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Putting a leading supermarket chain’s training program under the scanner

How TalentQuest built Tesco Hindustan Service Centre’s Gold Retail Certification Curriculum

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Over a Century of Making a Difference to Customers, Colleagues, and Communities

Tesco, the ubiquitous UK supermarket chain that began as a humble grocery cart in London in 1919, is today the third largest retailer in the world. With over 6000 stores, 500,000 employees, and an average of 60 million customers, the grandiose scale of operations prompted the retail giant to establish the Tesco Hindustan Service Centre (HSC), the global business services arm for Tesco worldwide in Bengaluru, India, in 2003.
Tesco was the first international retailer to launch a full-fledged service center in India, long before the retail boom changed how we shop today. The retailer has entrusted HSC as the command post for creating and executing strategic initiatives for the company, including IT, business, finance, commercial, and property-related operations. Essentially, every operation that drives internal and external platforms at every retail store of Tesco around the world is manned out of Bengaluru.

With rapidly evolving complexities in managing retail operations, Tesco invested in concentrated efforts for skills enhancement of the HSC workforce to meet challenges dynamically and capitalize on opportunities for change at the right time. Tesco HSC instituted a comprehensive two-pronged training program for its employees, comprising technical training and domain knowledge expansion.

Imparted by in-house practitioners and online coaching, the technical training was designed as a blended program to apprise and instill proficiency in technological advancements relevant to the retail industry.

To build domain expertise, Tesco HSC founded the Retail Certifications program. This crucial element would arm Tesco HSC to be ever-prepared to handle emerging operational issues across verticals. Tesco was cognizant of the fact that while the staff possessed technical know-how, a lack of domain knowledge about the intricacies of the retail industry would drastically affect their ability to discharge their responsibilities effectively.

In an elaborate and structured approach to gradually build competencies to operate optimally in the retail arena, the Retail Certification program had three hierarchical categories- Brown, Silver, and Gold Certifications. While every new recruit was mandated to complete the Brown certification within a year of joining the company to gain in-depth insights into the retail industry, the Silver certification, comprising 30 modules spread over six months, was expected to be completed by staff at certain levels in the organization.

As the most advanced level in the Retail Certification program, Tesco wanted the Gold certification curriculum to be designed as a ‘mini master’s degree’ that would encapsulate a heightened exposure to pure technologies such as Hadoop cluster, ETL, data warehousing, and micro strategies so that the staff would eventually gain expertise in big data analytics, the overarching technology that would drive the ‘business of operations.’

TalentQuest’s checklist for Tesco’s most advanced retail certification curriculum

Working with a team of subject matter experts, both in-house and at Tesco HSC, TalentQuest designed and developed an extensive curriculum spanning 19 hours of eLearning modules for the Gold Certification program.

Using Level 1 and 2 categories of Bloom’s Taxonomy as the foundation for populating the course materials, the interactive learning approach employed for the modules involved audio-visual elements and 3D animation to pique learner interest and promote greater retention of concepts. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a globally recognized education planning tool that provides guiding principles for creating learning development material. While Level 1 in Bloom’s Taxonomy deals with enhancing cognitive skills regarding expanding knowledge, Level 2 is focused on improving comprehension abilities.

The SCORM packaged eLearning modules were then hosted on a customized open-source Learning Management System (LMS), with a dedicated team at TalentQuest providing administration and support services for the LMS.

Disseminated for Tesco employees across the Indian and European centers, the curriculum was subsequently translated into 12 European languages, with TalentQuest’s trademark, high-quality audio, and translation services in native dialects and accents.

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