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How Premium Retail Services’ people focus drives continued growth

Premium Retail Services is a leading third-party labor company supporting significant brands and retailers in every channel across the US and Canada, including Fortune 500 companies Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Walgreens.

With learning and talent mobility at the center of the businesses’ growth strategy, Premium’s team uses LearnUpon to connect its 10,000+ employees to training that upskills, develops, and empowers its people.

“With LearnUpon, our training not only ensures we get consistent results for our clients, but we also see how growing a learning culture positively impacts our employee turnover, performance, and happiness.”

Jennifer Hovestadt,

Senior Training Manager at Premium Retail Services

In the past 5 years, since launching with LearnUpon, Premium Retail Services’ employee numbers have soared by over 40% to 10,000.

Winners at the 2021 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards

The team took home Gold for Best Use of Performance Support at the 2021 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards, winning the award in partnership with LearnUpon.

The challenge: From siloed to centralized

Premium Retail Services is a business that knows the value of its workforce. As Jennifer Hovestadt, Senior Training Manager, explains “our people are our greatest resource and market differentiator, and this drives our approach to training.” However, something was hindering their learning’s success before they moved to LearnUpon in 2015.

While costs were low, Jennifer and her team were limited by a siloed tech stack and reliance on in-person training. This meant they couldn’t track learner activity, and, critically, the impact learning had on the business.

“We had content and we ran live training, but it wasn’t easy! With our employees all over the US and Canada, we had no way of keeping track of information in one place.”

Jennifer Hovestadt,

Senior Training Manager at Premium Retail Services

Premium Retail Services needed a solution that would not only help mature and scale its approach, but also be the central location for the business’s learning ecosystem. LearnUpon’s learning management system was the solution that “clicked”.

“At the time, the driving factor in decision-making was cost and LearnUpon’s “active user” pricing model was a huge draw. This changed over time when I experienced how different LearnUpon’s level of support was to what I was getting from other businesses. Beyond just the system, LearnUpon’s customer support and customer service has been super helpful to the success of what we are trying to do.”

Jennifer Hovestadt,

Senior Training Manager at Premium Retail Services

The solution: Targeted, trackable, and performance-driving blended training

To drive results for clients across the US and Canada, the Training team delivers targeted and trackable training to their remote field workforce using LearnUpon.

From sales training on new products, to systems training to drive efficiencies, to soft skills training to support employees in delivering great brand experiences, it’s all managed through LearnUpon, with dedicated Portals for different use-cases.

Delivery is blended through a combination of online courses in LearnUpon, including videos produced in-house by Premium Training, and live training.

“We do our own video production, we create learning content through Articulate, and we use LearnUpon for some of the build-outs to upload or embed files - it is the master location for everything.”

Jennifer Hovestadt,

Senior Training Manager at Premium Retail Services

With LearnUpon, team members can handle any live training that’s happening. Through the Instructor-Led Training (ILT) feature and the variety of webinar integrations, they can easily and automatically manage rosters and record attendance for virtual sessions. “We set up live sessions through the webinar integration, and for those who can’t attend, we convert the sessions to on-demand links, so everybody still has access,” Jennifer says.

For Premium’s team, access is a central focus throughout the training strategy. For effortless entry to LearnUpon, field representatives log in via Single-Sign-on, and as it’s a mobile-friendly solution, learners can access training on the sales floor on any device.

This mix of blended learning and ease-of-access has driven measurable results for Premium. And these figures were maintained even when the business had to pivot its approach as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Developing its people, growing the business

As the business continues to grow, the team wants its employees to grow with it. Premium is now investing in learning and talent mobility through its first-ever, company-wide career development program – the University of Premium.

“The University of Premium opens up opportunities to our people to be able to choose which career path they are interested in, to get ahead of the game on career and personal development, and be part of our shortlist for internal opportunities.”

Jennifer Hovestadt,

Senior Training Manager at Premium Retail Services

Unlike other training, driven largely by client needs, the University of Premium is designed to further the careers of employees at Premium. “The University of Premium is a distinct, separate brand that is all about development opportunities for our people. It’s the voice of our employees that gives us our direction,” says Jennifer.

Fed by content from a panel of internal experts across departments, and informed by surveys to find out what employees are looking for, it offers Premium’s people more opportunities to connect learning to their career goals.

Building a model for return on investment

The next step for Jennifer and her team is to deepen their insights with LearnUpon. Working with their Analytics team, they’re combining training data with other sources to hone in on return on investment.

“We’re expanding Premium Training and we want to use LearnUpon to prove the positive impact our training is having on employee turnover rate, productivity and happiness.”

Jennifer Hovestadt,

Senior Training Manager at Premium Retail Services