A comfortable and technological innovation in classroom training for DFS

With over 45 years’ experience in the retail industry DFS has 107 stores across the UK, Ireland and The Netherlands, with their first store opening in Spain this year.

The Challenge

Taking action, DFS decided it was time to take a step into digital learning and create a blended programme using both face-to-face training and e-learning, saving both time and money for learners and the organisation. Due to the tightening of many ever-changing compliance laws, it was beneficial for DFS to convert its compliance classroom training into multi-device e-learning, ensuring it can keep material up-to-date with law.

These modules covered the following mandatory subjects, targeted at a specific range of learners:

  • Manual Handling – for all staff to ensure they do not injure themselves when lifting
  • Data Protection – for all staff to ensure both customer and staff information are handled following the correct policies
  • Interest Free Credit – For Finance team members who approve credit and loans for DFS customers

After going out to tender with a high volume of suppliers, DFS selected Learning Pool as its chosen supplier due to their professional experience in e-learning. Caroline Gascoigne, National Qualifications Manager who was involved in the e-learning project explains:

“In our selection process of finding the right partner to work with, we met with many companies and from meeting with all of the staff at Learning Pool and seeing their previous work we were confident this would be the right fit.”

What we did
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The Solution

After visiting DFS’ showrooms to get a feel for the company and it’s values, Learning Pool created a suite of three bespoke, interactive e-learning modules which were intended to engage learners. Distributing training in this way has saved time for both the organisation and employees as they are able to complete training in store rather than travelling to Doncaster.

A key requirement for DFS required the modules to be highly customised to its brand’s look and feel, as it didn’t want something off-the-shelf. The e-learning needed to reflect its own values for an on-brand user experience and it trusted in Learning Pool to successfully execute this.

The accessibility of online training allows DFS to easily re-train employees, for example Interest Free Credit has to be legally passed on a 12 month cycle.

Due to the wider adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) it was also important for the e-learning course to be multi-device, so employees could access learning on their iPads. With the constant need to refresh skills, e-learning has become a simple solution to decreasing the time learners spend away from store, as they can partake in training at home, at their point of need, and even on their own device!

One of the key benefits for DFS utilising e-learning for compliance is that it ensures DFS is always fully compliant. Having a robust system in place means the organisation is able to fully monitor and track all training and can easily keep a record of what employee has taken the appropriate compliance module they need for their job role, as well as amend any changes in legislation easily via the e-learning.

The ability to use these compliance modules with every employee throughout the organisation was also an exciting feature for DFS. Using the same learning content, delivered in the same way, sends out a more thorough message to learners rather than face-to-face training which can easily vary in consistency if the trainer decides to put a different slant on the subject.

Caroline Gascoigne
National Qualifications Manager

“In our selection process of finding the right partner to work with, we met with many companies and from meeting with all of the staff at Learning Pool and seeing their previous work we were confident this would be the right fit.”

Impact and results

DFS now utilises e-learning as an everyday part of its training process; its users have adapted so well to the digitising of training that the organisation has been bombarded with requests for more online modules.

Accepting it’s a quicker and easier method of spreading training across the company, DFS recently introduced four further e-learning modules with Learning Pool, covering:

  • Health and Safety
  • Sofa Care
  • Product knowledge
  • Good Customer outcomes

Caroline Gascoigne continues:  “It’s a plus that their Nottingham office is reasonably local for us, but it’s all about their presentation and the great relationships we have built up with the team.”

Going forward DFS plans to continue with its blended approach utilising both classroom and online training as it continues to embrace modern learning technologies.

Please note this work was undertaken with Mind Click prior to it’s acquisition with Learning Pool.

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