Did you know that staff productivity is one of the main investments every retail business should focus on? Unfortunately, most business owners or managers are busy working on other areas of the business thus overlooking staff productivity.
It’s no secret that your staff can be your biggest drivers of retail productivity when it comes to interacting with your customers. It doesn’t matter if they are communicating with them face to face or through other channels, equipping them with the right skills will improve their efficiency. So, here are the 8 effective tips to help you maximize retail staff productivity.
1. Hire the Right Staff
Although it is an overlooked trait, it is important to hire the right staff if you want to maximize staff productivity. Its true most retail businesses do not require much qualification when it comes to hiring their staff. However, they should still look at their resume closely. When it comes to in-store staff, it is vital you pay extra attention to your front-line staff. Remember, these staff represents your brand and they can either make or break it by how they respond to the customers.
Therefore, to ensure you get the right staff there are several ways to go about it:
- Recruit on Different Platforms: These include online job post, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among other. Keep in mind, the more places you advertise for job interviews, the more likely you will find great staff.
- Converse More instead of Dwelling on an Interview: You want to hire individuals who will genuinely enjoy their job? Then the best way is to have conversations with them. One of the ways to do this is by requesting a walk around the shop and observing their physical reaction as you ask questions on the products you are selling.
- Go for a Recruitment Software: The software is great at helping you recruit the right staff.
- Hire an Agency: If you don’t have time for recruitment or need to employ a lot of staff at once, then you can leave the hiring process to a recruitment agency.
2. Offer Training Sessions
The retail industry is fast-moving and your staff needs not only to be up to date on the day-to-day products they are selling but also meet the customers’ demands quickly and efficiently. Thoroughly training will take care of that but not only the basic things but they should learn about the benefits of the products. Furthermore, it is important to have to know your regular clients preference in order to tap wider to the industry. Keep this in mind; the training should not only be a one-off thing but also invest in ongoing training to keep the staff motivated for new opportunities such as salary increase or promotions.
3. Equip Your Staff with the Right Tools
Did you know that staff can be more productive when using the right tools? In other words, if the systems used by you and your staff are out of date or some tasks are done manually then the staff productivity will be limited. However, you can change all these by introducing the latest software, therefore, enabling faster and more efficient operations.
Don’t forget to also upgrade a more efficient inventory system which will be helpful to staff as it will alert them when the stock is low. This will give them a chance to reorder the products before they run out. What about the Excel spreadsheets for staff scheduling and time tracking? Well no more using pen and paper, invest in a management app to make it quicker for the staff and managers to schedule their time as well as to clock in and out.
4. Ensure Efficient Communication
Did you know that poor communication is one of the biggest ways that affect staff productivity? Retail stores are like other businesses; there is the management department as well as the store department. Therefore, if one the managers makes a decision that needs to be implemented at the store department, inefficient communication systems can make the implementation to be delayed.
So, to ensure efficient communication, the headquarter managers and store manager should be on the same page on which channels to use. For example, you can use an app like Zipline that allows the managers and staff to communicate easily thus speeding up tasks.
5. Cultivate a Culture that Motivates Staff
It’s unfortunate that retail stores don’t engage with their employees as often as other industries. For example, in the USA, most retail staffs don’t hesitate leaving their job for another compared to industries. Always remember, you might be losing one of the best staff in the field due to undervaluing them. That’s why you should put in place a good strategy that recognizes its staff performance.
One of the ways is to engage in team-building which will enable the staff to interact as well as have fun. There are many activities to indulge in such as sales competitions which can reward the winners with gift vouchers or even bonus pay. In the end, you will be assured the staff will have a lot of energy thus increasing productivity.
6. Provide Regular Recognition and Feedback
Everyone needs some recognition once in a while and your staff is no exception. Therefore, to keep the morale of your staff high, it is important to regularly let the staff know they are appreciated and to keep up the good work. A simple one on one phone call will do or just a few minutes face to face conversation. Moreover, you can also wait for a staff meeting to praise them with positive feedback.
Every retail business goal is to increase their productivity and investing in your staff will bridge that gap. So, remember to hire the right staff, ensure you train them thoroughly, equip them with the right tools, and cultivate a culture that motivates staff. These 5 tips will help you maximize staff production thus increasing your product sales too.