The key to getting the learning balance right

by John Hilton08 Nov 2015
The Coffee Club is continuing to face a number of challenges that has required it to move beyond face-to-face learning and increasingly embrace technology.

“We’re approaching 6000 employees in Australia and we are in nine other countries so we are dealing with a lot of different people in a lot of different places,” said Tammy Ryder, General Manager of People at Minor DKL Food Group and The Coffee Club Group.

They are also catering to a new generation, Generation Z, who are highly responsive to new technology.

“Everything is mobile and needs to be on an iPhone or iPad so learning technology is hugely appealing to them because it’s interactive and they can use it wherever or whenever they want,” she said.

“We complement our e-learning with our in-store training, but we primarily use e-learning as our base knowledge to get that consistency and communicate what our standards, processes and core fundamentals are.”

However, they are also dealing with people who enjoy human interaction, but who want to take advantage of the ease of technology. One solution to this is through the medium of webinars.

“Webinar technology is fantastic these days and anybody can click on the link to join in,” said Ryder.

“I know it’s not traditional e-learning, but it’s another way of getting that electronic learning out there to people. It’s really bridging the gap between e-learning itself and face-to-face learning.”

The Coffee Club is currently doing a lot more internally with webinars both with their franchisees and their managers, and are looking at doing even more next year.

“We find it a great way to talk about more complicated issues, particularly our HR advice. HR legislation for our franchisees can be big, scary and very detailed,” she said.

The webinars typically run for between 45 minutes to one hour, and as people are learning and watching they can type in questions while the PowerPoint presentation is paused.

“It’s giving more of the face-to-face experience while still having the benefits that you can have somebody in Kalgoorlie, Katherine, Mount Isa, Tasmania, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all sitting on a webinar together. So it bridges those time zones and locations and it’s giving them more of a classroom type feel,” she said.  

“Our franchisees absolutely love it. It’s free and it’s easy. Anybody with an iPad, laptop computer and internet connection can get involved. So we are really seeing that as something we are going to ramp up.”