A great retail business can suffer at the hands of unhappy and unproductive employees. Without their consistent efforts on a day-to-day basis, everything else you do in your retail store can take a backseat. After all, if customers think they will receive poor service or run into rude employees, they will avoid your store. There are a number of things you can do to help keep employees happy and as well-prepared for their work as possible.
To be fair not every person is a “good” employee, not everyone will be happy in their position. For those folks, it may be better to let them go instead of trying to please them with the work you can provide.
It is always important to remember that your employees are not as invested in the retail store as you are. While the store might be the first thing you think about each day and the last thing you think about each night, to your employees, it is likely just another job. To make sure you get their best effort, you want to ensure they are happy, comfortable, and put in a position to succeed.
This starts with you! You are the leader of this enterprise. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I treat all my employees the same in terms of shifts and hours?
- Do I show up with a positive can-do attitude?
- Do I treat my employees the way I wish to be treated?
- Do my employees know what to do when it comes to difficult customers?
Employees take direction from the top down. Meaning if you are fair, positive and upbeat, there is a much better chance your team will be as well.
Make Life Easy
Take a moment to think about what life would be like as an employee in your store. Which parts of the job would you enjoy, and which would you dread? By looking at the store through this lens for just a moment, you will likely be able to identify areas that need to be improved to make the experience better for your team. For instance, if you have a steady stream of customers coming to the counter on a busy day, your employees will need to be standing at the register for hours at a time. Could you give them a comfortable mat to stand on, or even a stool where they could sit between transactions? Small things can make a huge impact.
The majority of your customers are going to be no problem at all. They will have a standard method of payment, they will be happy to be in the store, and they will interact in a friendly manner with your team. There will always be one or two difficult customers, however, who make life harder for everyone. Staff should understand that the “customer is always right.” They should also feel that you are behind them, however, and that you will help them take care of more difficult customers. This is not about taking sides; rather, the customer should always leave the store feeling pleased, and the employee should feel like you were in their corner.
Set the Stage for Great Service
You probably want your team to do things like greet customers when they arrive and ask them if they have any questions. Are you making it easy for them to do just that? For instance, if staff members are working in various parts of the store during the day, are they always going to be able to hear someone come in? If not, consider adding something like a door chime to help them hear when a customer enters the store. Even seemingly small steps such as these can go a long way toward making life easier on your team.
Listen to Your Employees
When members of your team come to you with suggestions or small complaints, listen to them. Having a solid understanding of in-store issues generally can be solved with small measures. Encourage employees to talk to you about ways to make the store better. Everything from marketing to cleaning equipment. A new mop and bucket or some signage that is easier to move around the store may vastly improve the attitudes of employees.
Let’s be honest, at the end of the day, your employees work for you because they need a paycheck. While it is certainly possible to get other things out of a job than just money, it is the paycheck that keeps them coming back day after day. With that in mind, make sure your team feels like you are going to reward them for a job well done. That could be in the form of periodic raises, or just though occasional bonuses after a particularly successful stretch of business.
If you would like more information about Specialty Store Services, just Email Us. You can also shop for all of your Retail Store Supplies and Displays on our website, Specialty Store Services, by Live Chat, or by phone at 800-999-0771.