Enlightening Staff Management Techniques: Retail

Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 11:40
Enlightening Staff Management Techniques: Retail

Some of the most successful businesses in the world have invested a great deal of time and money into researching management techniques that make for the most happy and productive staff. Many of these techniques expand on current work practices while others bring whole new ideas to the table.

But can these techniques be applied to most retail-based businesses? Here we look at some of the most interesting modern staff management methods, how they work and how they might benefit you.

Avoid Negative Motivation Methods

Motivation in any situation comes down to one of two definitive options; positive or negative. Whether this is incentive-based or fear-driven, it always boils down to one of the two. The first positive move your company can make – that some of the most successful contemporary companies are doing – is to remove negative motivation from the agenda.

Negative or 'threat' motivation may result in short-term gains, but in the long-term studies have shown it has an overall negative impact, leading to stress and even illness in employees which will only serves to de-motivate your workforce in the end. Focus instead on providing the best positive motivation from the offset.

Consider Unique Rewards

The most basic form of motivation in any company is financial. However, monetary bonuses based on performance are the dinosaur of retail incentivisation. While money is still the top motivational tool, non-financial incentives now make up almost half of the total industry value.

Consider unique rewards that are in tune with your employees and your services. If you work in a unique retail sector, use this to your advantage. Offer your employees discounts on your range of products or services. Not only will this be appreciated, but will have the bonus of further familiarising your employees with your store's range.

Alternatively, you can look to partner with other companies to offer unique experiences such as activities, gym memberships or restaurant vouchers as a bonus for top performers. Offering incentives and bonuses that resonate with your staff will not only actively motivate employees, but makes your company more in-touch and with your workers.

Diversify and Switch Up Roles

Successful companies develop and continue to inspire their workforce by giving them access to new skills and training. This keeps staff feeling engaged and valued. While this might mean new software training in a technical environment, how can it be applied to retail?

In its simplest form, it’s just a case of allowing staff to diversify their roles. Having staff members perform the same monotonous task day in, day out will certainly begin to demoralise an employee. By allowing them the opportunity to work within different areas of the company or for different aspects of the business, not only will you keep them motivated, but this will give them a better understanding of the company and how it operates.

Pay a Living Wage

Paying the minimum means that you are likely to get the minimum. Minimum effort, minimum input and minimum results. A lot of companies now are adopting the living wage and this in turn is reaping positive results. Businesses who have adopted the living wage have a significantly better public image and happier staff. Many companies proudly display their Living Wage Foundation membership.

While retail does have some of the tightest industry margins, with the right business structuring, it can be introduced. Even multi-chain companies such as Aldi have made the positive move for their staff and this has presented a PR boon for them.

If your company does have the facilities to do so, then adopting the living wage can both improve staff performance and boost your standing in the community.

Choose Attitude Over Aptitude

Unless it is a highly specialised field, many large businesses have come to realise that having the right attitude can be infinitely more important than possessing a range of skills. Many forward-thinking businesses have therefore turned their attention towards providing better training over locating a specific skill set.

This way of thinking couldn't be better applicable to a working environment than retail. An industry where customer focus is key makes the right attitude even more invaluable.

By putting more emphasis on training, a business can give itself the freedom to hire more like-minded individuals, creating a culture of teamwork and camaraderie between individuals who are eager to learn and help the company grow.

Find What's Right for Your Business

By adopting some of these practices or even simply taking some inspiration from them, you can find the right mantra for your business. Motivation and staff management improve fastest when ideas grow organically, so the most important thing to remember is to work with your staff.

Having a transparent and fair relationship makes any working environment more relaxed, leading to more content staff, less stressed managers and happier customers.