Global fashion retailer drives down time to competence and improves new starter performance through onboarding transformation

  • Time to competence reduced from seven to four weeks
  • New trainees are 35% more productive compared to existing staff
  • Cost savings of approximately £423,000 achieved


A global fashion retail brand faced the challenge of developing stronger sales, service, and customer experience (CX) outcomes for its contact centre teams by transforming its onboarding programme. The company’s main challenge was the central ownership of a large volume of technical processes, presenting a significant risk to the business. Additionally, the company lacked the necessary resources to run the programme beyond a small pool of subject matter experts, and new starters were often overwhelmed by the information provided during onboarding.

New staff would need to heavily rely on buddies or colleagues to help them with post-training queries. The majority of the training was human-led, with little to no digital experiences. The existing learning lasted several weeks and depended on a limited number of team leaders to drive competence with their new starters. This meant team leaders had extra pressures to achieve competence, which with a blended programme could be more easily achieved.

How we helped

Davies conducted an in-depth analysis of the existing onboarding programme, reviewing materials, meeting with new starters, and examining performance data. Based on the findings, Davies designed a blended onboarding experience and implementation plan to help new starters make an impact on the business faster than before.

Davies developed 13 human-led sessions to enhance the material with communication skills, customer experience learning, and skills practice. They supplemented the learning with 28 branded and engaging digital modules that simulated systems, driving down the time to competence. This approach supported a truly blended learning experience, allowing learners to engage with the material in their preferred way.

Team leader resources and trainer guides were also provided, driving performance beyond the classroom and supporting a refreshed coaching culture for team leaders. The new training programme fully embraced and replicated the brand guidelines, from the tone of voice to visual design, for both in-person and digital learning.


The new onboarding programme has been well-received, with early feedback indicating that delegates feel highly confident and supported as they begin their roles. Upon starting to take live calls, graduates of the new onboarding programme deliver 20-60% higher productivity compared to previous training groups.

With the revamped onboarding experience, time to competence has been reduced from seven to four weeks, and new trainees have demonstrated a 35% increase in productivity compared to existing staff.

This transformation has led to cost savings of approximately £423,000, achieved through increased productivity and reduced training time and buddy costs. The successful implementation of the blended learning approach has greatly benefited the global fashion retail brand, leading to improved performance and a more efficient onboarding process.

Cecilia Anderson

Senior Learning Experiences Consultant - Consulting and Technology

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