Australian retailer Kmart wanted to develop and implement a Totara Learning solution upgrade that was more accessible and engaging for store staff – creating learning pathways for induction training.

About the client - Kmart

Kmart Pty Ltd is one of the largest and most successful retailers across Australia and New Zealand.  They deliver high-quality products at low cost and are committed to ensuring all customers are able to live their best life through their product ranges.

Challenge - inflexible, non-responsive induction training program

The scale of the project

The 8,000+ new team members that join Kmart Australia each year need to complete a number of induction training modules on how to do their job and follow safety and compliance requirements before they can work a shift.

The environment

Training needs to be assigned by role and location and must be available on-demand, at time of commencement.  Time off the job and shop floor for training impacts productivity and customer service levels.

In a store, team members relied on accessing learning through existing technology…… usually a single desktop in a manager’s office; a typical store has over 200 employees.  Training design was typically outsourced and designed to format specifically on very old tablets.

In order to streamline the learning process and support team members better, Kmart needed to develop a learning solution that was more accessible, timely, engaging and responsive.

Solution - upgrade to Totara Learn 12

What the project involved

Kmart was using a learning management system (LMS) called Totara Learn 2.  The Catalyst Australia team worked with the Kmart team to upgrade to Totara Learn 12 and migrate the LMS to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The new version included features such as customised notifications, dashboards there rendered to other devices, including internal store devices and highly visual views.

Key improvements in the re-design of the LMS included:

  • Human-centered design – ensuring that team members’ experience is positive, clearly showing the learner what is required;
  • Customised dashboards driven by audience rules and learning cohorts reflecting a website style design;
  • The freedom to choose the required learning pathway using cohort-driven blocks and tiles on customised dashboards;
  • The ability to host videos, SCORMs and PDFs in a central area;
  • The abiity to utilise the internal quiz function, as well as embed external quizzes to capture learning feedback, and;
  • An interface to support the trainer; easy-to-measure progress and performance.  Totara Learn 12 enables trainers to effectively manage a user’s journey through their learning material.

The difference Catalyst Australia made

The Catalyst team worked with Kmart to deliver the project on plan and on time.

We ensured there was no degradation in functionality by retaining customisations that were included in the original version, as well as upgrading any custom and 3rd party plugins.

Result - an accessible LMS with great UX

Kmart’s team members are the heart of their business.  Their ability to access the learning they need to do their roles competently, while making the learning experience as engaging as possible, is key to Kmart’s success as a customer-focused retailer.

“We have been able to send out messages giving employees their modules in colour coding (depending on jobs allocated) and have very fast responses back with completion times, making us able to start them quicker. We have given them the opportunity to call or message us if needed by as of yet have only had problems with a few sign ins and nothing else (very positive feedback). This has given us more time, making sure what is learned is implemented and understood. I have very much seen that training is being understood and enjoyed by our new and existing team members alike.”

Assistant Store Manager, Melbourne

A simpler learner experience

The LMS upgrade allowed Kmart to realise a simpler learner experience by creating learning pathways for induction – which all come together under a program called “KmartWay”.


KmartWay – Learning pathways for induction


Accessible training on the shop floor

The new solution ensured that learning was easy to complete and accessible through the store-based portable data terminals (PDTs), allowing team members the freedom to access training on the shop floor; team members can now see exactly what learning is outstanding and they receive notifications on refresher or new learning opportunities.

Improved staff engagement, safety and productivity standards

Better quality learning has resulted not only in increased staff satisfaction and engagement, but has also ensured that team members can undertake their roles safely and meet performance and productivity standards.

Outstanding deliverables

The new design, coupled with the flexibility in Totara Learn 12, has delivered outstanding results for Kmart:

  • The dashboard functionality and design provided Kmart with the freedom to innovate with their learning in a style the business had not previously experienced.  Over 8,000 team members completed this learning in the first 6 months post-launch and rated the learning at 4.6, or higher, out of 6;
  • Learner pathways are flexible and responsive, allowing for rendering to multiple devices which has substantially reduced a store manager’s time to induct a new team member.  All while delivering a productivity saving of over AU$1 million per year by making the learning accessible on the store PDTs;
  • Ongoing flexibility in adding learning to pathways, showcasing different learning through using tiles as well as slideshow galleries has provided Kmart team members with the freedom to choose other learning options that support their own development or areas of interest;
  • Team members no longer felt overwhelmed when first logging into the learning journey, as they can select the required learning pathway for the skills they need;
  • Instructional Designer ability to quickly update modules;
  • Faster completion time frames;
  • A scalable solution, that supports business growth with minimal manual intervention, and ;
  • Improved real-time reporting to support the management of the business.

Best Retail Project - Totara Awards 2020

The Kmart Retail LMS upgrade to Totara Learn 12 was awarded “Retail Project of The Year 2020” at the Totara Awards – recognition of the quality  work done by the Catalyst Australia team.

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