The DIY giants utilised Thrive's mobile functionality for their agile workforce, and increased customer satisfaction by 35%.
The name "Homebase" has been synonymous with the home and garden since its founding in 1979. A firm fixture in the British retail landscape, the DIY giants have 150 stores across the UK and Ireland and have been going from strength to strength - thanks in no small part to the emphasis they place on their team members’ professional development.
A platform in need of renovation
The majority of Homebase’s 5,600-strong team are customer-facing; their jobs entail assisting customers, dealing with stock, and solving queries as quickly as possible.
This incredibly agile workforce needed a platform that travelled the floor with them - not something that could only be accessed via one single computer in the back office.
As Homebase’s previous LMS was not mobile-enabled, busy team members were pulled off the shop floor to use the store’s designated computer - wasting their own time and keeping customers waiting.
Plus, the interface was clunky and difficult to navigate with onboarding compliance courses that left learners feeling uninspired. For an industry as fast-paced as retail, in a shop as popular as Homebase, this slower way of doing things just wasn’t going to cut it.
The L&D project team headed up by Richard Hanman (L&D Business Partner at Homebase) knew that Homebase’s platform should be as fluid and adaptable as its workforce, and allow them to access crucial content quickly.
It was time for their digital learning strategy to get a makeover.
25,000+ learning pathways completed in the first 6 months of launch.
Customers spend 35% more in stores that are trained to “expert” level vs. the average.
A fresh coat of paint
As experts in renovation and improvement, Homebase knew where to begin when overhauling their learning strategy: they started with a shopping list.
They knew their requirements were:
With these necessities in mind, Thrive looked to be the perfect fit for Homebase. The two things that initially piqued the Homebase team’s interest were the platform’s ease of navigation and its mobile app. They knew it was non-negotiable that their learning platform worked perfectly on mobile, a must-have for their majority deskless workforce.
With their people at the heart of everything they do, Homebase wanted to make absolutely sure that Thrive was the best platform for their workforce. They rolled it out to a test audience of a select few learners before launch, and after a successful trial period Thrive got two (green) thumbs up.
The overwhelming feedback was that Thrive was extremely easy to navigate, and worked brilliantly on both desktop and mobile. (Tick, tick, tick!)
The team loved that it put the power back in the hands of the learners, and took training out of the manager’s office. Plus, managers could finally check individual learner analytics and data within the platform - something their previous LMS was sorely lacking.
What finally clinched it for them was the first-class support from the Thrive team, which continued throughout implementation, launch and beyond.
Planting the seeds for professional development
From day one to one year in, Homebase is committed to helping their team members flourish.
This all starts with a seamless onboarding experience, which Homebase has streamlined since launching Thrive.
Gone are the dry, boring compliance courses that were tedious for new starters to click through. Instead, they’ve been replaced by modern, engaging compliance content from the team at Thrive Content: Thrive’s off-the-shelf learning content solution.
Compliance is now effortlessly woven into the onboarding process and has become so much more than just a box-ticking exercise.
Finally, Homebase has compliance training that people actually want to complete.
For existing team members, Homebase makes sure to nurture their professional development in the way that best benefits them. Apprenticeship training, digital courses, on-the-job learning… Whatever it may be, Thrive has enabled them to supercharge this aspect of employee engagement with specific campaigns and pathways.
Homebase is so passionate about its people’s professional development, the first campaign they launched within Thrive was called ‘Learn at Work Month.’ Initially, this was to give everyone the confidence to log in and navigate Thrive, but also to showcase the extra-curricular training that was available for team members.
Front of house
Homebase has teams both in support offices and in the stores - but the customer-facing frontline teams make up a very large percentage of the workforce, and are the faces of the operation. While those in the support office can access Thrive from their desktops, those on the shop floor need to be able to track down required learning quickly (without a mad dash to the manager’s office!)
In this respect, Thrive has been - in the words of the Homebase team members - a “game changer.” An immeasurable amount of time is saved by team members being able to take the information on the go and access it from their pockets in two simple clicks.
Across the board, feedback from the Homebase team has been brilliant.
“I’m loving Thrive, it’s changed my life. Whenever I get asked to do a bit of training, I’m straight on it!”
“Such a leap forward from our previous platform!”
“Amazing. All works great with iPhone and Android.”
A design for success
The success of Homebase’s launch of the Thrive platform is easily quantified thanks to Homebase’s continuous collection of customer feedback. Every time a customer shops with Homebase, there is a link to complete a satisfaction survey on the back of the receipt.
What the team has found from this data since launching Thrive has been eye-opening.
The stores that have more team members trained to the ‘expert’ level within Thrive consistently gain 35% higher satisfaction scores than those who don’t.
This clearly communicated to the Homebase team that the more knowledgeable the customer service teams are, the higher the rating the customer tends to give for that visit. Not only does this knowledge increase customer satisfaction, but it even increases the average customer spend.
Homebase just launched Thrive six months ago, and already they’re seeing fantastic results. The L&D team within Homebase is keen to keep this momentum going, and use Thrive to its full potential to help their teams achieve success.
They’re going to start building role-specific pathways for merchandisers and buyers, both of which are roles that have never before had any formal training. The Homebase team is excited to use Thrive to plug this gap, cultivating everyone’s professional development.
Aside from role-specific training, they are also planning to streamline their platform so that it’s even easier for their teams to use - in the words of Julia Turner (Digital Learning Specialist at Homebase):
“We want to make sure team members can get where they need to in a matter of seconds. Thrive is set up perfectly to provide that.”
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L&D Business Partner at Homebase
“The service we got from our previous supplier was one of the reasons we chose to move away and look elsewhere, and I have to say the service and support we’ve had from Thrive, right from day one, has been absolutely first-class.”
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