First impressions are everything in retail. If you have an actively disengaged worker on the shop floor, not only does it infect other workers but it creates a toxic environment for customers. You’ll be highly unlikely to see them back after poor customer service.
Customers are incredibly observant and can be turned off by stores and their employees who are actively disengaged.
An engagement survey isn't required to know you have a disengaged team. You can see that immediately reflected in your store/regions sales statistics and customer feedback. How do you get on the path to boosting employee engagement? Well, it’s an uphill trek but a vital one.
We have a few tips that have seen companies build an engaged selling team that smashes store targets and shows a genuine desire to connect with customers. This is of particular importance as we start to make our way into the Christmas sales period!
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
Whether personal or professional, communication is vital in any relationship. Make time for schedule one-on-ones and wider team meetings with staff. This gives staff the opportunity to air any frustrations or struggles before they become an issue. Constantly assess what is working and what isn’t and don't forget to communicate any HQ updates.
SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS & SHARE THE BIGGER PICTURE
Your staff need to understand what is expected of them. Constantly lead by example and share the big picture goal. The stores daily/monthly/quarterly financial goals need to be shared across the team. It gives them a clear understanding of what is required and expected of them within their store. It will give them a target to strive for rather and encourage them to not let any sales be lost to competitors.
KEEP YOUR PROMISES
The moment you break a promise, team members immediately become bitter and disengaged. It doesn't matter whether it was giving them extra hours, a promotion or pay rise. They remember every promise you’ve made and you need to be accountable. Ideally, don't make promises you can’t deliver on but situations like these arise and you need to 100% honest. Let them know how and why those promises were not kept. Preferably give them updates before the promise is completely broken.
REWARD YOUR STAFF & MAKE THEM FEEL VALUED
You can show staff they are valued in a myriad of ways. One of them is by investing in them. No, not always in monetary form (although that helps) but through training. Build their confidence. We often see disengaged workers unable to approach customers and it's often out of fear of rejection. If you let staff know you’re investing in them training wise and want to see them succeed it can help boost engagement and motivation. This also gives you an opportunity to closely monitor their engagement levels with training and act accordingly.
Lastly, make sure you are rewarding your team when their work has helped successfully impact any large financial goals or initiatives. A smile, a thank you and a chocolatey treat can go a long way.
May you begin to build a motivated, efficient, and engaged selling team with these few short tips!