Cost reductions in store after e-learning roll-out

Debenhams is rolling out an e-learning programme which will significantly
cut the cost and timeto train staff on its new computer systems.

The firm has invested around £450,000 in computer-based training (CBT)
systems for its office and restaurant staff. Eventually all 22,000 will receive
some form of CBT.

It has been introduced following a successful pilot scheme involving 70
staff, where training time was reduced from five to two hours and the cost per
head was cut from £10 to £2 compared to the previous classroom-based approach.

The training programme, designed by BYG systems, uses a mix of text, sounds,
animation and movie clips to teach staff how to operate new back office and
food service computer equipment.

Gordon Thomson, learning and development manager, said that all 90 stores
would be implementing the certificated e-learning programme.

"We’re trying to build an e-learning brand and CBT allows people to
train at their own pace. It also gives more consistent delivery of training
information across all our stores than classroom learning," he said.

"It is time-effective, giving staff more time to deal with customers
and it allows managers to cherry pick individual learning for each role. Staff
are encouraged to break the training into manageable chunks and work at their
own pace," added Thompson.

Around 500 employees will use the back office training and another 3,000
will use the food service system.

CBT has proved so successful that it has now been incorporated into the
induction process for staff at Debenhams head office.

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