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The Importance of Human Skills for Retail Workers

Human Skills Training Retail Ireland Skillnet

As technology in retail continues to change and develop, the human skills needed to embrace these changes are perhaps more important than ever.

Untitled design 4-Retail-Ireland-SkillnetSocial skills, communication, time management, problem solving, emotional intelligence, adaptability and resilience make up the basic skillset that every retail worker should now possess, yet they are all too often overlooked, particularly at present. There is no doubt that technology is now an ever-increasing part of everyday retail. However, what may set retailers apart is their ability to add to this – to enhance the use of the readily available technology through a retail workforce that is both skilled and competent to deliver on it. Retailers have the opportunity to build real relationships with their customers through offering the type of experience that is only possible through in-person interaction or through what we are familiar with as ‘the human touch’ approach.

As stated in the Retail Technologies and Future Skills Report – Changed Role of the Retail Employee: “In the coming years, retail employees will spend more time on activities that machines are less capable of, such as managing people, applying expertise, and communicating with others.”

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Charlie Boyle, CEO of Customer Service Excellence Ireland has commented that:

The opportunity to get this right is in front of us. It is not technology versus the human aspect, it is technology supporting the human aspect. Balance as always is vital.”


Aimed at improving this core set of human skills, our recently launched online courses focus in on the following human skills areas for retail:

Time Management

Untitled design 1-Retail-Ireland-SkillnetIn retail, employees can often be pulled in different directions with all that their role encompasses on any given day. “Time is money” so learning to manage time effectively is one of the most beneficial skills to have. This 50-minute course examines time management skills, how to set realistic goals and schedule time effectively as well as offering some time management methods to assist retail workers within their everyday role.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Assess workers own time efficiency
  • Time-manage goals
  • Learn how to prioritise tasks
  • Deal with the unexpected
  • Use tools to enhance time management

Resilience in the Workplace

As we have seen the retail industry change and evolve dramatically in the last year, resilience has become a necessary skill required to react to and overcome the obstacles that are presented every day in retail. This 45-minute course focuses on – how to build resilience, stress management, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and acceptance of reality.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Define personal resilience and identify the characteristics that underpin it
  • Recognise the symptoms of stress and its impact on performance
  • Use coping techniques to deal with stress

Untitled design 2-Retail-Ireland-SkillnetCommunication Skills

Effective communication is essential in every industry but is especially important in the ever-changing retail environment. Communication, no matter the type; face to face, phone or email all directly impact colleagues, customer experience and ultimately the bottom line.

Key learning areas within this 40-minute course include direct and indirect communication, steps toward clear and direct communication, the four steps of effective communication, communication styles, assertive communication, and active listening. The course concludes with an action plan for addressing how you plan to move forward from the learning towards being a more effective communicator.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Follow the steps of clear and direct communication
  • Identify different styles of communication
  • Assess the impact of communication styles on others
  • Listen actively

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity refers to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, amongst others and to what extent they are represented in groups, the workplace, customer base and in the community. Inclusion refers to the culture that makes these diversities feel welcome, supported and valued. This 30-minute course will explore the advantages and benefits that a diverse and inclusive workforce can bring to your retail organisation and how employees can contribute to a welcoming work environment.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand what is meant by diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Identify the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace
  • Recognise the features of a diverse and inclusive work environment
  • Contribute to an inclusive workplace
  • Respond to non-inclusive behaviour at work

Presentation Skills

Knowledge can be useless without the ability to communicate and present it effectively so whether it’s a formal presentation or you’d like to brush up on your product knowledge to better inform customers, this 30-minutes course aims to equip you with the key skills required to make a successful presentation that will deliver your message in a professional and clear way. It will also help you to prepare effectively in advance and to evaluate your skills following their delivery of a presentation.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Outline the objective(s) to be achieved through a presentation
  • Prepare the structure of a presentation
  • Plan the content of a presentation
  • Prepare and use appropriate aids in support of a presentation, such as visual, audio, handouts
  • Identify answers to likely questions raised by the presentation
  • Know your audience
  • Evaluate own performance

Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

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Unconscious biases are the thoughts and actions formed implicitly based on underlying attitudes and stereotypes attributed to a person or group. In decision-making, they are not based on facts or analysis but rather are unfounded which can be harmful for employees that are unaware.

The aim of this 15-minute course is to give you an overview of what unconscious bias is, how it can negatively impact the workplace and practical actions that can be taken to minimise the effects of unconscious bias.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify what unconscious bias is
  • Recognise how unconscious bias can affect the workplace
  • Outline how to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias in the workplace

These are just six in our new suite of online courses, other course categories available include:

Image for blog-Retail-Ireland-SkillnetEmployees: We understand the challenges you are facing in this ever-competitive environment so let us help you to upskill and future-proof yourself and your career in the modern work environment. This core set of human skills will be of benefit to you not only professionally, but are also transferrable within your personal life.

Employers: We know how difficult it can be to attract and retain talent within the retail sector, let us take care of your training and upskilling needs through our user friendly and cost-effective learning platform. All of our online courses are industry certified and have been developed in collaboration with industry experts to ensure you get up-to-date and best practice learning materials and resources. Courses are self-paced by the learner and feature interactive content with practical, scenario-based examples and question sections to guide understanding. 


Retailers, if you are interested in developing your employees’ human skills, talk to a member of our team today to discuss our competitive price packages on 0749176853 or email

“Skills are the new currency so let’s invest!”



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The Importance of Human Skills for Retail Workers

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