Retail can be a tough industry to work in, particularly around the holidays. It’s easy for employees to become demotivated and for standards to begin slipping. As waves of customers move around the shop, leaving ruined store displays in their wake, it can be hard to find the drive to fix the shop for the fourth time in an hour.
But despite the chaotic shop floors and the never-ending queues, it’s important to keep spirits high to ensure that your shop gets the most it can from the holiday rush. Here are five tips to help you keep your retail staff motivated this year.
1. Remember that every person is different.
Different people are motivated by different things. Some employees would like to be given a challenge to meet, while others will prefer to feel more support and guidance in their day-to-day tasks.
People also care about different things. If an employee is interested in a specific department of your business, let them work there. By allowing them to work in an area they find interesting, you will motivate them, and other team members will notice how much attention you are paying to them.
2. Nurture a recognition-rich culture.
Motivation doesn’t just come from the top. Having a happy and active workforce helps to create an atmosphere that can keep retail staff going. Nurturing a recognition-rich culture where employees of all levels actively congratulate each other on their successes is important. If you have morning meetings, it can be helpful to highlight areas where individual employees excelled the day before.
By openly praising people, you can also facilitate a more agile workforce. When employees are encouraged to highlight each other’s successes, they learn to respect each other’s strengths, which in turn can encourage retail staff to share the load.
3. Give employees responsibility.
Playing to each team member’s strengths is one of the best ways to ensure that your team is the best that it can be. Allowing staff to take responsibility for areas of the shop that enthuse them can allow them both the opportunity to grow and the chance to encourage other employees to care about the same area.
For example, if you have an employee who is particularly excited by creating window displays, allow them to design some ideas for you. If an employee has an idea about how to change the merchandising of a product, let them take the lead on that. Providing this opportunity will not only motivate the employee but others as well, as their coworkers will feel a responsibility to support their colleague.
4. Create a positive atmosphere.
To motivate your staff to sell your product, your retail space has to look its best. Create a space that reflects your brand and the lifestyle you are selling to your customers. This environment will help keep your staff motivated and help them take pride in what they do. A pleasant atmosphere, combined with the right attitude from your employees, will, in turn, help you sell more.
5. Encourage development.
It doesn’t matter if your business is small and you don’t have the option to offer promotions – you can still help your staff develop. Offer them some benefits that will motivate them and encourage them to grow. For example, offer the opportunity to learn how you market your store or the opportunity to run your social media accounts. These types of development opportunities will help them learn new skills, while helping you gain some valuable exposure for your shop.