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LAS VEGAS – A panel of leading technology and training experts were joined by a Texas-based convenience store retailer and Convenience Store News’ editorial director for a roundtable discussion on the key trends expected to impact the convenience store industry in the coming year and the role of e-learning to drive better results.
Meeting at the Gordon Biersch Brewery after a day at the NACS Show were:
- Anthony Aurigemma, Director, Client Success, IBM Security Solutions;
- Christopher Benz, Director of Online Events, The eLearning Guild;
- Clyde Seepersad: General Manager, Training & Certification, The Linux Foundation;
- Don Longo, Editorial Director, Convenience Store News;
- Ed Sattar, CEO, 360training.com; and
- Tom Heath, Chief Operating Officer, Hub City Convenience Inc.
"Bringing together this accomplished group of professionals, with varying backgrounds across the convenience store, training and technology industries, will allow us to dive deep into current and rising trends and identify synergies between the industries that will aid in growth, employee development and increased revenue opportunities," said 360training.com CEO Sattar.
The panel was moderated by Allyson Jacobsen, vice president of marketing for 360training.com.
One of the major trends identified by the panel was the changing makeup of the American consumer, specifically the growth of multiculturals and millennials.
Particularly with millennials, technology is key to reaching and engaging today’s consumers and workers. “But technology has to be simple to be effective,” noted Heath, who leads operations for the c-store chain with stores in Texas and New Mexico.
Other insights/recommendations from the panelists included:
- The best way to train somebody is to train them when they are most interested. “Raise time” is an optimal time to teach an employee.
- The attention span of millennials is shockingly short, and they prefer to watch videos than to read manuals. It’s best to make them absorb training in small bits.
- Training is still wrongly perceived by many companies as a cost, and not the business imperative that it is. It’s the first budget item cut, but one of the most important as it results in reduced turnover and happier customers.
- Gamification is a growing trend in e-learning.
- You can’t overestimate the value of in-store employees in protecting the confidentiality of your data. Well-trained employees can help prevent data breaches.
- Training needs to involve feedback from those being trained.