The frontline employees of any retail company are in direct connect with the customers. This is also why these employees need to be updated on the frequently-changing products and the offerings in real time.
Now to keep the frontline staff updated on the latest products and offerings, Tata Croma or Infinity Retail, created an application called Base Station.
“The app was developed two years back for employees’ communication, training, certification programmes, and for solving queries as well. It’s the only means of connect between the employees and the Company,” shares Joe Chacko, chief HR and Organisational Learning, Croma.
When customers walk into the store to buy or inquire about particular products and also have a fair amount of information on the products, the store associate’s awareness level of the products needs to be a notch higher than that of the customer’s. “This is why, when a new product comes to the market, its working and related FAQs are all posted on the app for the convenience of our store employees. This way, they don’t have to wait for us to connect with them and explain the need, working or specifications of the new product,” explains Chacko.
“While certain training needs have been and can still be met through classroom or instructor-led trainings, digital learning is the most efficient and effective way to mitigate the challenges,” claims Chacko.
It is a central hub for all the learning and development interventions. Base Station Web and App help Croma host enriching content, enable its trainers to deliver new methodologies of training and also provide a wholesome learning experience to the learners. It offers short and bite-sized learning to the employees on the floor, which is easy to review, implement and apply.
“While certain training needs have been and can still be met through classroom or instructor-led trainings, digital learning is the most efficient and effective way to mitigate the challenges”
For Croma, digital learning seemed to be the perfect solution for an effective approach to achieving the training goals with quality, uniformity and efficiency. This not only provided the sales associates with ease of accessibility to the information, but also made the information available precisely when their moment of need arose.
In today’s world, information and technology is dynamic, ever-changing. The trainers and the learners have to be on top of their game. The solution is to have a tool in place that encompasses all of these aspects. The Base Station Web and App ensures accessibility, scalability, reduction in learn time, cost saving, and ease of reporting.
Learning and development at Croma focuses on acquisition of knowledge, skills, behaviours or competencies which are critical for organisational success. “In order to manage and improve current or future performance, we have adopted various methodologies that cater to all kinds of learners. Our interventions are not restricted to classroom or on-the-job training but there is a lot of focus on delivering learning experiences that facilitate anytime, anywhere learning,” claims Chacko.
In the field of technology, ‘base station’ refers to any device or unit used as a mode to send and receive signals. Typically serving as the central hub for wireless network communication between computers or for sending and receiving voice and data transmissions from cellular phones, ‘base station’ also refers to the primary location where the device charges its battery.
“We are a consumer durable and IT company, and therefore, it’s only fair that our learning management system represents what we do. Hence, the name, Base Station,” explains Chacko.
From the employees’ perspective, the app-based content focuses on products and processes, new launches, announcements, gamification of processes, knowledge assessments, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), and so on. On the other hand, from the organisation’s perspective, the content focuses on the Tata Code of Conduct (TCOC), policies and processes, Croma privileges and offers, and so on.
Chacko explains, “With Base Station in place, now each and every function can directly communicate with the stores seamlessly and with ease. There is no distortion of messaging and the reach is to all the employees across all locations and levels.”
This brought a whole lot of change in the way the people operate at Croma. All the policy changes, new product launches, information related to what’s trending, and all relevant and important communication is sent to the appropriate users on their Base Station apps. “The impact has been tremendous as we see that the ‘views’ and ‘likes’ for all the communication is more than 90 per cent. The modules related to product and new launches are even higher at a completion percentage of 96 per cent,” reveals Chacko.
Base Station has also helped the L&D team in connecting with the store associates in a better manner to schedule and conduct training programs. Along with the digital content the classroom and on-floor training are now being scheduled through Base Station.