Rebecca Sinclair – Your Learning Strategy

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Rebecca Sinclair:

Hi, everyone, I’m Rebecca Sinclair, I’m the chief human resource officer and senior vice president of southeastern grocers. Today, I want to talk with you about your learning strategy at the heart of transformation. I’ve been fortunate in my career to work for some of the best brands in the world. I have worked for Victoria’s secret, I’ve worked for Starbucks. I’ve¬†worked with them in different places of their company, life cycle and in each case, helping to transform the business in the culture, using forward-thinking learning strategies.

Today, I want to talk with you about my most recent journey, which is about transforming the culture and learning strategies at southeastern grocers. So how do you take a business that’s challenged, and how do you quickly rebuild it with sustainability? That was what I was presented with. We had a broken business that didn’t have any learning infrastructure, and all knowledge was gone. So where do we begin? We started with the jobs that make the most impact to the customers. That’s, where we went first. Fundamentally, our challenge was unique. Ah, we have three banners that we serve, and we have over seven hundred fifty locations. So if you think about that it’s not just coming into one company that you need to start to transform, you have three separate cultures that you need to get online in order to get the business moving forward. We have over sixty-five thousand employees. So as you can understand, it was quite a challenge to assess. So where do we start, and how do we do it? So what is fundamental to a business transformation? Well, a focus, people strategy that aligned to the business strategy. I think we all try and start it that point, but how do you do it? We use an integrated, yet layered approach by design, and what that means is you build something that fits together, but you don’t necessarily introduce it all at one time. You do it in bite-size pieces, so the organization can learn how to learn different pieces of it, and they can get better, and they could get stronger. What does that do? That allows you to make the organization smarter and more nimble? They can move faster as you give him the building blocks, they can build speed. Partner with leadership and gain alignment is this as the chief human resource officer that’s my key role, but when you’re also rebuilding a learning strategy, you have to make sure that it is all tethered together. once you have that alignment, it’s great, but I’m sure we’ve all been there. Everybody has an opinion about HR. Everybody knows about people, they know what’s best from there for their learning. Well, you have to own your space because everyone has an opinion. So that’s my tip of the day to you, be innovative, be lean, build a better machine, figure out how to do it quick and how to landed. Customers come first, so what’s getting in the way. We’re a retail business, and if we can’t serve our customers, we’re not going to be in business. EngagementÔľĆassociates believing that what they matter and how they do it matters. So tie all that you want to do to an outcome upfront. What does that mean? Well, that means if we’re trying to improve customer service, and we know that a cashier is the one who creates that experience. What do we do first? we make sure that they know how to ask, how to thank how to greet how to accurately scan their product so that they can create a great experience with that customer is leaving the store each and every time consistently. How do you know if it’s all working well, you have to look at the financial measurements, the customer measurements and the people metrics, that’s easier said than done in the world of HR, I think we were so often trying to try learning to the business outcomes, we are not always that effective, and today, I think the platform that we’ve used will be able to tell you a little bit about that, and we’ve been able to do a brilliant job of showing how we’re moving the business forward shows that success is tangible prove out that knowledge makes a difference and that’s the learning system that we went with is one that can incrementally improve knowledge and create a rapid sustainment of it.Leading and coaching in a servant way accelerates change we can come up with the best learning strategies in the world, we can train people over and over again, but if the leaders actually can’t coach, if they can’t be humble, if they can’t serve others, you can’t teach anyone, and so we had to prepare our leadership team to be able to do this. We have sixty-five thousand associate seven hundred fifty stores. And in a year and a half, we have begun a major transformation of our leadership team and have engagement scores of about eighty-six percent. So make sure that leadership sees through the eyes of the customer and coaches through that lens. I’ve been in retail of very long time, and quite often we all say that we’re looking through the customers lens. But I can walk through a store and you have to be in the environment, and leaders walk by things that are so obvious each and every day so it’s making sure that they stay in the right frame to be looking at the store, the associates, the customer experience each and every moment that they’re in the store. Everyone matters, every job is important to create pride. There are so many jobs in the retail world, at least that I’ve been in throughout my career, where people are they’re very humble, they are hardworking, and every penny that they make makes a difference to them. It really matters, so what you do to let them know that they’re important and they make a difference. You can’t put money on that type of commitment. So what did we do? We did three things. We looked at creating stellar customer service, which we talked about, a modern learning and engagement platform. And then, finally, how do we sustain knowledge? So we rebuilt core training in every part of our retail organization. We had nothing. It was broken. We had companies, three banners that had merged together. So what good looks like what routines look like, how we were going to do it. We started from scratch to figure out what the routines were going to be, so we could build the right training for them. Leadership, training, management development and training to do the job. And that goes back to a lot of our leading and coaching on being able to actually deliver, to support our associates who are going through the training experience. So what we did? this is the fun part about where the journey takes an interesting twist in the story, went on a bit of a quest to find a learning system that could help us rebuild knowledge more quickly, help me figure out if I have a b or c students and then figure out can i tie back to a business result, and on that journey and listening to our associates, we knew that traditional LMS didn’t work. Ah, sitting behind a terminal for, you know, thirty minutes trying to figure out how to do your job wasn’t going to do it, asking leaders to coach their team to be able to a job, never happened. What do we do? We found a company up in Canada during this quest named Axonify and they had just the platform that we felt was going to be able to help us take our strategy on what we needed to rebuild for associates and give us the majored knowledge outcomes to move the business forward. So we had to rebuild knowledge, so capability and knowledge we did it quickly, it’s been a year and a half. We sustained through rapid reinforcement. The system that we use three minutes a day, our associates are on testing and answering questions on what it is that is about their job, it’s important. Things they should know what they should do. They are always current to what’s going on in the company, allow us to change as business changes. If the business has a priority that shifts. We’re able to very quickly move our associates to focus through the system and technology that we have. We can communicate with sixty-five thousand associates at a snap of the fingers, and we can get the message out to them, and we can get the learning and the product to them that we know is going to actually change what it is they’re doing and the customer experience at the same time. So let me tell you a little bit about Axonify, which is the tool that we’ve been using. its three to five minutes a day, um and it’s easy every associate when they log in in the morning. There they clock in, they go and they do their learning for the day, three to five minutes. Whoever thought learning and rebuilding a company and knowledge could be that easy. It really is. It has games that they play, it’s personalized, its bite-sized, it’s what they need to know when they need to know it. Uh, it’s measurable. So we can not only tell if they’re doing it. And I think compliance is one thing. But I think we need to move from old school compliance to new, you know, what’s, the new day measurement and that’s. I want to know if my students are a b or c students. I want to be able to help them become the best that they can possibly be and that’s what I’m able to do with this level of technology and analytics. So we had ninety-five percent voluntary participation. We’re creating a culture where it is natural, where it is accepted. It is something that our associates are seeking. They want to learn they want to get on the system. They want to see what’s new. Average frequencies are about eleven times a month, so whenever and associates coming to work based upon their schedule, they’re getting on the system. And they’re learning, whatever it is that they need to learn related to their job to be current, and they can weaken quickly, reach associates with consistent messages each and every day. I think it’s a wonderful thing when you have sixty-five thousand associates to be able to get a message out to them. If there’s a critical thing that’s happened in the organization that they need to know, or simply something where we really want to congratulate, appreciate or just have a general message to them about the work that they’re doing. I want to thank you for your time today. And I hope that you’ll find some of this information useful.