I’ve been following the retail rumors swirling at Google’s feet. Their projected move toward creating brick and mortar stores is a telling trend that we’re seeing as retail’s lifeblood: the customer experience. With Apple’s unparalleled success in retail, Microsoft and now Google are shifting part of their effort offline and into the brick and mortar world where they are strategically putting their products in the hands of their customers. It isn’t enough to read a spec sheet anymore; consumers want to pick up devices and take them for a test run before buying. They want to be part of the brand by rubbing elbows with a Genius or a Device Guru.
To effectively get Google stores off the ground, they will need to create training and development opportunities for the employees who will be the face of Google Retail. Here at Allen, we understand the complexities of designing and developing large-scale training programs. So, we would like apply our expertise as training consultants to outline a path to success for Google as they get geared up to edge Apple’s success.
Identify Potential Impact:
As training consultants, we’d start with an analysis of Google’s business goals, and then start asking important questions: How they plan on selling their brand along with their products? What will their employee demographic look like? How will they educate their customers on how to navigate and use the retail store?
Analyze Success Factors:
Once we’ve done some initial data gathering, we’ll focus on what behaviors their employees will need to be successful. We’ll take a look at these from three perspectives: what they need to do (skills mastery), what they need to know (critical thinking), and what will get them to want to do their job well (motivation). This process culminates in Google Performance Map that will guide the design and implementation of the curriculum. This step is critical in ensuring that the design we present is aligned with needed behaviors that are mapped back to business goals. If training isn’t targeted and measurable then how will you know if you’ve really impacted behavior?
A state-of-the art company like Google will want to provide the best, most efficient training for their employees, so we’ll use our 30+-year expertise in the field to design a comprehensive training approach. We know that successful training hinges on a layered approach that includes different modalities for different needs. I can’t tell reveal what it would be because we never offer the same thing to any two companies—our solution would be perfectly tailored to Google’s needs. But, I can promise that it would be Google-inspired cool since the training needs to reflect the brand and resonate with employees.
Implement and Sustain:
It won’t be enough to give employees initial training and then set them free. We take the lifecycle approach with ongoing performance support and training that is continually monitored, reevaluated, and refreshed. Our training consultants know what to refresh by measuring the success by established metrics and systems. As Google’s retail stores grow, they will need this iterative approach in order to meet the needs of their employees but also the needs of their customers.