In retail, the quality of your employees’ performance is the backbone of your business. They can make or break your brand, build or destroy consumer trust, and maximize your sales figures. It follows that the productivity and efficiency of your employees should be a priority, and you should be taking steps to improve employee performance wherever possible. With the right attitude, training, and equipment, your staff can influence your customers’ buying decisions, decrease complaints, and increase the likelihood that customers will return in the future. This guide highlights how retailers can maximize employee productivity and boost sales.
Try to maintain a consistent schedule
It may seem a small point, but studies have shown that staff are more likely to arrive on time and work harder and less likely to call in sick if they regularly work the same hours on the same days. By avoiding unpredictable shift patterns, last-minute changes, and shift swaps, staff can settle into a routine. They will be familiar with the types of customers who come in during their shift, when the busiest times of day are, and which tasks need completing by certain times.
You can also use this technique to schedule your most experienced employees to cover key trading days and times. In fact, offering more hours to your most experienced and highest performing staff is an effective way to maximize sales, boost overall levels of customer service, and retain high-quality staff for longer.
Invest in technology
Technology has the potential to transform the way your retail store operates in many ways. An increasingly popular idea is to equip staff with a mobile tablet,enabling them to look up product information, inventory, and even process transactions anywhere in the store. This avoids customers waiting around for employees to visit the storeroom and removes the need for a long queue of customers waiting to pay for their items, which can discourage some from making a purchase. Other stores have introduced communication systems such as headsets, which enable staff on the shopfloor to communicate efficiently with stockroom staff and POS staff.
You might also want to consider how easy it is for your staff to travel back and forth between the main store and the stock room, as they may be wasting time with security keypads or keys and could be trying to carry stock at the same time. Over at evoproducts.com, they have developed an automatic opening system for sliding doors, which could save a lot of time and might even make your store more secure.
Prioritize attitude over experience
When hiring new employees, some retailers may look for candidates with lots of retail experience. While this is understandable, retail skills can be taught, but you cannot teach people to be patient, kind, respectful, or to maintain a positive attitude even under pressure. It is often more effective to choose an employee who has a willingness to learn and the right attitude and to teach them the skills they need. This also means you will avoid hiring people with previous experience who might be resistant to change or stuck in bad habits.