From our stores, distribution centers and contact centers to our corporate offices, we offer a variety of learning paths, built on a careful blend of online courses, instructor-led classroom training, experiential learning, on-the-job learning, coaching and performance support. These learning experiences and opportunities are structured to occur at the right time and in the right amount. To enable this, last year we launched a program called Learning@Lowe’s. This included an updated approach to sequencing and structuring learning as well as incorporating new learning and performance support methods and an increased emphasis on managers and leaders guiding the development of the employees who report to them.
We made a strategic investment in our workforce in two other areas in 2012. The first is leadership development. We partner with the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School for executive development and also focus on developing our store leadership, particularly the critical store manager and assistant store manager populations. Our Leadership Institute includes programs that are designed to ensure that Lowe’s leaders are competent and confident to deliver strategic business results. The other area of strategic investment was the launch of Selling@Lowes, a selling skills program created to advance our sales culture and enhance the customer experience. We introduced this program midyear and cascaded it to store employees. We believe these focus areas improve our ability to serve our customers while building the foundation for continued growth.