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Home Bargains achieves 100% compliance for 24,000 employees

Home Bargains is the top discount retailer in the UK, with 24,000 employees, over 500 stores and 40 years of retail experience. They're currently opening 40 new stores per year, with 200 new staff members joining them every week.

The Challenge

As a leading high-street retailer, Home Bargains was a company that had plenty of paperwork to keep up with. And in essence, that was their biggest problem: all of their training was paper based.

This paper-based system was creating a huge issue around compliance. And as their business kept growing, it was becoming harder to make sure that every employee was fully up-to-date on critical training such as age-restricted sales and health and safety.

"We just weren't able to get a real idea of our completion rates," said Laura Whyte, Head of Training at Home Bargains. "And we were only able to deliver a fraction of the training that we wanted or needed to deliver."

They needed a learning management system that could:

  • Help them achieve a 100% compliance rate (and have the records to back it up)
  • Drastically reduce the time and money they were spending on administrative tasks
  • Give them the freedom to innovate, adjusting their learning to create the best possible experience for their users.

The Solution

Home Bargains screenshots on multiple devices

After looking through their options (from off-the-shelf packages to building their own platform from scratch), Home Bargains chose Totara Partner Hubken Group to guide them in the creation of their new Totara learning system, TED (Train Engage Discover).

Totara Learn gave them a freedom of choice that the more rigid off-the-shelf products couldn’t provide – as well as helping them to avoid the massive time investment that comes with building something in-house.

"From the very beginning, we were big fans of the open source approach," said Laura. "With our new LMS, we've been able to tweak the UX based on our users' behaviour, giving us the freedom to create a tailored learning experience for our staff."

Through Totara Learn and TED – and with the expertise of Hubken Group – Home Bargains were able to hit the record levels of compliance that they were looking for. 

Home Bargains LMS on laptop and smartphone

But what they weren't expecting from their new LMS was the huge positive effect it had on their business outside of their training.

Nearly 24,000 employees have registered with their existing intranet (up from just 8,000 before the launch of TED). And now that so many of their employees are signed up and comfortable using the system, they're using all of the online features they were previously missing out on: checking their payslips, viewing their store's KPIs and sales records, and keeping up to date with staff events.

And through their new TED platform, their employees now have a social place to connect online – bringing their learners together from all over the UK so they can chat, discuss and grow together.

"Totara has given us something that we've never been able do," said Laura. "And that's using our network to join our people together to share ideas and connect socially, wherever they are in the country."

The Results

Since the launch of TED through Totara Learn, Home Bargains has been delighted with the massive improvements they've seen:

  • Their compliance rates are now up to 100% (from a previous rate that was 'closer to 40%')
  • Their dedicated training coaches have cut their travel time by 20% – with an expected increase in capacity of 25%!
  • Their new LMS has allowed them to shift their focus towards creating engaging content – allowing them to develop innovative new courses beyond their basic compliance topics.

And to top it all off, they've had zero friction from their users on their new LMS. Every one of their 24,000 employees has been able to log on and get started from day one – giving their entire workforce the freedom to learn any time, anywhere, and at their own pace.

"Since the first conversations, Hubken Group was an instantly likeable partner, and their being on board for this project is a massive reason for its success." 
– Tom Morris, Head of Digital, Home Bargains