Joe has been an employee in the toy department at Magnolia, a large department store, for several years. Back when he started, he was trained the traditional way: He got some formal training sessions that applied specifically to the functioning of the toy department and learned the rest of what he needed to know by doing it.
Joe is knowledgeable about the toy section, but he has never been trained to work in any of the other departments. One day, the toy department was not busy, but, because of a promotion, menswear was overrun. The employees in menswear are drowning while Joe and his toy department coworkers stood around doing nothing.
Joe wished he could transfer over to menswear for the few hours to help out, but he never received the appropriate training and would have no idea what to do over there.
Then Magnolia started using a digital workplace platform, and everything changed. Management had realized that siloing employees was an inefficient way of doing business—not to mention frustrating for workers who were interested in helping out in other departments.
The digital workplace app completely overhauled the way Magnolia does training, focusing on microtraining. Microtraining provides mobile-optimized digital training modules to employees who can absorb minute long lessons easily when they aren’t otherwise busy on the sales floor. Managers can set up the modules to automatically trigger when training is needed and can see each employee’s progress in the training via the digital dashboard.
Using a digital workplace platform, Joe began microtraining for the menswear department. In one module, he learned how to dress mannequins. As a large chain, Magnolia has specific protocols for dressing mannequins so they will present the same way across all stores. In the past, store managers receive emailed instructions, which they would print out to hand to employees. This was inefficient for several reasons: Managers had to spend time printing and distributing, the volume of paper needed was immense, and it was difficult for employees to know whether they had dressed the mannequins correctly.
With a digital workplace, the video-based training module showed Joe exactly how to do it. Once he had tried it on his own, he sent a photo of what he had done back to his manager for approval. The manager was otherwise blissfully uninvolved with the process. And the cost savings of not printing instructions amounted to $250,000 over the first year that Magnolia used a digital workplace.
Once Joe got a thumbs-up from his manager for his mannequin training, he received a badge within the digital workplace system to signify that he had attained this new skill. Joe is motivated to earn badges at work; he also knows they are a good thing to point to next time he asks for a raise. He earned a couple more when he learned how to restock the clothing racks and how to manage the dressing rooms.
The next time that menswear was busy, and toys was slow, Joe volunteered to switch departments for the rest of his shift. He was now fully trained on menswear—he had the badges to prove it—and could seamlessly move over to where his help was needed most.
This was only possible with the flexible, digital, on-demand training enabled by a digital workplace.