The Irish sector of this European supermarket chain, this client had high expectations of all services they purchase to improve employee’s performance. As of 2019, 200 stores were operating across the island of Ireland with over 5000 employees. There are approximately 2 million customers shopping at these stores every week. The performance of the staff greeting, serving and interacting with these customers is of great concern. However, this was not the only need. There are staff working in offices across the island that also have vital training requirements.
- Collaboration and close consultation – From the outset, we consulted with the client’s learning specialists and the SMEs from their Environmental Health and Safety department, to ensure that we understood clearly their vision of success, including the course’s learning objectives.
- Brainstorming – Our team of learning experience designers and digital designers brainstormed together to come up with an exciting new approach to this content.
- New template – We designed and developed a new template for this course, with a fresh look and feel; it involved a more video-based approach, with much less of a click-through format than the other warehouse courses (Manual Handling, Fire Safety Awareness and Food Safety Awareness). Using the click-through approach here would have potentially demotivated learners, since there was so much content to navigate through. We opted for a premium level of design that involved a more automated progression through the content, so the user experience was very intuitive and smooth.
- Video – Whereas each of the ‘standard’ warehouse courses included two minutes of animation, this premium course featured several videos, including bespoke animation, real-life on-site video footage, and screencasting video, many with voice-over. It also featured interactive videos – for instance, footage with interrupting questions for the learner to answer. This ensured an even higher engagement value for the learner.
- Animation – This course also featured a greater amount, and broader range, of animation, such as the aforementioned bespoke animation, along with native Storyline animation and typographic animation. These all increased the course’s visual impact and helped to make the content more engaging and memorable.
- Stylistic consistency – We retained key stylistic elements of the other warehouse courses, such as the Lidl employee characters Simon and Fiona, for stylistic consistency across the entire suite of learning resources.
- RDC (site) visit – We arranged a special site visit by one of our learning experience designers and one of our digital designers to Lidl’s Nutts Corner RDC to record footage of best practice in the warehouse, such as how to drive a forklift properly. Our two designers also took photographs to complement and enhance the content, and consulted with the on-site Lidl experts to draw on their expertise. This visit was invaluable in enabling us to obtain video footage and photographic imagery that made the course content extremely useful to learners, since it was realistic and highly relevant to their daily roles and responsibilities. A huge degree of the course’s impact hinged on this verisimilitude and contextual specificity; it embodied best practice in digital learning design by immersing the learners in the workplace environment and typical activities.
- Scenarios – For relevance and emotional resonance, we created scenarios such as an animation about the fictional Lidl warehouse employees Greg and Mark, who are involved in a workplace accident involving a pick truck. This ensured that we converted abstract, theoretical content – on topics such as safety culture; roles and responsibilities; hazards; workplace transport; and reporting incidents – into vibrant, ‘sticky’ learning that was immediately useful to learners.
We delivered two 15-minute modules, Part 1 and Part 2, that Lidl have rolled out for employees in their Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland RDCs. This allowed the client to move from traditional video- and paper-based learning methods to contemporary, sophisticated, high-end digital learning design that facilitates effective large-scale learning. It has garnered the attention of Lidl’s international colleagues across the organisation.
This new, premium design template has since provided the basis for later learning projects Lidl have entrusted to us – such as their Store: Health and Safety course. Having this alternative to the standard course format has allowed us to create a portfolio of resources that is coherent, consistent, yet varied. Lidl now have a variety of approaches to draw on when dealing with varying amounts and types of learning content.
This learner-friendly format has been a vital asset to Lidl in delivering large-scale training on a crucial, content-heavy topic at short notice, such as in the early stages of the current COVID-19 pandemic, when, like retailers globally, they suddenly found themselves under intense pressure to ramp up resourcing in order to meet public demand.