COVID-19 is not just a health crisis, but also an economic crisis. According to the New York Times in late June 2020, more than 44 million people have applied for state jobless benefits since mid-March.1 Because many retail companies and stores were deemed non-essential at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, a significant number of retail employees lost their jobs.
But now, things are changing. The economy is reopening in many states, and that means some retail employees are heading back to work. As they make the transition back to the workplace, there are a few specific skills they will need to succeed. Employers can ensure they provide retail training for these critical skills by creating specific online courses using a learning management system (LMS).
3 Online Courses Retail Workers Need to
Take Before They Return to Work
For some retail employees, returning to the workplace is stressful due to fears surrounding COVID-19 and how to properly respond to the myriad of changes employers have had to make due to the pandemic. To make employees’ transition back to work easier and set them up for success, retail companies should use an LMS to offer the following online courses:
1. Health and safety compliance courses
Upon returning to work, retail employees will find that there are a lot of new health and safety rules they must follow, some of which may include properly sanitizing workstations, keeping a safe distance from customers and coworkers, and wearing a face covering. The best thing retail companies can do to promote these skills is to offer health and safety compliance courses that must be completed before employees return to work. These courses can be created using LMS content management tools. Some learning management systems also have a built-in feature that enables employers to manage certifications related to compliance courses.
Related Reading: 3 LMS Hacks that Improve Retail Training
2. Adaptive communication courses
Communication in the retail workplace may never look the same again -- at least not until the coronavirus is contained. Instead of communicating as per usual, retail employees will need to adapt the way they communicate when they are at work. For example, because some employers will require that both customers and employees wear face coverings, workers may find that more hand gestures and a louder tone of voice are needed to effectively convey their message. They may also need to know how to ask customers to speak up or repeat themselves in a way that doesn’t make the customer feel talked down to or criticized.
An eLearning course on adaptive communication can help get retail employees ready to successfully face the changes at their workplace. In addition to enabling employers to create online courses, an LMS fosters communication and connection via social learning tools such as forums, online communities, video conferencing, etc., so that employees can connect more easily.
3. Stress management courses
Working retail during a pandemic is nerve-wracking because employees are on the front lines, interacting with customers who may potentially be carriers of the coronavirus. Understandably, retail workers may be stressed out about their health and safety at work. Employers can help workers cope with these fears and become more resilient to stress by designing stress management courses and adding them to each employee’s online learning path.
These courses could offer helpful, practical self-care tips for employees, and also explain to workers exactly what steps the company is taking to protect staff from COVID-19. Stress management courses should be interactive, allowing learners to ask questions and get timely feedback from instructors.
Related Reading: How to Support Remote Training as Working from Home Becomes the New Normal
Enable Remote Training for Retail Workers with an LMS
Because so many employees have had to work and train from home in the past few months, remote training is more valuable than it's ever been. Using an LMS, retail companies can not only create, distribute, track, and report on relevant online employee training, but also enable employees to train from home, which will limit workers’ exposure to COVID-19 and expand their training opportunities.
Interested in launching a retail LMS in a matter of days? Learn more about our Quick Start Program that comes complete with features and pre-built content to support learners, no matter where they are located.