Retail Management Training: 7 Things to Motivate Employees as Much as Money

Every retail manager or business owner wants to have a team that is hard-working, motivated and focused on attaining the company’s sales and profit goals. The good news is that motivating retail sales representatives does not always require throwing money at your team members. 

Rewards are only one of the ways to motivate retail employees.  Remember that recognition, responsibility, and building relationships also play a key role.  With this in mind, here are some of the things we speak about in our retail consulting practice

1.       Be generous with your recognition – Everyone wants to know when they are doing a great job yet it is something they often do not hear.  Praise every improvement that your team members make and don’t forget that praising them in public is even better! 

2.       Give team members responsibility – Whether it is for completing a regular task like checking in orders or cleaning the shelves, busy hands often result in a higher level of energy and the results create pride and ownership in the business’ results.

3.       Make your ideas theirs – Sometimes it is all about how you ask people to do something.  Instead of telling people what you want done; ask them in a way that will make them feel like they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” turns into “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?” 

4.       Help them learn – Instead of giving a direct reprimand when an employee struggles with a task, the best retail managers know that taking an indirect approach to getting people to improve often works best.  Ask your team members “Do you have any ideas on how you could do this task differently?”

5.       Put people in charge of their quota – Instead of giving a top-down sales quota, have your team member give you a monthly forecast for their planned results.  Coach them that your expectation is that they will always be seeking to improve on past results and that they will be providing you with a plan on how to do so.

6.       Give out awards along with your recognition – Whether it is giving a shout out to someone at a store meeting; awarding a retail sales rep of the month award; or buying pizza for the team as a reward for achieving a team goal your awards don’t have to break the bank.

7.       Make it personal – Get to know about your team members, their families, interests, and what it important to them.  Make sure that you periodically take a few minutes to check in with them to ensure that they are happy in their lifestyle…after all the reason they are working is to improve their life!

Would you like to learn more about how to motivate and improve your retail staff?  Contact us for a free one-hour consultation and needs analysis or to inquire about our retail management training programs

–          David Goodwin is the principal owner of Retail Advocacy Group.  RAG offers consulting services for retailers and also offers retail training solutions through its Retail Training Services subsidiary.   You can also learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at