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Case Study: Bitesize E-learning at B&Q

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DIY chain B&Q employs over 36,000 people in over 320 UK stores. It is also the number one DIY retailer in Europe and the third largest in the world.

The company sees learning as a critical factor in adapting itself to meet changing consumer demands but meeting the training needs of such a widespread and diverse workforce presents inevitable challenges.

Bite-Size E-Learning

To solve these challenges, B&Q has implemented management training programmes within its new blended learning Management Academy using Futuremedia’s new ‘Knowledge Bursts’.

These bite-size e-learning sessions are being used to complement face-to-face elements of the training programme and provide ‘just in time’ learning.

The Knowledge Bursts are delivered to members of B&Q’s Management Academy and come in short, five-minute motivational learning segments.

Titles cover ‘Outcome Focused’, ‘Leadership’ and ‘Planning and Organising’.

Animated characters depicting B&Q employees deliver key messages on each of these topics.

Fun and engaging reminders

‘The Knowledge Bursts add an important, fun and engaging element to our managers to reinforce new skills in short, information-packed online sessions,’ said Debra Purdy, Management Development Adviser at B&Q.

‘The Knowledge Bursts provide concise reminders quickly. Importantly, because each programme is bespoke, we can create Knowledge Bursts to work with the diversity of our staff.’

Management Academy

The Management Academy was launched as a trial to 90 top-performing managers in November 2003.

Ms Purdy said: ‘The programme includes pre-workshop activities and knowledge validations, workshops, post-workshop activities and knowledge validations and reviews with line managers.”

The programme won the ‘Best Use of Technology for Employee Development’ at the European Retail Solution Awards in June this year.

The judges singled out the development solution as one of the best examples they have seen. B&Q is now building on this success and working with Futuremedia to extend the programme to the wider store management population.

B&Q University

B&Q staff can revisit the online Knowledge Bursts at any time and place to suit them, via the new B&Q University online learning facility, which was set up in to meet the company’s overall training challenges.

An internal department was tasked with providing an ongoing training solution that would allow B&Q to improve its skills and organisational performance and the university now runs a number of national programmes for both managers and in-store team members.

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