Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who works at your store?

I meet lots of retailers every month. In almost every conversation, store staffing comes up because it is such a critical issue. These retailers share stories (some good, some not so good) and usually point to having 2 different types of employees in their store. Which employees do you have working in your store today? Employee #1 looks at the clock longing for quitting time, doesn’t move from behind the register when there are no customers in the store, and has little interest in helping grow/build sales with any customer. Employee #2 is constantly busy doing tasks (some assigned, some on their own) that make the store achieve sales goal faster, make the store cleaner or run more efficiently. This employee is always asking what else can be done to help make the business better. Of course, we’d all like to have a store full of #2 employees all the time because we know that we would have the running smoothly and that sales would be humming along- even if you didn’t go in to the store for weeks on end. So how do you find employees that are constantly engaged with the business and who are looking to make your store the best it can be every time they work? YOU DO. Your leadership and training from the first day they step into the store sets the tone for their success. YOUR training makes the difference. Today we share tips for creating top-notch employees who are as committed to your store’s success as you are 1) Make your employees THE KEY part of your store success. Share overall store goals and missions with all associates every day so they know what is expected. 2) Create a new employee handbook (can be as small as 2-4 pages) Use this book to share goals and expectations from their first day of work. These can be dress codes, hourly sales goals or any departmental responsibilities they have. 3) Lead by example. Be on the floor to show them how to work with customers, teach them to merchandise the selling floor and windows and how to close a sale properly. 4) Have a sales book at the register with financial goals for every day. Make sure every associate knows the goal from the time the store opens. 5) Track sales results during the day. (Or have your manager do it – show that making goal is priority one EVERY day.) 6) Let your employees know that they must be creative and deliver contingency plans if sales are not trending toward daily goals- empower them to do small things to boost sales in the middle of the day. 7) Announce sales results daily. Praise associates for making goals, work on re-strategizing if sales are down to plan. 8) Give every associate an area of responsibility in the store. Wiping shelves in a certain department, cleaning cash wrap, front door or windows. Everyone is responsible for how the store looks. Not just you. (Rotate tasks if some are more tedious than others.) These are just a few tips to get your associates on board for your stores success. They are not the only ones. Share with us what you do to keep your associates motivated and delivering results. We’d love to hear.

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