4 tips to get the most out of your retail staff
Running a retail business presents itself with a great variety of challenges and tasks to complete on any given day. To be sure, the experiences and outcomes generated by the day-to-day operations can be exciting and ultimately rewarding, however the process in doing so, can be overwhelming.
In achieving a better balance of load management, retailers will often look to their staff – or hire them if a new business – to shoulder some of that responsibility. A well-trained staff can prove to be the difference in running an effective business, against one that is always playing catch-up.
To that end, there are several steps retailers can take to foster a working environment in which their employees thrive in. Here are 5 of our favourite tips, that will help you get the most out of your retail staff.
Conduct performance reviews
Implementing staff performance reviews can be viewed as daunting – both for the employer and employee – but they are still a great way to ensure accountability from both parties. Not to be mistaken for a simple, ‘how are you getting along?’ informal chat, performance reviews should offer a more substantive discussion where any critiques or plaudits are wholly analysed.
Conducting this analysis may vary, depending on the type of retail store you have, but commonly they are viewed through the lens of retail sales. And with modern retail stores embracing POS solutions, tracking things like staff performance has never been easier. Reviews can then position themselves with a talking point – directly gleamed from the report – that illustrates a point about the employee’s performance, good or bad.
In embracing performance reviews, you are embracing a chance for staff and management to grow together to help grow the business even further. Air out any grievances or acclaim to create an environment that is conducive to these types of discussions taking place.
Hike Tip: Hike POS was designed to make it easier for retailers to manage and track their staff’s performance. You can even set user permissions, and schedule staff rosters all on your PC, Mac or iPad, anytime, anywhere on Hike!
Streamline your training program
As an owner/manager of a retail store, you’ll undoubtedly be well-versed in all aspects of the business. From having an extensive knowledge about your products to running and operating your point-of-sale solution, there shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to understanding your business.
The same level of expertise should then also be applied to your retail staff. To get the most out of them – and your business by extension – having them as versed in business operations as yourself, goes a long way in ensuring that you can build a workplace that can sustain excellence, even when you’re not there.
Obviously, this means making sure that you have established well-made training protocols that is comprehensive in explaining to your staff their daily tasks, but that is also able to account for any troubleshooting that may arise. Combining both theory and practice elements of this, is also a good process to have and is particularly important for new staff who can feel being left by the wayside without the proper guidance.
Employees that don’t feel comfortable about certain aspects of the business, can lead to disengaged staff very quickly. Finding the right assistance – that is continually updated as your business changes – is essential, and as their superior, it’s imperative that you encourage them to ask questions whenever they might have them.
Hike Tip: If you’re using Hike POS, you can take full advantage of our online Support Portal, as well as our video tutorials and 24/7 chat support system, to answer all your questions!
Encourage your employees
In terms of getting the most out of someone, the oldest trick in the book has always been to encourage them. Showing someone support and reassurance can infuse that person with the confidence they need to go out and do a great job, and as applicable as that sentiment is for many people just generally in life, it certainly also applies when used in a retail setting.
Of course, this isn’t a proclamation that the workplace needs to be a lovefest, with everyone patting each other on the back, but rather as retailers there is a need to focus in on people at a human level, rather than just looking at them as your employees.
Consider the staff member who comes to work each day on-time, is great with customers, is your leading sales performer, and knows how to operate the business without any assistance. Not placing value in that or outwardly showing your appreciation for it, can be a sure-fire way to see that employee feel disenfranchised and their work to slip.
This isn’t an equation out of a rocket science exam, nor does one need to have a PHD in Human Psychology to come up with such a conclusion. It’s only human to want to feel like you’re being appreciated, and respond well because of it. As an employer, the onus is on you to provide that sort of encouragement to your employees, because you want your staff working at their most optimal. Make them feel as though what they are doing is bringing in significant value to your organisation, and in-turn you’ll be rewarded with even more harder workers.
Find the right people
The genesis of your employees starts with the hiring process. Indeed, many of the desired outcomes in this blog relies on the fact that you find those right candidates that will carry out the ethos of your business in the right manner. This is often easier said than done, so it’s necessary to approach hiring through various aspects, before you elect the right person.
The first step is to look at how you market your open positions. If the target demographic of the job you are posting is likely to be university students, then what better way to market the job than by placing it con campus noticeboards.
Similarly, consider that in the age of social media, advertising on such a platform can also attract the right type of candidate. Say for example you’re after someone with relevant customer experience and is familiar with the store itself (or it’s products). Then by positing a job ad on the store’s Facebook page, there’s a likelihood that your candidates will be people already quite familiar with the store. The message here being, that in looking to improve your retail staff’s productivity, having the already motivated and invested in the store is a great sign for their working capabilities moving forward. Who knows, you may just be offering someone’s dream job!
Additionally, when it comes to the interview itself, it’s helpful to keep a checklist in handy to make sure that you’re asking the right questions. When interviewing, don’t just reel off a list of questions, where you might just get scripted answers, but rather start a more casual conversation making the candidate comfortable and open to talking more freely. This technique can go a long way in finding an employee that has the right motivations for joining, and someone you can ascertain whether they’ll be a great fit to the team. Ultimately, considering all the options at your disposal, training your staff to reach the heights that you want of them is an easily achievable task. After using the right techniques to find the right employees, it’s up to you to guide them along a path that will set them up for future success. Motivate them, encourage them and applaud them for their strong performances, while acknowledging the areas they need to improve on when necessary.
Moreover, provide a working environment where questions are welcomed and where there is substantial material for them to learn more about the operations of the business. Consider the relationship between employer and employee as a partnership, prospering together.