Foot Locker

Discovers the power of communicating directly with

40k+ team members

Foot Locker Inc’s 44,000 team members don’t have corporate email addresses, so HQ traditionally sent updates via email to each store with the direction that store managers would relay important information to their teams through huddles or postings in the back room. But they had no way of tracking who was or wasn’t seeing key messages.

“HQ would communicate to the Regional Vice Presidents, who would then send the communication out to their group or district managers, who would then communicate the information down to a group of store managers,” says Dennis Gjaltema, Sr. Manager, L&D – EMEA, Foot Locker. “But a lot of things would get lost in translation or not reach the entire population we wanted to. So, we were really happy with the communication abilities in Axonify.”

The leadership team at Foot Locker quickly bought into Axonify as the perfect modern approach to training their frontline team members, but the communications piece was more of a light bulb moment during their first demo of the solution. While the leadership team was excited about the possibility of sending messages out directly to each team member through the platform, the mood shifted from anticipatory to mission critical thanks to an unexpected event.

“When COVID-19 hit we had tens of thousands of team members who went to work one day and the next day the stores were completely shut down. The communication functionality became a lifeline for us,” says Lauren Hayes, Head of Global Learning at Foot Locker.“We’ve often said, ‘What would we have done to keep team members engaged and updated without being able to reach them on their mobile devices through Axonify?’”

“The communication functionality became a lifeline for us. We’ve often said, ‘What would we have done to keep team members engaged without being able to reach them on their mobile devices through Axonify?’” -Lauren Hayes Head of Global Learning Foot Locker

Hayes admits that they most likely would have been relying on store managers to send out mass texts to their teams to provide important updates. Instead, Foot Locker’s leaders were able to get quick, consistent messages out around staying safe and healthy to keep a sense of community going.

“We increased our video training on COVID-related topics like how to wash your hands, how to be mindful about bacteria and germs and how to put on and take off a face mask,” says Gjaltema. “Our team members really appreciated the focus we were putting on their health and safety.”

District managers were also using Axonify— or Lace Up as they brand it internally at Foot Locker—to send messages of encouragement to their teams.

“We looked for creative ways to keep the teams engaged, like creating a rapid-fire video series focused on getting to know our leaders, asking them questions like, ‘What are you binge-watching right now?’ and ‘Who would be your dream dinner guests?’” says Hayes. “During such a scary, uncertain time it was a critical way for us to keep the team feeling engaged and connected.”

“Our goal with communication is staying connected to our team members and building a culture where they feel they truly belong. We want them to understand that when they come to work every day, it’s not just a job; they’re part of the Foot Locker family.” -Lauren Hayes Head of Global Learning Foot Locker

One thing that made reaching their teams simple during the pandemic was having a BYOD (bring your own device) option for training. When employees are in store, they also have the option of completing training on a desktop computer, but 93% of Foot Locker employees in North America still choose to do their daily training on their own devices (the number is even higher in EMEA, with 97% training on their mobile devices). To comply with requirements of Foot Locker’s legal team, users simply sign off on the Terms of Agreement each time they log in to train on their own devices, which clearly outlines that all training must be completed during working hours.

“The philosophy is the same globally,” says Gjaltema. “We make time for team members to Lace Up right before their shift starts and that is our only expectation of when they’ll train. And it takes less than five minutes, so it does not cut into productivity at all.”

The Foot Locker leadership team continues to use the communication functionality in Lace Up regularly, whether to speak out on world events that may be impacting team members, recognize team members’ accomplishments, share holiday-themed messages, or focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging.

“Whether it’s acknowledging events that are happening across the country, or even the world—our goal with communication is staying connected to our team members and building a culture where they feel they truly belong,” says Hayes. “We want them to understand that when they come to work every day, it’s not just a job; they’re part of the Foot Locker family.”

Back to Chapter 1

Communication and BYOD

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Continue to Chapter 3

Building a daily habit

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Read Chapter 4

Proactive partnership

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