Major retailers like Lowes and Walmart are making news with their increased prioritization of employee training; however, these are the outliers. According to recent studies, most retail employees receive no training at all, and many don’t see its value. A new State of Workplace Training survey from Axonify, a training software provider, revealed that most retail employees say training does not make them more effective at their job and does not impact their levels of engagement. Only 35 percent of employees surveyed said training helps them to be very effective at their jobs, and 31 percent said it made them feel extremely engaged. Even more troubling, the study found that 32 percent of retail employees don’t receive any formal training at all. A mere 22 percent receive online training, and 11 percent receive classroom training. This attitude regarding training is likely a holdover from less competitive times, both in terms of customers and associates. "I think that mediocrity was okay for a long time when people had a lot of money to spend and competition wasn’t as intense," says Zeynep Ton, an associate professor of operations management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. "Retailers are so focused on minimizing labor costs. They want to get more work done with fewer people. It makes for bad jobs for employees and bad service for customers." Ton adds that for retailers to survive in the modern business world, they will have to empower their employees to be more productive.
Retail Employees Are Woefully Untrained