Notice that “Help Wanted” sign outside the department store? They seem to be hanging from more and more stores these days, and it all leads back to employee engagement. According to Bloomberg, retailers suffer from a 5% staff turnover every month. Why?
Blame it on the money – the average salary is just over $10 an hour.
Blame constant change – replacing employees costs around 16% of their annual wage.
Blame technology – have you seen some of the legacy POS systems that employees are forced to use?
Blame corporate culture – very few employees are properly trained or rewarded for living into their organization’s values.
Chances are, it’s a combination of all of the above.
Maverick, a brand engagement agency, surveyed 2000 retail workers and discovered that 77% are not engaged with their company’s brand values. 25% weren’t even familiar with their brand’s promotional messages or marketing efforts. 63% had never been trained to care in the first place.
So why is it so important to connect your people to your brand experience?
Don’t Just Fight Retention – Empower Your People!
With retail turnover spiking, current research proves that when you connect your associates to your unique company culture and processes, it will improve your retention. Turns out, we all just want to belong…
The beautiful thing about employee engagement is that it is a direct line to your profits. Even a slight increase can add thousands of dollars to the company. It affects customer service, sales, retention, productivity, etc. Harvard Business Review revealed a pretty compelling case study when they showed Best Buy proved the value of a 0.1% increase in employee engagement at a particular store led to a $100K increase in sales.
Let’s look at a few ways you can combat your retail engagement challenges and start having a positive impact on your associates and their brand experience.
3 Steps to Engaging Your Retail Associates:
1. Train Your Decision Makers on the Soft Skills
When you improve your training experience and integrate leadership skills into the process, you’re demonstrating an investment in your people. Not only will a formalized training process empower your employees, it will also help improve their decision-making efficiency.
You’re replacing guesswork and confusion with pride and responsibility so that associates can make customer service decisions on their own and ensure a more positive customer experience.
So forget about “sink or swim” and start implementing training methods that reinforce your business best practices and customer service skills. You’re not just creating store managers; you’re creating people managers.
2. Embrace Your Digital Future
Chances are you may be using an outdated technology that is slowing down the customer experience and frustrating your associates and customers alike. Technology and system capabilities are changing and there are innovative new retail solutions to make life easier.
Whether you’re trying to improve the check-out experience or offer a holistic customer experience across all customer touch-points, there is a digital solution now available that is the perfect fit for your unique needs.
You can start by ensuring your platforms are using a cloud-based application so that your employees can access it from anywhere, anytime. Any solution that helps your associates work faster will have a healthy affect on your bottom line. More work gets done. Employees are happier. Customers start noticing. Profits go up.
3. Connect Your People to Purpose
The big theme here is connecting your people to the brand experience. Bob Phibbs, a retail motivational speaker, has stated that “the only way to be competitive in a sluggish economy is through your people.”
Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, adamantly agrees. He admits that other airlines may be able to match their prices or their destinations or even their planes, but they will never be able to match their people. And that’s enough to make them the most loved airline in the nation.
When you allow your employees to feel engaged and valued from the start, you don’t just reduce retention – you build loyalty. Now we’re talking about increasing productivity and maximizing profits and creating leaders – everything you need to build and maintain the customer satisfaction that keeps you thriving.
So how do you pull this off? Along with training and a better tech experience, you can continue to empower your employees by making them part of the decision process. As you continue to provide a level of control within their role, you create opportunities for advancement. By nurturing their interests, you grow their passion. Once you know what they are passionate about, you can expand that area of their role. In the end, passion is infectious and your customers will catch the bug.
Retail Employee Engagement = Increased Profits
Keeping your employees engaged and motivated is a win for everyone. CNBC gets the final word with their report that an engaged employee brings in 69% more revenue than a disengaged employee. That’s a huge difference just for making your team feel valued. When you invest in your people’s success, you’re investing in your company’s success.
Need help getting started? CPG and RevUnit work with global retail brands to develop custom engagement solutions that impact people, simplify processes, and increase profits. Check out the link below to learn more!