9 Secrets to Better Retail Employee Management

October 02, 2019

Posted at 3:35PM • 8/05/19 • Liz Sagaser

In 2018, the average turnover for all industries in the United States was around 15 percent.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average turnover rate in the retail industry was slightly above 60 percent. #OUCH

So what does that mean to the bottom line? More than 230 million days of lost productivity and $19 billion in costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and training, according to Human Resources Today.

It’s easy to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of an employee who quit or was fired, but in order to hire, train, and support better employees, you must first look in the mirror and ask, “What can I do to be a better manager?”


9 Secrets to Better Retail Employee Management

Show respect to earn respect.Speak to your employees as equals, worthy of your time and concern. Employees who feel personally valued, stick around longer and work harder.

Compliment employees in public. Catch them doing something right as often as you can, and praise them in front of colleagues and customers.

Train employees in private. Give each employee time and space to ask questions and learn from mistakes — without an audience.

Encourage merchandise exploration. Invite employees to help unpack new shipments, try on apparel and accessories, and to spend time examining products throughout the store during lulls in traffic.

Pay above minimum wage.We say, “You get what you pay for,” for a reason. Invest in quality, better-than-average employees for quality, better-than-average results. Turnover is expensive, and paying more for higher caliber employees is a wise choice.

Hold part-timers accountable. Just because an employee is part-time, doesn’t mean they should do the job partially. Train part-time employees to the same standards as full-time staff, and hold them to the same standards.

Ask their opinion.Employees who are encouraged to collaborate and share thoughts on new merch, or contribute ideas about events, sales promotions, or social media activities — are employees who will invest more heavily into their work, because they have a sense of ownership.

Help employees bond. Like in any work environment, not all retail employees will be BFFs, but you can help members of your team find things in common, or give them opportunities to get to know each other better. When coworkers are friends, it takes away the Us-vs-Them mentality, and makes work a more pleasant place to be.

Thoughtfully reward your employees. Pay attention to what makes your staffers smile, which restaurant they love, or whether they would appreciate movie tickets, fancy coffee, or a car wash gift card. When an employee achieves something noteworthy, makes a big sale, or goes above and beyond — reward them with something personal to their interests, not just money.

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