What a compliance program launch looks like through the eyes of an enabled grocery associate

Posted on: November 14, 2023By: Paige Magarrey

When products or programs deploy, associate preparedness can make or break the launch. The right training and enablement touchpoints can prepare your people to execute any key event—and put the right processes in place to flag gaps and execution challenges before they’re major issues. 

Let’s explore an example of a key event done right—the launch of a grocery store compliance program:

Grocery associate enablement for compliance training launch

Program details

A store policy around selling energy drinks has been updated to align with regulatory changes. Energy drinks are now separate from soda and snack aisles and are sold and displayed in a way that’s similar to alcohol. The goal of this enablement campaign is to prepare 100,000 grocery employees across 1500 store locations for a regulatory change of energy drinks sales for those under 16. The training will provide clear guidance around the regulations, clear instructions on store setup and consistent SOPs for age-restricted selling of energy drinks. Full audits and coaching on stores will be implemented where needed.

The enablement touchpoints

The L&D, operations and communications teams work together to develop an enablement plan that spans 70 days, including 50 days for preparing and 20 days for auditing and coaching afterward. Training begins 50 days prior to the program launch. All staff will get information outlining the regulatory changes and what it means for store operations, with resources and announcements added to a central library. Ongoing reinforcement and pulse checks monitor associate progress through the training. 

The launch will also require changes to store displays and floorplans, so these updates are built into training for overnight stock employees, and task assignments and supporting communications are directed to ensure changes are completed correctly and on time. Guidance on updating wayfinding signs is also sent to associates, with photo verification used to confirm completion. Checkout staff are trained and monitored for adherence to ID checks. Post-launch, site inspections evaluate the execution of the program, while pulse checks and reinforcement continue to monitor knowledge retention and identify gaps quickly.

With that birds-eye view of the program launch and how the workforce as a whole is being enabled, let’s look at this program experience from one specific employee: Melissa, a cashier who’s worked at her local grocery retailer for 18 months. Melissa has been effectively onboarded into her role and is an engaged, enabled employee. But key events like a compliance program launch still need to be approached with care to ensure that employee engagement and morale remain high.

Melissa’s pre-launch experience

Melissa first hears about the regulatory changes 50 days before the launch, when an announcement video is shared to the feed in her enablement app. She learns how these changes are impacting her store’s policy around selling energy drinks, and what that means for daily operations. 

When she goes into the app to complete her daily training, she starts learning details about how operations will change and what she’ll need to do differently when checking out customers buying energy drinks. Resources get added to her knowledge base, so she can self-serve additional info around IDing customers when needed.

Melissa and her team are sent a task list on how to change energy drink displays around cash and add additional wayfinding signage to support customers. As they prepare for the launch, they upload photos to the app to get verified. The setup gets flagged and they update the display to meet updated compliance standards.

Melissa’s launch day experience

As the launch gets closer, Melissa is getting reinforced on her training. A pulse survey asks her to evaluate how she’s feeling about the compliance changes. She shares that she’s feeling confident about adhering to the new ID checking process. In the days leading up to the launch, Melissa shares ideas with teammates from other locations on how to communicate the store changes to customers. Other associates share tips on effective ID checking. 

When launch day comes, Melissa feels empowered and ready to execute the changes. She shares details about the changes to customers and pulls up resources from the knowledge base as needed to answer questions.

Melissa’s post-launch experience

After the launch, Melissa’s manager audits her adherence to SOPs when checking out customers. Ongoing pulse surveys check in with Melissa and her team to see if they need additional support, while behavioral and store inspections monitor the execution of the program overall to identify compliance issues or opportunities for improvement. The overall program leaves Melissa feeling in-the-know and empowered to do her job effectively.

With the right tools, resources and support in place, a grocery workforce can be prepared and ready to execute a key event, no matter the scale. To learn more about building effective enablement campaigns for grocery workers, check out our Grocery Enablement Toolkit.

Paige Magarrey

Paige Magarrey is a writer, editor and content marketer obsessed with telling epic and informative stories about the frontline experience.

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