Using AI for frontline employee training

How to Use AI in Frontline Employee Training

19 August 2021

Training & learning | News & trends

A few decades ago, the term “AI’ might have conjured a mental picture of cyborgs taking over society. But as we’ve grown accustomed to being woken up by Alexa and asking Siri whether we need an umbrella on our route to work, we've become more and more accustomed to artificial intelligence as part of our everyday life.

On a very basic level, artificial intelligence mimics the creative and problem-solving abilities of the human brain, creating personalized experiences by collecting data about us, such as how we use devices and platforms and what our preferences are.

As artificial intelligence seeps into different elements of our working day, it’s becoming a growing trend amongst organizations to incorporate it into training. When it comes to training frontline employees, there are a range of benefits to using AI within learning, and this post will explain the top 3 reasons why AI makes training better.

 

Why use AI to train frontline employees?

In training, AI can be used to collect data such as the role and location of each learner, which courses different learners have completed, how well they have scored on each and how highly they have rated each course. This has a range of benefits:

  • Creating more personalized learning experiences

A big problem with frontline employee training is that employees are often bombarded with information that is not relevant to their roles. This is a barrier to learning, as it leads to cognitive overload, resulting in employees retaining very little information.

AI enables training to be more targeted, showing learners the most relevant information and increasing the chance of it being cemented into long-term memory. Just as AI-driven platforms like Netflix and Spotify make tailored recommendations based on an individual’s previous watching/listening activity and preferences, AI can make a learning experience more personalized.

AI helps employees to progress faster in their learning by identifying learner weaknesses and role-specific training needs and then automatically suggesting the most useful training. This saves learners time searching for training and deciding what modules to take next, therefore making learning more accessible.

AI can also recommend training based on learner preferences and courses they have rated highly in the past, giving learners a bigger say in how they want to learn. This allows learners to create a learning experience for themselves that they will find most enjoyable, and so will be more motivated to learn.

  • Managers can support their teams more efficiently 

AI-driven training features can recommend courses, guide learners through training, send reminders to complete courses, and answer any questions in real-time with chatbots. Essentially, automatically doing many of the tasks a manager or team leader would typically be responsible for.

AI can act as a virtual coach, understanding learners’ needs and suggesting courses based on their skills and results in the previous courses.

If an organization is using microlearning to train frontline employees (which they should be), training materials will likely include a large number of short courses, and AI helps to efficiently structure them into learning tracks and assign them to relevant employees. This means that managers don’t have to spend as much time creating and assigning training courses for different job roles, responsibilities and competencies.

Related: A Guide to Microlearning: What It Is and Why Your Employees Need It

Using AI frees up time for managers to spend supporting frontline teams in more meaningful ways, such as having one-to-one development meetings and speaking to employees about their individual needs to better support progression. 

  • Using data to shape training around learner needs

As AI has the capability to automatically review learning, identify skill gaps and establish where more training is needed, the human effort needed to complete these tasks is massively reduced.

Different data sets can be linked to highlight where training can aid store performance. For example, linking compliance and training data to see patterns which exist between the training courses which have been completed by each team and how compliant teams are with store tasks.

Organizations can use advanced analytics to pro-actively shape learning around the needs of learners in order to maximize sales, without the enormous effort it would normally require to collect, organize and evaluate this data. 

Related: Why Retailers Need to Align Sales and Operational Data

 

Key takeaways

Organizations can use AI to support frontline employees and improve performance on an individual, team and organizational level. This is because AI:

  • Provides a learning experience tailored to employee needs.
  • Acts as a virtual coach, providing constant guidance so managers have more time to support employees in other ways.
  • Automatically analyses data and highlights skills gaps, reducing the effort needed to plan for learning.

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Over 200 brands including Mazda, Boots and Jules trust YOOBIC to support frontline employees in delivering the perfect customer experience. To find out how YOOBIC uses AI to fuel employee learning and development, schedule a demo!

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