Employee training is hard. But, it's vital. Especially in retail.
Some companies see training as time-consuming and an unnecessary investment that can drain the budget. Retail managers feel the pain that comes with operating in an industry that is notorious for high turnover rates. Employees whip in and out as fast as the carousel door will let them, tying up so much time in the hiring and training process. To say quality retail training is highly important is an understatement.
Those in the retail industry must provide better staff training to keep spending and turnover rates low.
So, how do you do that?
It starts with building the right type of program that thrives in a retail environment.
Build a better training program
The way people learn has changed. Sales associates no longer spend an hour of their shift sitting in the back room clicking through training modules on company computers. No one has time for that. Instead, learning is dynamic and happens in short bursts.
- Utilize microlearning techniques to deliver bite-sized sales training that can be completed quickly. Because retail employees and managers are constantly being pulled onto the sales floor to answer questions or meet with customers, your training program should be flexible. Learners should be able to stop and start training sessions again at any time.
- Make your training accessible on other devices besides company computers, allowing employees to spend less time in the stock room and more time out on the sales floor. Mobile-enabled training is convenient and empowers employees to learn and reference materials on the go.
- If personal devices are not allowed, provide company tablets for sales associates to use during the ebbs and flows of their shift. When the sales floor is quiet, encourage them to tackle a quick training session or brush up on company brand standards. When business picks back up, training devices can easily be stored and accessed again later.
Make them want to stay
Simply providing a good retail training system isn't enough to make employees want to stay. They need a personal connection to your brand and company culture. They want to work for an organization that values them as an individual and the skills they bring to the sales team. All of this can be done with just a few additions to your training program.
- People love to play games. Turn your training into a gamified experience and watch employees compete against one another. Set up teams based on different departments or scheduled shifts to create camaraderie between sales associates, and don't forget the prizes. Employees are motivated by recognition and rewards. Post leaderboards in the stock room for all to see and advertise what's up for grabs so people know what they're working toward.
- One of the biggest pitfalls in retail is the feeling of being stuck. Create clear career paths complete with milestones, training goals and specialized certifications your employees can earn. By giving people opportunities to advance within the company, you encourage them to learn and communicate what it takes to move up if employees choose to stay with your organization for the long haul.
- Maintain a company culture that promotes communication and feedback. If your employees don't feel like their opinions matter, they'll likely become disengaged quickly. Create opportunities for your them to share their opinions through surveys and face-to-face check-ins. You'll get to know who they are as individuals, learn their strengths, and be able to gauge who may be a retention risk. More than that, you'll have a more engaged and happy staff who enjoy working for you.