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Why Was Classroom Training Rated So Poorly?

Friday, September 15th, 2017

In “The Changing Nature of Organizations, Work, and Workplace,” Judith Heerwagen of J.H. Heerwagen & Associates and Kevin Kelly and Kevin Kampschroer of the U.S. General Service Administration note that work is now more: cognitively complex; team-based and collaborative; dependent on social skills; dependent on technological competence; time pressured; mobile and less dependent on geography.

Managers and employees need new skills to effectively manage these challenges- and they require learning and professional development options that go beyond traditional classroom training.

This is validated by the results of a 2017 survey of Learning in the Workplace conducted by Jane Hart, the Founder of the Center for Learning & Performance Technologies. Over 5,000 managers and employees were asked to rate the importance (value/usefulness) of 12 work-related learning methods as either: NI = Not Important; QI = Quite Important; VI = Very Important; or Ess = Essential.

The results of the Survey are identified in rank order below, with 1 being the highest ranking learning method. The methods were ranked by their combined VI+Ess (Very Important and Essential) scores. (The VI+Ess total is in parentheses after the method):

1. Daily work experiences (i.e., doing the day job) (93)

2. Knowledge sharing with your team (90)

3. Web search (e.g. Google) (79)

4. Web resources (e.g. videos, podcasts, articles) (76)

5. Manager feedback and guidance (74)

6. Professional networks and communities (72)

7. Coach or mentor feedback and guidance (65)

8. Internal resources (e.g. documents, guides) (60)

9. Blogs and news feeds (56)

10. E-learning (e.g. online courses for self-study) (41)

11. Conferences and other professional events (35)

12. Classroom training (31)

As you can see, the survey results reveal that the least valued way of learning in the workforce is classroom training!

We don’t know why the respondents give classroom training such a low rating. There can be many reasons, such as:

  • Content focused on theory rather than on practical application.
  • Too general one-size-fits-all examples difficult for the participants to translate and apply to their own work situations.
  • Ineffective training methods, such as a predominance of lecture with PowerPoint.
  • Lack of useful job aids.
  • The wrong people received the training, due in part to a need to ensure a sufficient number of butts in seats.
  • Inconvenient scheduling.
  • The time commitment and high cost of registration and travel for off-site classes.
  • Poor content, either outdated or irrelevant to real work needs.
  • Poor instructors, lacking effective presentation skills and/or classroom management skills.
  • No follow up by supervisors to reinforce the learning.
  • A lack of support for implementing any new learning.

Since I design and deliver classroom training, I would like to believe that it is not classroom training per se that the respondents rate so negatively- just poor curriculum design, delivery and facilitation.

What do you think?

5 Compelling Analytic Trends to Consider for Fashion eCommerce Sites

Friday, September 15th, 2017

The fashion industry is irrefutably one of the most prominent segments that embraces latest technologies in the fastest possible manner. While trailblazing eCommerce trends like Augmented Reality, Chatbots, AI, are making online shopping an electrifying experience, retailers on the other side need to start deploying analytical trends to take their sales to soaring levels. Owing to this, robust platforms like Magento and Shopify are integrating business intelligence solutions to assist retailers with real-time analytics on customer behaviour. Fashion is a best-known industry that explores latest trends for profits augmentation and hereby are the emerging analytical trends that are being gradually grasped by fashion merchants for boosting their retail sales.

Digitalisation and SMO optimisation

Retailers of fashion sites spend lucratively on marketing apart from promotionals through all possible digital mediums including social media to lure more customers. Social marketing and online advertising became paramount for online businesses as it brings forth the brand value and image to customers. Later, social media analytics and digital marketing responses reveal the influence of brand on customers and level of their satisfaction with the products. Small instances are the number of likes in brand’s Facebook page, number of views in a promotional YouTube video, or the number of shares made from a blog.

Anticipation of recent lifestyle trends

In such a highly volatile industry where fashion trends come and go in no time, merchants need to be impulsive to change their clothing and apparel collections and ranges as per the latest lifestyle trends. To get insights on fashion trends, they need to accumulate information from contemporary retail sites, social media, fashion articles and runaway reports, and blogs across all apparel categories, accessories and lifestyle items. Such detailed analytics aids eCommerce merchants in taking decisions for prompt sales.

Optimising for festival/holiday sales

Most fashion merchants face the backbreaking challenge of sales fluctuations on different seasons. They often fail to capitalise the unerring opportunities in the peak seasons and boost customer loyalty with alluring offers. With real-time analytics on the current market scenario, retailers can offer catering to the changing preferences of the buyers, negate surprises and maximise profits. In other words, time-to-time analytics help fashion eCommerce merchants to gain supreme flexibility in their supply chains.

Personalised recommendations

While upselling and cross-selling are innovative ideas for cumulating sales and conversions in online shopping sites, they can be employed in an effective and personalised way to engage more customers. By analysing the core customer data like age, gender, region, retailers can perceive the buying behaviour to some extent. Depending on the findings, they can show personalised offers or product recommendations. The more retailers are capable to judge the purchase behaviour and attitudes of customers, the better they get in deciding the products for upsell and cross-sell criteria.

Brand engagement through mobile use

Brand engagement is one of crucial success indicator for eCommerce retailers, be it fashion or any other sector, that is further driven through mobile use. Thus, besides using up different online ways including social media for increasing engagement, retail brands also require taking their online store to mobile platforms, through which they can interact with customers better. Brand engagement is positively correlated with in-store experiences. This rightly implies the better customers engage with you through mobile, the more satisfied they are with the online store.

These are the few most prevalent trends observed in fashion retail sector in eCommerce, for the sole purpose of augmenting sales by catering to the changing market scenario and altering customer behaviour. However, what Magento and other likewise platforms will unfold for enhancing eCommerce analytics in coming days is worth knowing.