HBtraining:
Faster and more effective sales promotors thanks to online onboarding for Generation Z

How do you get sales promoters of Generation Z to go through a whole learning process before they start working on the shop floor while they are not very motivated to learn? Together with aNewSpring, HBtraining created an onboarding programme for these youngsters: varied, funny and - of course - available on a mobile device. By doing this, the training agency from Dutch province Brabant won the aNewSpring Awards 2020.

Learning Method Online learning Training Type Onboarding Industry Trainers

The problem

How do you make sure that sales promoters know exactly what to do when they are in the shop?

According to Nicole van de Ven – Smeelen of HBtraining, sales promoters usually are students who do this work as a part-time job. They work in all kinds of shops, but it is not always clear to them who they are working for, what they should do and how they should do it.

“They are not always motivated to learn about all these things, they mainly just want to make money. In addition, their attention span is short and they are visually oriented. They mainly spend a lot of hours looking at their mobile phone.” How do you make sure that sales promoters know exactly what to do when they are in the shop?

The concept

The onboarding programme is customised for each sales promoter by including brand-specific modules in his or her personal learning journey

Matching the profile of the target group, it was definitely important that the learning journey was easily accessible on the go. Moreover, it had to contain a wide variety of learning forms and a lot of interactive possibilities. “We used video, vlogging, quiz elements and (hand-in) assignments. Furthermore, the design is attractive. We use funny GIFs and a tone of voice that appeals to the target group,” says Nicole. For example, there is no boring lengthy handbook to plough through, but comic illustrations are used that discuss the company rules. Because of the top-down approach, participants only have to learn what they don’t know yet. “Very efficient.”

By means of welcome videos from the coaches’ office, the participant gets an impression of the colleagues at HBBA. In addition, he or she will be vlogging about their first working day, the first week and the first month. These vlogs (#hardlife) are part of a video assignment. This way, the youngsters also have contact with their coaches.

Generation Z wants to continue to develop, Nicole knows. “In personal vlogs, colleagues explain why working at HBBA is so much fun. We turn the employees into ambassadors so that sales promoters can see what career opportunities there are within HBBA. We have great examples of colleagues who have grown from sales promoter to Business Unit Manager or General Manager, for example.”

The onboarding programme is customised for each sales promoter by including brand-specific modules in his or her personal learning journey.

The result

Eighty percent of the participants pass the final test

The onboarding programme ensures that new employees receive a warm welcome, that they are more productive in their job and that they are more familiar with and connected to HBBA, according to Nicole van de Ven – Smeelen. Because of corona, far fewer sales promoters went to work, but she already sees great results: “Eighty percent of the participants pass the final test. There is a lot of vlogging as well.”

Responses from participants

‘There were a lot of nice elements in the onboarding programme which quickly made sure I was up and running in my position and made me feel right at home.’

‘The onboarding programme has made me feel better about all the work we do and the possibilities within the company.’

Nice to get a welcoming video message from the director on my first day at work. I immediately felt involved and very welcome!’

We could go on telling you how they did it,
but their own video says it the best:



I believe that every person can show a better version of themselves every day. – Nicole van de Ven – Smeelen

That she was going to be an entrepreneur was a given. After all, as the child of two hospitality entrepreneurs, Nicole van de Ven of HBtraining grew up with the hard and independent way of working. In her work she strives for perfection: “Everything has to be right in a training course”. And with results, as this year HBtraining won our award for Most Inspiring Learning Journey with the onboarding program for sales promoters. Read her story in our interview with Nicole van de Ven – Smeelen.

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