Santa makes it seem so easy! We could all use a manufacturing system staffed by mysterious beings who happily create fantastic quantities of merchandise. Or a global distribution system that accurately sorts out packages according to location, desire and moral rectitude. Or how about an on-time, high-speed delivery vehicle with apparently unlimited capacity, powered by 8 flying creatures (led by an animal with a searchlight for a snout)? To this writer, the real fantasy lies in the fact that everyone already knows exactly what to do when the holiday rush kicks in and when to do it, with no mention of training.

Reality Check…
The appearance of Santa, the elves, the sleigh and the flying reindeer means we are faced with what we know as the holiday rush. And the truth is that, for retailers and other related industries, there’s a lot at stake. The holiday season is the busiest — read “most stressful” — few months of the year. In some cases, this short, frenzied time is what will determine the profitability — and even the ongoing existence — of a company. Organizations hire seasonal staff in large numbers. Full- or part-time staff, who are already committed to their own jobs, are often pulling double-duty as they train a very temporary workforce in the rush to keep up with business. And demand, supply and distribution chains can be subject to changes faster than you can say “Happy Holidays,” adding stress to a system already stretched to the max. For instance, think of how quickly the weather changes in the Northern Hemisphere, and imagine the havoc a bad weather system can wreak on shipping and distribution. And when a problem occurs, it can (pardon the pun) really snowball.

So what does eLearning have to do with the holiday rush?

Quite a bit, as it turns out. eLearning is especially good for effectively and rapidly getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time. Without proper training, small hiccups in the chain can quickly cause very large impacts. Because eLearning equips people to deal effectively with the tasks at hand, it can help reduce the impact that unexpected events or changes can have on a taxed system. eLearning may not be Santa Claus. But read on, and you’ll see how you and your employees can experience the magic of being well-prepared for yourselves. You see, Santa, if nothing else, is always prepared. And know-how is a huge portion of the ongoing attempt to be ready for anything that can come up. Consider the value of accurate and relevant knowledge, wrapped in attractive and easily-accessible packages, delivered to designated people, at precisely the time and place it’s needed. And yes, there may even be cookies involved (the internet kind, not the kind that you have with milk and leave by the fireplace for a jolly visitor in red).
Take a look at these 5 features of eLearning that can — please pardon the clichè — help to make your holiday season brighter.

eLearning breaks knowledge into manageable, bite-sized morsels of information.

  • learners can focus on, and retrieve the information that is relevant to the need at hand.
  • retention of information is much higher when the information is presented in smaller packets, rather than large chunks, of learning.
  • at a time when time and energy are at a premium, learning activities are incorporated into productivity and less time is taken away from production activities.

eLearning makes the information accessible, and the organization can control the level of accessibility.

  • learners can obtain the necessary information in a variety of ways, including on their own mobile devices.
  • time spent away from important tasks is minimized, since pertinent information is available on-the-spot.
  • having information available electronically generates less paper waste, saving resources and ultimately, money..
  • important, time- or security-sensitive documents are less at risk of loss or damage.

The Flexibility of eLearning allows you to keep the content relevant.

  • employees can keep up with the rapidly changing information regarding manufacturing, distribution and sales activities.
  • having the most updated information provides security and confidence for organization representatives and employees as well as customers and clients.

You can standardize the information and keep it consistent.

  • accurate and consistent informations reduces errors, and frees up resources.
  • issues and conflicts can be resolved more efficiently and effectively, and with velocity.
  • employees are not left to “guess” the right answer, and customers receive elevated levels of service.

eLearning keeps your learners engaged, and their progress is trackable.

  • t’is the season to be easily distracted; an engaged learner retains knowledge more reliably.
  • supervisory and management staff have a better understanding regarding which of their employees are best equipped to deal with the demands of the season and can staff positions accordingly.

Get a jump start on next year.
In the Christmas tradition, it takes a year of being “nice” to minimize a meltdown in morale during the holidays. For retail and related businesses, being “nice” equates to being prepared. And it’s never too early to start. It’s during the crunch-time of the holidays that the previous months of preparation — including training — become particularly meaningful. In addition, a large percentage of the people working in your organization may be seasonal staff, who may not have the benefit of experience. They may also lack an existing knowledge or relationship to your organization’s policies and procedures. Creating an eLearning course that specifically addresses the necessary aspects of daily operations provides benefits for the seasonal and regular employees alike, as well as the clients and customers who may come into contact with those employees.

It’s a good idea to incorporate eLearning into your training and development activities. It’s a really great idea to plan for your next holiday season ahead of time. And by “ahead of time” we mean “as soon as possible.” It’s never too early to plan for the holiday rush.

Consider harnessing the power of eLearning for the holiday rush of 2016 and beyond. You could be better prepared to handle the increased demands on your employees and on your organization. At the same time, your staff will thank you for empowering them to be effective.

Happy Holidays from the staff at KMI Learning! If you’d like to find out how we can support you in preparing for the demands of the holiday season, contact us at