helps Foot Locker continue
improving their training
Foot Locker knew that getting impactful results from its Lace Up training solution, powered by Axonify, would mean delivering the right content to team members across the business. Spending time with Axonify’s instructional design team up front to understand the question-based learning approach and methodology around building out questions helped the Foot Locker team stay laser focused on only building content that would make the most significant impact in their stores. It also ensured they weren’t putting out so much content that their frontline people wouldn’t have time to get through it all.
“We love video for training because it’s very engaging for our team members and clearly demonstrates the expected behaviors.” says Lauren Hayes, Head of Global Learning at Foot Locker. “But the video is simply a vehicle for introducing a topic. The actual learning in Axonify happens through the questions it serves up and the explanations that are given after you answer them. So, I always emphasize the importance of reading those explanations. Whether you get the questions right or wrong, the explanations are where the learning happens.”
Now that they’re up and running, the Foot Locker team authors 99% of their content in-house with a lean team of four instructional designers—two for North America and EMEA, and two more for their head office and contact center learners.
They also tap into Axonify’s Content Marketplace for topics, like state-specific harassment training or the COVID-19-specific topics that were offered up in the early days of the pandemic. “Axonify did a great job providing really timely plug-and-play content through their Content Marketplace during COVID-19,” says Hayes. “That was really helpful for our teams to leverage when things were changing so rapidly.
In EMEA and APAC, getting content out to team members has an added layer of complexity due to cultural differences and translations. In addition to English, the EMEA & APAC team must also work with a translation agency to ensure training is available in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Korean and even Hebrew, for their franchise partners. And they need to adjust for any cultural or religious realities.
“Axonify did a great job providing really timely plug-and-play content through their Content Marketplace during COVID-19. That was really helpful for our teams to leverage when things were changing so rapidly.”
“Once the US team finalizes the content, my stakeholders and I go through it and identify what needs to change,” says Dennis Gjaltema, Sr. Manager, L&D – EMEA, Foot Locker. “So, we stay true to the global approach, but we have to localize it for the realities in EMEA and APAC and that takes some extra time.”
The depth of partnership Foot Locker has experienced working with Axonify along their training transformation journey goes well beyond content development. According to Hayes, they knew from the very beginning that they were in good hands. And Gjaltema fully agrees. “Every question we had, every challenge, every concern, there was always a solution or a quick turnaround from the Axonify team. It felt like their implementation team was part of the Foot Locker team because we were so involved with one another. The level of engagement and support was just awesome.”
Hayes attributes the lack of friction to trusting the process. “We know our business and our audience, but Axonify knows the platform,” she says. “Not being too rigid on how we thought things ‘should be’ really helped with our ultimate success.”
“The level of support we receive as an Axonify customer is wonderful,” says Hayes. “Their team didn’t go away after implementation. We still meet with our customer success manager every other week and talk about how we can continue to evolve and improve the experience.”
“Every question we had, every challenge, every concern, there was always a solution or a quick turnaround from the Axonify team. The level of engagement and support was just awesome.”
Clock in, Lace Up, Win
While Foot Locker has big plans ahead for continuing to grow and enhance their Lace Up strategy, Hayes couldn’t be happier with how far they have come.
“We were able to say to our team members, ‘We heard what you wanted from a learning perspective. And we’re able to deliver it in a fun and engaging way that just takes two minutes a day and is going to set you up for success,’” she says. “At the end of the day, you launch something and hope the employees like it as much as you do. 44,000 people is a big number to sway!”
“It’s amazing how well it caught on,” says Hayes. “If I go visit a store, I’ll often hear the question, ‘Did you Lace Up today?’ It has a life of its own—it’s a verb now. When I let them know I helped develop the platform and create the content they get excited, ask questions and offer suggestions. And I always tell them: it’s ideas from you and your team members that brought us Lace Up, so all feedback is welcome!”
The Foot Locker team continues to challenge themselves on how they can do things different and better, not just to impact the customer experience, but to impact the employee experience too. Because, in the end, a confident, high-performing frontline workforce translates into really happy customers.
“Customers nowadays are well-informed, they know the product, the trends and what they want. We have multiple competitors that offer the same products, so we need to differentiate our experience,” says Gjaltema. “We want shoppers to come into a Foot Locker because they are looking to have a great experience and it’s our store teams that directly impact those moments. Making sure we train and develop our people is what makes us stand apart from our competitors.”
Beyond the customer experience, Foot Locker leaders believe it’s their responsibility to train their team members in meaningful ways. “We want to give them the tools to progress in their careers, either within our business or in the next one they join,” says Gjaltema. “It’s just what you do when you care for your people.”
“My message to our team members is that our customers have so many options, so we need to focus on what’s going to differentiate us and that is the customer experience,” says Hayes. “Having our team members clock in and Lace Up before they hit the sales floor every shift is a powerful way to get them ready to wow our customers. Axonify is helping us change team behaviors and we are seeing the results in our OSAT scores and customer reviews. It’s all about exceeding expectations—that’s how you win in retail today.”