The retail industry is stepping to a new level day by day. It has emerged to a greater extent in the last few years and is considered to enlarge much more in the nearby future. The success of retail industry lies within the satisfaction of customer. Customer is the emperor of the business and customer rules the business.
None of the area managers, store managers, floor managers, and account managers were directly related to the success of the business. It is the retail employees who are directly related to the success of the business because they are the ones who go-between the market and the customers. Therefore the people who work much of the time with customers are the retail employees.
Retail employees are considered to be the primary pillars of the business as they are the only medium available between the merchandise and consumer. This clears the ambiguity on the things which are to be focused, to make a retail business prosper.
Hiring retail employees is a tedious task. Though the excellence of the business depends upon the employees, it is also important to understand that they are not professionals and the ones who excelled in business skills. Thus ,training the hired employees is another phase which has to be accomplished. After training the employees there is a probability that, they might push themselves to other jobs. Retaining them in the current business is another level which has to be crossed. Here are few profound points to make sure that all the three phases are completed successfully.
Retail Employees Hiring:
Hiring is the phase which involves lot of decision making and understanding. The recruitment team should be able to pick the jewels from the stones. Here are few things to be noted in the hiring phase.
1. A great Job description:
Job description is the foremost thing which an employee is going to view. During festive season large scale businesses would be a huge competition for the small scale businesses. At this point of time the description would be very helpful. Description of the job should be done in a much appealing way so that the employees get attracted and rushes to the company to get hired. Use impressive words to describe the work environment but do not completely distort the truth. Just explain whatever is available, but in a much fascinating way.
2. Use the social media:
As the technology is evolving at a greater speed, it is much easier to share information with people. Social media is the best approach to advertise hiring. It cuts off your advertising costs and the message would reach a huge number of people.
3. Background check:
This is also considered as a vital part in the process of hiring. Our main aim is not to hire huge number of people but to hire the right people. So, do not skip this step because of time constraints. The organization needs reliable and responsible candidates to work. During the background check, the recruiter gets to know a lot of things about the employee. Social media would be helpful to a greater extent in this check. Usage of social networking for the background check is less time-consuming process, which provides you more information.
4. Ask for Referrals:
Opting for referrals is a great idea. Ask your employees for referrals. Referrals tend to be reliable most of the times, than complete strangers. Due to this, the information about the candidate can be easily gathered without any difficulty.
5. Select socialized workers:
When you get a good number of applicants, it’s time to filter the best out of the others. Retail market is all about speaking and selling. It’s not possible for a loner or an introvert to directly speak with the customer and sell a product. The employee should be ready to mingle with the customer and make the customer understand the benefits of the product. Employees need to socialize with the workers but within limit.
6. Soft skills and communication:
Communication plays an important role in any business. It is considered as a vital aspect because it is the duty of an employee to communicate with different people all the time. Retail industry faces a lot of challenges due to lack of communication with the consumer.
During the hiring process, observe the way the candidate is communicating by asking few questions about the common products. Here, the candidate should not be cooking stories to make the conversation interesting. It is true that retailers do explain about all products in a much appealing way, but they do not say something like “This toothpaste helps a broken tooth grow”. This is some kind of fiction and generally not possible. Make sure that employees are not creative story tellers.
Attitude, social skills and interpersonal skills together make soft skills. It is easy to find a person with good communication skills and hard to find a person with soft skills. It is human tendency to lose control at times but an employee should always have his words and actions in control.
The candidate should easily make up conversation and should not loose his temper at any point. Test the candidate by blaming the candidate for few things and wait for the reaction. If the person becomes irritated and furious easily, then no doubt, he would never become a retail employee.
7. Make workplace a great place to work:
It is the responsibility of the managers to make sure ,that the employees do not face any difficulty in serving the consumers. If the work place itself looks gloomy, the employees cannot be active and energetic.
Retail Management Training:
Hiring alone without training the employees is of no use. It is a known fact that all employees are not professionals. People with different background and accent come to the workplace. It is the duty of the training team to train them the way they want. Below are the things to be explained to employees during training.
1. Looking around:
The employee should always look around to know the happenings in the workplace. Customers cannot always search for someone to come and explain them about the product. It is the task of the employee to check which customer is in need. The employee has to be trained to understand the point of time when a customer needs help. It should also be noticed that the employee cannot spend all the time with one customer and should juggle around to check the need of other customers too.
