How blended learning helps us create the best induction for Coral colleagues


Let’s go beyond the buzzwords for a second and let me tell you about redeveloping our induction for our colleagues working in shops.

We started off by looking for that secret recipe for “The Best Induction” and I’m sorry to tell you we haven’t found it. We have realised that it doesn’t exist. In short, what “works” is simply what works for your company.

Let me give you a bit of background and then I can show you the process we’ve adopted and the outcome that we have achieved.


The background


The idea was to create an induction to make new starters feel comfortable and confident in shop when they talk to customers and when they carry out any technical activities. At the same time, we wanted to provide managers with the right tools to make this happen.

Coral is an incredibly forward-thinking company and keeps changing and evolving as a business. So the induction needed to communicate what type of business we are, what products we have and how we wanted to be regarded by our colleagues.

We wanted it to help us to create a different culture and help people to take a different approach.

But wait… Coral is not like any other retailer on the High Street. To make sure that all customers have an enjoyable experience we have put in place a number of things, including a comprehensive compliance programme that offers a wide range of courses to deal with different customer needs and behaviours.


The process


We followed a common ID process that starts with the analysis of the training needs and follows with design, development and implementation of content.

We involved Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from different backgrounds to build an induction that not only tells new colleagues what they need to know about the company, but is also effective in helping colleagues to do the job effectively.

So we asked shop colleagues to take part to our analysis and design process. Who knows better than the people who do the job?

We started with a blank canvas, without thinking about what we already had in place.

The main questions were: What do new starters need to know and when? What are the business priorities? What are the compliance requirements? How does shop life look? How do people learn most effectively? What devices do they prefer?


The outcome


A blended learning programme delivered online by the LMS and in shop by the manager.

The programme is supported by a colleague notebook that is given to each new starter and a guide for managers to help them to deliver a great induction.

The programme also includes a series of processes that take place in shop in the form of interactions – simple things that sometimes can be forgotten. This could be a visit from the Area Manager to a new starter or a walk through the shop with another colleague to have a look at the products or to get introduced to regular customers. These are the kind of activities that are suggested in our eLearning and referenced in the notebooks.

The induction wants to set the same standards across all shops to make sure that all new colleagues have the same experience wherever they are and no matter which shop they have being assigned to.

The most important part of any induction is to check if learning is taking place and common practice is to assess people. However, we wanted to do things differently and even if we needed tests for compliance topics, we have decided to adopt a different approach for the rest of the induction. We have given managers more accountability and asked them to have conversations with new starters at certain stages of the induction. We have supported this process by implementing a report dashboard on the LMS and providing guidelines of what should be discussed during those conversations. In this way, managers can have meaningful conversations with colleagues and support them in every stage of the induction.

The result has been overwhelming and nine months into the new induction it’s great to see how it has been embedded into the shop culture. We are aware that this approach may not sound like rocket science to some of you, but it represents a great step in the right direction for Coral.