Dollar General is planning to hire 20,000 new employees in spring 2021 as it begins the process of opening 1,050 new stores, remodeling 1,750 existing locations and relocating 100 stores by the end of the year. To help onboard and guide both new and current employees, the retailer has entered an employee training partnership with Axonify. Dollar General will utilize the Axonify training platform and content marketplace to enable continuous, personalized business learning and development to its more than 157,000 frontline, supply chain and corporate employees.
“They have a saying, ‘At the speed of Dollar General,’ and they needed their training solution to keep pace with the pace of their business,” said Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Traditional methods just don’t do that. It’s not in the flow of work, it doesn’t deal with bandwidth and doesn’t deal with distribution to thousands of stores with the needed level of consistency of message.”
The Axonify platform delivers training to associates’ device of choice, including personal smartphones. The bite-sized chunks of training, each only several minutes long, can be consumed on the associate’s own timetable. This makes it easy to slot into an otherwise standard shift — an important consideration when there are often only one or two workers manning a given location at a time.
“In a typical learning scenario you stick somebody in a back room to watch a video for an hour, but the human attention span is now somewhere around, at max, nine to 10 minutes,” said Leaman. “So from that tenth minute and for the remaining 50 minutes, you’re thinking about what you’re having for dinner, who you’re seeing that night, what you did three days ago, your to-do list — you are not listening to anything. The efficacy of that form of learning is incredibly low. In fact, 30 days after watching an hour-long video, the average person will remember 5% of it.”
Dollar General also will utilize the platform to continue promoting leaders from within to both store and regional management positions. Axonify tracks how well each user learns from the provided lessons. This functionality helps personalize lessons based on each employee’s needs, and also allows Dollar General to track each employee’s development to determine which ones are ready for more responsibility.
“We have a way to measure the confidence that somebody has in their knowledge, tie it to what they actually know or don’t know, and then hold those people up as, ‘Here’s a rock star, somebody that we think could make a really good store manager,’” said Leaman. “We give them the tools and the data to, at any given point in time, understand where people are and identify the really excellent employees and then help the ones that are struggling.”