Tips for Employee Engagement in the Retail Sector

Date:

Share post:


Photo: Andrew Rush/Post-GazettePhoto: Andrew Rush/Post-Gazette

Photo: Andrew Rush/Post-Gazette

By Bimal Parmar

A good number of retail bosses who claim their customers are at the heart of their strategy, often neglect the ‘face’ of their business- their ground staff. And when the top management misses the point, things can be in limbo forever.

recent report by Gallup says that only 30% of the workforce in the US is fully engaged with their work, the rest is actively disengaged or not engaged. Whether it’s a result of the warped economics of insufficient remuneration or no/low benefits, most employees seem to reciprocate in a similar vein.

Here are some quick tips on how to engage your retail staff.

Revamp: ‘Smart’ is the new ‘Efficient’ in Leadership

We all know what efficient leadership is. It’s about inspiring confidence, trusting and supporting your people, and the likes. It works, but it’s a bit passé. Try focussing on the following instead:

a)  Listen to your star performers– They’ve earned their value and credibility, so discuss your plans with them.  But, do what ultimately suits you. If that sounds like playing favourites, so be it. You can get by with paying less head to your cantankerous lot (don’t worry they’ll stick around). More often than not, the complaining lot isn’t the most capable one.

b) Make everyone accountable- Employees should be made architects of their own situation, and not victims. Let them know they’re equally accountable. For this, clearly define their chores. Employees who know their roles have a stronger chance of outdoing their duties. But, this sort of an arrangement works only if they feel you’re concerned about their growth.

c) Aim for a 100% Collaborative Environment – Despite their best efforts,organizations aren’t democracies. Employee votes do count in decision making, but not necessarily. Even employees know it. So try and aim for an environment where your employees collaborate, instead of imposing verdicts on them. In other words, keep them with you. A low-friction atmosphere will mean more productivity.

d) You can’t create a ‘Utopia’ – Do anything, but you can’t get away from the differences, disagreements, conflicts or arguments. Some people will always feel disgruntled. It’s a human trait, it doesn’t originate in workplaces. Make sure, at least delegating responsibilities become smooth. Schedule them properly in the right shifts so no last minute hiccups don’t occur. Employing a retail scheduling software can be a good option .

Besides, hurdles aren’t bad all the time, adverse circumstances teach you the most. Try your best and don’t be dissuaded by troubles on your work floor. 

Foster a ‘Passion’  for Serving well 

Retail Industry, especially the service industry is fuelled by passion. Starbucks is known for its excellent customer service, that focuses on offering an experience. And this experience is created by its employees on the floor. 

It’s always better to have a lively staff. Even Sir Richard Branson feels customer service is everything .

In the retail sector, your employees make all the difference. They are the relationship builders. Being a retailer you must tell your staff what’s exactly expected of them in terms of behaviour and values, besides work. They are the voice and face customers see and hear, their enthusiasm has to be contagious.

You staffers are your best brand ambassadors. They carry your firm’s image wherever they go- whether they’re inside your eatery, out on a delivery or ringing a doorbell. If they smile and deliver the order. Your company looks like an amiable place. 

Something  for the ‘Top Management’ 

One month of bad sales and everyone at the board down to the middle level makes a scapegoat out of the ground staff. Unfortunately, the people who perform these ground duties are very marginally different from one another throughout the world, in their motivation and aspirations. They only carry out the orders. 

But, what really differentiates lucky and unlucky businesses is the capability of the people above them. Educated, well-motivated managers who spend considerable time in the growth and development of their teams should be brought in. Best retail employers  are all about the progress and well being of their employees. 

The businesses who complain generally make half baked efforts that are around for donkey’s years. The management must realize most of their ground staff workers have a house to run, bills to pay, bring up children. If they don’t find enough encouragement at work, they end up becoming slaves to their paychecks.

The result- your business would do OKAY but not exceed expectations. 

Wrapping Up

An enthusiastic employee is the personification of your Brand Promise. The best way is to confront the obstacles and confide in them. Tell them you’re in this together. Pepper it with positivity and enthusiasm.

Firms like Costco are thriving examples of employee friendly companies who remained unflinching when many solid brands fell apart. Don’t let your employees feel lost. It has cost companies before and will cost them again. Walmart is a living disaster. Just get involved, get your employees involved and you’d be surprised at the talent you’ve unlocked.


About the Author

As VP of Marketing, Bimal Parmar manages the global marketing strategy and execution at Celayix. With over 20 years industry experience, Bimal is responsible for making sure the world learns about the benefits of Celayix’s solutions that include: advanced employee scheduling, time and attendance, employee communication as well as integration modules for payroll and billing.

Before joining Celayix, Bimal was Vice President of Marketing at Faronics, a leading provider of IT solutions for the Education vertical where he helped grow revenue over 50% and launched exciting new solutions. Prior to that Bimal held senior marketing and product roles at technology companies such as Business Objects and McAfee Security where he gained significant international experience working with global companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Sony, HP, Orange, Telefonica and Ricoh. 


SOR.jpg.jpgSOR.jpg.jpg

Subscribe to our daily retail news updates for Canadians

* indicates required




LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.

Survey Data Shows Canadians will Prioritize Romance Over Budget Cuts This Valentine’s Day [Interviews]

David Litwin of Moneris notes that Valentine's is an interesting bellwether for what businesses might expect from consumers for the rest of the year.

Anine Bing to Open 2nd Canadian Storefront at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto 

The US-based women’s fashion brand recently opened its first Canadian store at Yorkdale, and will open its second location in a downtown luxury hotel. 

Retail Burnout Crisis in Canada: The Call for Empathetic Leadership and Proactive Solutions Amid Operational Strains [Feature]

It's never been more difficult to work in retail, with store managers burning out amid lower staffing numbers, increased task and store robberies. Two industry experts discuss the situation.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.

Survey Data Shows Canadians will Prioritize Romance Over Budget Cuts This Valentine’s Day [Interviews]

David Litwin of Moneris notes that Valentine's is an interesting bellwether for what businesses might expect from consumers for the rest of the year.

Anine Bing to Open 2nd Canadian Storefront at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto 

The US-based women’s fashion brand recently opened its first Canadian store at Yorkdale, and will open its second location in a downtown luxury hotel. 

Retail Burnout Crisis in Canada: The Call for Empathetic Leadership and Proactive Solutions Amid Operational Strains [Feature]

It's never been more difficult to work in retail, with store managers burning out amid lower staffing numbers, increased task and store robberies. Two industry experts discuss the situation.