How e-learning is transforming The Body Shop

by John Hilton02 Dec 2015
The busy Christmas period is further evidence of how integral e-learning and m-learning are for The Body Shop, said Sarah Reeves, National Learning and Development Manager at The Body Shop.

The Body Shop implemented an e-learning platform in August 2014, and are considering building further content to support the learning for At Home consultants, and their retail store staff.

“A large proportion of our At Home independent consultants are regional, while some of them may work part or full-time and have other jobs,” Reeves told L&D Professional.

“Often they can have family commitments that will prevent them from being able to attend the traditional classroom based learning.

“We still offer that, but we need to start thinking about ways in which we can offer learning in a different way because they need to be able to access that learning anywhere, anytime.”

Reeves said e-learning has been particularly useful for The Body Shop during peak trade.

“Christmas is a really busy period for us because we are a big Christmas gift destination store,” said Reeves.

In particular, the real challenge is to make sure the onboarding period is a really positive experience for learners, she said.

This is because The Body Shop would normally spend a longer period of time going through the training during the year, however they have had to condense some of the programs and turn them into e-learning courses for those busy periods.

“We are onboarding Christmas staff that are seasonal and giving them the tools they need to do their job well, but in a really efficient and effective method,” said Reeves.

“If they were going to stay on with us on a permanent basis, we would then go back and give them the longer version, but putting on additional staff at Christmas means we need to get them trained up pretty quickly and e-learning is fantastic for that.”

In the future, Reeves sees further mobile learning and more opportunities to explore different platforms.

“We need to chunk down learning into bite size pieces that can be just picked off the shelf when you need it, and accessed through multiple devices anytime, anywhere,” she said.

“Down the track you can imagine a lot of businesses would start to have their own apps that drive training for their organisations.

“We are also in the process of looking into having iPads installed for our staff to complete learning live in the shop floor as part of our sales environment,” she said.

Reeves added that The Body Shop are hoping to do this within the next year.

“E-learning is a good option because we already have a platform and they could access that via the iPad,” she said.

“We’re also looking at other forms of gamification, to keep that learning short, sharp and relevant.”