Create a Culture of Excellence in Your Retail Staff
Have you ever noticed how the busiest, most successful retailers almost always seem to have a great staff? In these shops, everything seems to run smoothly, the service is consistent and the customers are happy. It is no wonder that these retailers are thriving
On the other hand, you have undoubtedly encountered a retailer that has a below-average staff, where the team members – if you can call them a team-are lackadaisical in their attitude toward the customer, have poor product knowledge and struggle with even the most basic operational tasks.
As retail training consultants we are often asked to visit a location and rate its staff. And like us, you don’t have to be seasoned operator to know the importance of having a well-trained, “A”-caliber staff as opposed to “B”- or “C”-caliber employees. Let’s take a closer look:
- A stands for “Awesome” – The typical A-caliber team member not only does an excellent job but, more importantly, wants to do an excellent job. When provided with the proper tools, retail sales training and management these employees will most always perform at an excellent level. Furthermore, having a staff with plenty of A-workers typically attracts other A-workers that want to work for you.
- B stands for “Could be Better” – B-caliber workers are more inclined to just get the job done at a satisfactory level. They meet the minimum, but an interesting phenomenon about them is that when around A-caliber workers they tend to perform better than they would if left to their own devices. In other words, they need outside stimulus from management or their peers to get them moving. On the other hand, if they are surrounded by C-caliber workers or are not closely supervised, they oftentimes perform below satisfactory levels.
- C Stands for “Could Care Less” – C-caliber workers typically don’t seem to care about their level of performance and may only think of the job as a paycheck vs. a challenge. These are the “warm-body” hires indicative of a retailer that is consistently understaffed or has a high employee turnover – usually because the leader is a bad fit or has not had the proper retail management training needed to succeed.
In order to create a culture of excellence you must hire, train and retain A-caliber workers. While it is inevitable that you will hire a few B-workers you will need to quickly get them on track to becoming an “A” or they may recede and become the worker that no one wants….the dreaded “C.” C workers are not only bad for your business in and of themselves, but they also infect their coworkers and that results in getting into a perpetual hiring cycle.
So how do successful retailers constantly attract and retain the A-workers? Surprisingly the answer is not because they pay better – rather, it’s because they have systems in place designed to create a culture of excellence. Some of these systems include:
- Retail training programs for all job positions
- Selective hiring, recruiting and interview systems
- Onboarding systems
- Customer service guidelines
- Scheduling system and schedule change policies
- Employee handbook
- Steps of service guidelines
- Performance management systems
These systems are designed to achieve consistency and predictability. Before you can expect to attract and retain A-workers, you must first implement systems that do not allow C-caliber workers. These systems include properly training your staff, giving them the resources to do their job excellently and being selective in your hiring. At Retail Training Services, we can help you to develop and implement the retail practices that you need to win in an increasingly competitive world. Contact us for a free one-hour consultation!