A consumer cannot be left isolated all the time and sometimes need attention of the worker. So, the worker needs to be alert all the time and be moving from place to place. This makes the customer believe that someone would offer a helping hand when in dilemma between products. This also helps to get to know about the mischievous happenings going on in the workplace.
A consumer does not get attracted by looking at a product but gets attracted by hearing about the product. The real magic lies in the communication. An effective communication, with the consumer would bring immense sales to the business. The training should not only contain “how to communicate” but also should include “When to communicate”.
Starting an interaction:
Though the employee is assigned to interact with the customer, tell them not to just start speaking, it is also important to understand that customers need their own time to think and their privacy. An employee cannot go in between by interrupting the customer’s thought process and babbling something about the product. It is required to understand the little gestures of the customer and then start interacting with them with their acceptance.
Ending a conversation:
After the explanation of the product, the worker cannot abruptly leave the customer and move back to other jobs. It is required to ask the customer whether any help is further required. Whenever, further explanation is not required, the worker may leave the place with a pleasant smile.
3. Information about the products:
Knowledge about the products is essential to the employees. The employee cannot be speechless whenever asked about a product. The customers expects a worker to guide them and help them in choosing the best product available in the market. When the enough information is not provided to the consumer, it is considered as a bad service and the organization loses a customer.
Updating the employees is considered as important as updating the products in the racks. A brief description of every new product available in the market has to be given to the employees. Do not skip this step thinking that it’s not the responsibility of the organization to educate the workers. Educating your employee is one of key factors that bring success to your business.
4. Make them socially active:
Conduct activities to make employees active and speak without being reserved. An employee should not be shy and hesitant to mingle with the consumer. Any queries should be answered and made sure that the consumer has a clear understanding of the product.
5. Non-verbal Communication:
Sending and receiving little gestures, expressions, signs all come under non-verbal communication. Make the employees understand that their body also speaks. Customers can easily sense the impolite gestures made by the workers. Thus, it is significant to understand that not only the words and also actions should be polite.
6. Do not force the customer:
Train the employees, that the work of an employee is completed when the description of the product is given. A worker should never force a customer to buy something for the reason of profit. When the customer is in a dilemma to decide a product and asks for a suggestion, a suggestion can be provided by the employee.
7. Role play with employees:
Conduct sessions where trainers play a role of customers. Though the worker knows that this is part of training, there would be a clear understanding of what the consumer expects from an employee. This understanding will help them know things in advance and perform their duties in much efficient way
8. Invest in training:
Sometimes, the managers also might not be enough and make an employee understand the way things work in an organization. Do not hesitate to employ external trainers whenever necessary. Investment in employees is an investment in business.
9. Monitor them:
Whenever, the necessary training is given it is obligatory to monitor their actions. The mistakes made by the employees should be noted and be explained later to the worker. Monitoring of employees plays a significant role because it helps to check the understanding of them. Recurrent training is not always possible but little interaction with the employee once in a while could make the problem solve.
When an employee is been well trained and skilled, it is likely that the employee might leave the organization. The organization has invested good amount in the training of an employee and cannot lose the employee naturally.
But, employee might have his own issues to leave the company. It could be due to reasons like stretching hours, working in weekend, disrespected by other employees, less compensation, late pay etc. The reason might be anything but it is something related to a flaw in an organization. Rectify the flaws to retain employees.
1. Do not hire many employees, instead hire few and ask them to extend their working hours and do not forget to pay them for extended hours.
2. Provide a friendly work environment and do not blame them for everything
3. Treat employees with respect. No employee would love to work when the higher authority shows a dominant behavior even though paying lump sum amount.
4. Reward for their hard work. It’s natural for anyone to feel disappointed when their efforts are not recognized. They do a lot for the benefit of the organization. It is important to reward and recognize such hard work.
No employee would feel like leaving the place where people praise and reward for the little efforts made. This is a little fact which should be understood and kept into action. Rewards don’t mean just money. It could be anything like a day off, promoting to a higher position, little gift or just appreciation in front of all the employees.
5. An employee with great talent has to be paid more. When an employee is able to tackle any conversation and when can even convert a storming conversation into a pleasant one. No doubt, the organization cannot lose such employee.
Employees are an organization’s greatest asset. Never lose a good employee.