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Elevating Training and Onboarding Effectiveness for New Employees

Retailers have long struggled with high attrition rates and the constant burden of hiring and assimilating new employees. With many in the industry acknowledging an average cost of over $2,500 per employee to onboard and train new hires, it can take weeks or even months to recover from these investments before seeing an impact on productivity.  That’s why Theatro has designed a cost-effective solution to streamline training and onboarding efforts, allowing new team members to become valuable assets to the team—even on their very first day.


The Challenge: High attrition & inefficient onboarding

In our impact study analysis of a big box retail Theatro client, annual hiring was in the 6,000-employee range, putting onboarding costs in the range of $15 million dollars on an annualized basis. However, costs went beyond just the onboarding of each employee. The training processes that followed the onboarding time period often required extensive oversight from experienced team members who were needed in other operational roles—ultimately leaving them less effective on a daily basis.

As such, this retailer struggled to provide team members with adequate training about products, services, and operational knowledge before they were needed on the floor. Due to these factors, the retailer began searching for a solution to engage employees early in their onboarding process to help reduce attrition costs, improve retention rates, accelerate training processes, and expand proficiencies.

The Solution: Learning a different way

Centralized training programs have long played a key role for retailers to maximize the strength of their corporate training assets across the chain. And though computer-based or instructor-led training can be utilized to dispense training in a cost-effective manner, the downside is that they still require pulling knowledgeable employees off the floor which wastes labor hours, hinders operations and reduces productivity.

To overcome these obstacles, Theatro played a vital role in enabling the retailer’s teams with capabilities such as: real-time communications, on-the-floor assistance, and follow-up instruction. The Theatro Mobile Communication Platform also provided a solution for corporate and store management to deliver training in a way that could be performed on the floor and at times that would not hinder the customer experience.

Using Theatro’s new Workforce Optimized App, Training Buddy, trainers could check in as the day’s scheduled “Training Buddy” to provide support to other team members who were learning a new skill, needed a little refresher, or were ready to begin their first day on the job. And with live in-ear alerts via TIVA, Theatro’s Intelligent Voice Assistant, trainees were able to perform job functions, find information and get feedback without delay. These capabilities, coupled with increased usage and engagement visibility, allowed leadership to finally dedicate attention and training resources to reinforce skill-building where they were actually needed.

The Results: Saving millions on onboarding & training

In our analysis with this retail client, we found that store labor planning models could be reduced annually by several hundred thousand to greater than a million dollars, depending on the number of stores. And beyond labor savings and increased revenue opportunities, corporate training teams also gained a new understanding of training effectiveness and employee engagement.

After deploying Theatro, this big box retail client was not only able to deliver training in a better way but also was able to realize the following benefits:

  • $1.3M saved annually in reduced costs to onboard and train new employees by delivering training content directly to their ears instead of computer-based training alone
  • 9% improvement in reclaimed time and associate engagement as training was delivered on the sales floor where it mattered most, helping employees feel successful which improved job satisfaction and boosted productivity
  • $3.3M in increased revenue due to repurposing labor and applying reclaimed training time to customer engagements on the sales floor


Connect with Theatro!

Theatro’s Mobile Communication Platform enables digital transformation all the way to the frontline by connecting every frontline employee to the enterprise. By closing communication gaps and enabling frontline team members to collaborate and work efficiently as OneTeam, stores can consistently deliver game-changing customer service experiences that compel customers to return again and again.

If you’re ready to arm your frontline team with the technology they need to be successful and provide best-in-class service, contact us today at info@theatro.com or schedule a demo to experience the difference!