[This article was written by Sneha Mittal.]
As a business owner, the success of your business depends on your ability to train and motivate the people that work for you. Do you want your staff to be more energized and perform better? Do you want to improve their customer service skills? Do you want your business to be more efficient? If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you know that you can achieve each of these for your business by finding the right people, training them well and equipping them with the tools for success.
Without the right guidance, your staff cannot perform at the level you expect and it’s your responsibility to ensure that they understand your expectations and their deliverables properly. In this blog post, we explore some quick tips on how you can ensure the right training and motivation tools for your retail staff. Here are the best practices you can follow to facilitate effective learning and improve performance:
- Hire for attitude and train for skill
The success of your training programs not only depends on your teaching methods and training tools but also hinges on the attitudes of your staff members. You can hire the people with the right attitude and train them to become more effective salesmen, but not the other way around. Therefore, it is always advisable to hire individuals with the right attitude and train them with the right skills.
The first important step toward this is to document your job description in a well-fashioned manner so that you clearly understand what qualities you’re searching for. In the description, you can describe details like their daily duties and responsibilities, the personality traits you’re looking for, the physical requirements and the qualification or experience level required to be successful in the role.
Documenting the job description well will also set the right expectations for you as well as your staff members. Use tools like group interviews to find the people who have the right attitude and will fit in your team without overextending yourself. In the personal interview, research past behavior to determine their behavioral traits. Finally, emphasize to them why this is a great place to work.
- Role play real-world scenarios with your employees
Roleplaying is a common yet one of the most effective tools in sales training. The best part is that this training tool works well across industries and can adapt to any type of business scenario. When your staff members get involved in roleplaying, you can help them understand how to deal with different situations and prepare them to respond well to even the worst conditions in a fun effective way.
Roleplaying builds confidence in your staff and helps them identify how to use their skills to confront various conditions. Roleplaying is a great way to encourage creative problem-solving in a controlled environment. Watching other staff members roleplaying helps build listening skills, understand body language and identify non-verbal clues for all staff members which can play an important role in any situation.
You can make roleplaying a part of your staff meetings to reenact recent scenarios and teach them new tricks to become more effective in sales.
- Give them the freedom to work on their own schedule
When retail workers have stable schedules, sales and productivity go up (Source). The conventional wisdom says that lean and unstable scheduling is inevitable in today’s fast-paced world, but it isn’t! When you create more consistent and predictable schedules for your employees, they feel more empowered.
Use an online appointment scheduling system like SuperSaaS which allows you to coordinate multiple staff member schedules to create an integrated schedule that works for you and your business. You can set your own opening hours, match the colors with your branding, account for the absence of staff members, give your staff members control over their own schedule and set the holidays and working hours and swap shifts easily when a staff member is unavailable. Adopting an automated scheduling system can make your staff members more productive and benefit your business.
- Use a mix of training methods and tools
We understand that it’s not always beneficial to spend a lot of time training people. It may be even more costly to schedule sessions and re-train people who missed your training session. A great way to train is to use modular training, which essentially means short and flexible training sessions scheduled over a longer period of time. This is a great alternative to longer and more exhausting sessions.
Take your time to divide the training module into smaller modules and create a 30-day, 60-day or a 90-day plan with different checkpoints. This will allow the employees to implement their lessons and test them out before learning new things. You can create small challenges or tasks after each training session that the employees can use to test out what they learned.
- Get to know your employees
Once you have completed the hiring rounds, spend time with your new employees to learn more about them and encourage them to connect with each other. Identify the factors which motivate them and learn about their strengths so you can leverage them in the right roles.
Some of your employees will be team players while some would prefer to work individually. Some would learn quickly while others would take more time in understanding basic concepts. When you understand who performs well under what conditions and what are their driving factors, you will be better able to guide them in the job. While working with them on training, encourage behaviors and outcomes that you expect from your employees and gain commitment from them while setting performance goals.
- Create a learning culture in your team
Most organizations focus on initial training sessions for new employees, which usually turn out to be boring and ineffective. Rather, try to instill the habit of learning in the culture and strive to create a culture that supports an open mindset, the quest for knowledge and encourages shared learning aimed at achieving the mission and goals of the business.
Encourage your team to learn new things inside and outside the work environment. Reward the people with recognition who take efforts in improving their skill sets for your business, and give meaningful feedback to people who put efforts in establishing the culture in their DNA.
There are plenty of things you can do to improve your business efficiency but unless you incorporate these important aspects of your culture, you will notice that your efforts will not yield the desired results.
Sneha is the Marketing and Customer Service Manager at SuperSaaS Online Booking System, a scheduling system for all types of appointment scheduling needs. Customers across retail industry use SuperSaaS to schedule their employees and set up business scheduling online. Sneha is a passionate digital marketer and she has extensive international experience working across roles in sales, marketing, product management and retail management.