Technology-Assisted Training @ Convenience Store Chain– What We Can Learn

13 Feb


An article at Convenience Store News reports on a technology-based training solution the convenience store chain Village Pantry has utilized for their 200-stores. The article describes the outcomes of their first training effort (a sales promotion that was more complex than usual) and plans to use the technology moving forward:

After training was complete, TSi (the firm that designed the technology used by Village Pantry) conducted telephone surveys with questions approved by Village Pantry to validate employees’ knowledge of the promotion, and their feelings toward the training method. The results were “far and away the best training” (Village Pantry CEO Mick) Parker said he’s ever seen. There was only one negative comment about the method of training, due to an equipment problem.

Even better, the Marathon promotion was deemed a success by all measures. Village Pantry saw a good increase in the percentage of customers who used the Marathon card, according to Parker.

Going forward, Village Pantry plans to create a training system for the entire lifecycle of an employee, from new hire training through career development and specialized training, such as store manager training, according to Parker. To date, Village Pantry completed modules prepping store employees, managers and district managers for ongoing store remodeling activities, as well as modules for new hire orientation and restricted sales. Other training modules on Village Pantry’s agenda are point-of-sale, customer service and shift duty training.

The article points out how this method worked for Village Pantry, and serves as a reminder of where technology can play a role in our training and development efforts. It also shows important elements we can all learn from, regardless of whether we embrace a technology-base program:

  • Solicit employee feedback— any learning effort will only be as good as employees believe it to be;
  • Measure Outcomes— a process to measure the effectiveness of the training. There should be an ROI to training and development– we simply need to take the time and effort to think that through; and
  • A committment from senior leadership— congratulations to the CEO for embracing this effort.

With these best practices in mind, many training and development initiatives have a far greater chance of success.

(The image used in this post is by

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