With online retail sales soaring these days, it’s more important than ever that customers get the best possible in-store shopping experience. For customers to feel comfortable and motivated to make purchases, retail employers must make sure employee morale is up to par. When a retail store isn’t meeting its full potential with sales and customer loyalty, employers must first look at what they can do to strengthen relationships among their staff and help employees feel more satisfied and motivated. Here are some tips to improve employee morale in retail:
1) Experience a Typical Day in the Life of a Retail Employee
To be able to see up close which factors could possibly be bringing down retail employee morale, managers should periodically spend a day fulfilling the duties of a retail salesperson. There may be issues involved in stocking merchandise, staff communication, pushing products and ringing up customers that are hard to spot if you aren’t performing these day to day duties. Also, it’s likely this will make your employees find you more relatable and easier to approach.
2) Create Accommodations to Make the Workday Easier for Everyone
To improve employee morale in retail, your staff must feel secure with their workspace and surroundings. Since most retail stores need as much space as possible to display merchandise, it’s tempting to skimp on space for your employees. But failing to do so can create an environment of chaos and mistrust. At the very minimum, every employer should have fresh cold water available for employees at all times. There should be a room where employees can go on their breaks to relax and another room for employees to eat meals. Also, make it easier for employees that want to bring their own lunch by providing enough refrigerator space and a microwave. Finally, provide secure place for employees to store their belongings so they won’t have them on the sales floor, but can work knowing their belongings are safe.
3) Show Employees How They are Helping the Company Achieve its Goals
If staff members can see for themselves how their work is contributing to the big picture of the company, it will increase motivation and strengthen retail employee morale. Make employees fully aware of the retail store’s mission, and show how progress is being made. For example, if an employee gets a customer to sign up for a loyalty card or warranty, explain to them the benefits the customer is receiving, and outline the benefits this will bring to your business (such as a higher customer lifetime value).
4) Keep Goals Realistic, and Celebrate Success
If your employees feel that the percentage of sales they are expected to meet is beyond their reach, your retail employee morale will take a nosedive. Employees will always feel defeated and unmotivated, which will affect their productivity and negatively affect customers. Employees appreciate recognition for their accomplishments. Make your retail store’s culture one of celebrating success. Get to know your employees and what motivates them. Celebrate their accomplishments in ways that will mean something to them.
5) Help Employees Develop Their Skills
Career development is very important to employees, particularly millennials. If you are showing interest in helping your employees become better at their jobs and build brighter futures, you can expect better retail employee morale. This doesn’t have to cost your company a fortune. Have more experienced employees mentor newer employees, and expand employees’ knowledge by giving them exposure to as many aspects of the business as possible. Also look into online tools (software, videos, etc.) that can help retail employees build a stronger skillset.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.