggling to achieve what they set out to do?

Training ≠ Development

First, it is important to understand that development is not the same thing as training. Training happens at a point-in-time (or time frame) and on a specific skill, system, function, etc. with little room for creativity.  Development, on the other hand, is ongoing, open-ended and something that should be consistently nurtured. It focuses on soft as well as hard skills, building better leaders from every angle. While training certainly serves a necessary purpose, development programs provide the foundation to build winning organizations. The best (and most successful) programs are multi-format, interactive and get people to think outside of the scope of their day-to-day roles.

Your People are an Asset

Second, many programs focus exclusively on development as an individual at the expense of the whole. To take leadership development to the next level, focus on ways to encourage collaboration amongst employees that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to collaborate. Leverage the broader team to challenge one another, build each other up, and to share ideas. Not only does evidence show that these types of programs improve the retention rate amongst top talent and lower the cost of turnover, cross-functional training also helps to solidify bonds throughout the organization.

We have said it before, and we will say it again: the new world of retail requires a new type of talent.

What are You Waiting For?

We’ve been working with clients to develop and lead transformational retail workshops and dynamic training programs that get participants out of their comfort zone with cross-industry case studies, expert speakers, collaborative team building activities and inspirational study tours that drive real-world results.  What are you waiting for? Contact the experts at McMillanDoolittle to inquire about our customized training programs to serve your teams.  Our 2019 client course work has achieved a 99% satisfaction rate among surveyed participants, reflecting our highly collaborative approach and deep commitment to client success.  We would be happy to share examples of recent course topics, outlines, and client testimonials with you to help us jointly develop and execute a learning and development program that exceeds your needs.

Alyson Fischer

Alyson Fischer

afischer@mdretail.com

Alyson leads client projects from planning to completion and provides cross-functional support for the partners in the execution of business analysis, engagement management and strategic planning. Since joining the team in 2016, she has advised clients in North America, Europe, Asia, and Central America on both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Additional areas of expertise include merchandise planning, assortment strategy, inventory management, productivity analysis, competitive benchmarking, forecasting and data visualization.

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