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SPAR Austria’s online learning platform awarded by trade magazine

March 10, 2022 IN THE CATEGORY: People

SPAR Austria’s cross-national training and development platform has been awarded in the ‘Open Source’ category by eLearning Journal, the leading trade magazine for digital transformation. The digital flagship project is available to 90,000 SPAR colleagues in five countries.

From over 300 submissions from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, the 87 most innovative digital projects were awarded. Based on the theme ‘Unity in Diversity’, SPAR’s online training platform was recognised for its project ‘5 Countries, 5 Languages, 5 Faces: Implementation of a Learning Management System for 90,000 Employees in the SPAR Austria Group’. Winning the eLearning AWARD 2022 in the ‘Open Source’ category, the training platform is built on the LXP Totara learning experience platform.

“Well-trained team members are essential for the success of a company. The award is a confirmation that SPAR is on the right track with its modern and appealing solutions in training and professional development”, said SPAR Austria CEO Hans K. Reisch.

Uniform standards and individual learning content

The diverse nature of SPAR Austria Group presented the greatest challenge in implementing a comprehensive learning platform. The group has grown into a successful Central European retail group, active in Austria, north-eastern Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia. The group’s portfolio covers food retailing, sports retailing (Hervis), and shopping centres (SES). The group’s team members range from apprentices to managers in numerous areas, from the instore to logistics.

The human resources project aimed to standardise the training and professional development across countries in terms of quality, range, and process, while at the same time providing country-specific and individual learning formats.

“Meeting these requirements was challenging. Because for an attractive, exciting education and training offer, you don’t get very far with a one-size-fits-all solution. Now, we have uniformity where needed, but we can also make cultural, national, and area-specific adjustments. This means that every single SPAR employee in Austria, north-eastern Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia has access to an individual, tailor-made learning offer”, said Raimund Lainer, SPAR Austria Head of Human Resources Development.

Successful SPAR learning platform

A total of 470 e-learning courses and over 800 seminars are available on the platform, which SPAR team members can use during working hours. Since the introduction of the Learning Management System, about 400,000 e-learning courses with a combined 200,000 training hours have been successfully completed. In addition, 70,000 seminars have been attended, totalling 600,000 hours.

Learning standards implemented in stages

In 2016, the learning platform was initially introduced as a pilot project for 1,500 Hervis team members. A huge advantage of the learning platform are its comprehensive reporting options for management staff. As an open-source system, Totara is constantly being updated.

In 2018, the headquarters of the group’s food retail divisions, SPAR and INTERSPAR, followed. Two years later, an advanced version was introduced, containing all training offers available to individual SPAR units in Austria. In 2020, the learning platform was rolled out in Slovenia and Croatia, followed by Hungary and Italy at the end of 2021.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.

With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed SPAR in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy. With sales of €8.3 billion and impressive growth of 16%, SPAR Austria became the market leader in the Austrian grocery trade during 2020, after being a market growth leader for over a decade.