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8 Easy Ways to Motivate Retail Staff

The retail sector is well known for having a high turn rate of staff, however it needn’t be the case if you know how to motivate your team and give them reasons to stay and grow their career with you as a company. And it’s not just about retention, a happy worker equals a happy customer – which greatly effects sales and the bottom line.

 

Here’s some quick ideas to help you motivate your retail staff:

 

1. Define their roles clearly

If each member of your team knows what their role is within the store and what is expected of them, they’re much more likely to take ownership and excel in that area. It’s been proven that taking ownership makes staff feel they’ve directly impacted the business in a positive way.

2. Involve them in decision making

If your team can input their thoughts and opinions when making key decisions, they’ll feel valued and listened to. Plus they can be a great resource of ideas as they’re dealing with customers and are on the ‘frontline’ of the business day to day.

3. Encourage and reward

It’s vital to encourage your staff and praise them for a job well done and ensuring credit is given where due. Giving your staff targets to work to and incentivising them with some sort of reward for hitting and exceeding targets will also increase their motivation to succeed.

4. Listen properly

Listening to your employees and taking on board their comments, complaints and questions will not only give you insight into areas to improve but will make them feel their opinion is valued – and that they can come to you with a problem instead of just moaning about it with colleagues or in front of customers, or worse resigning.

5. Take interest in their career path

Helping your staff to develop their skills within their role and discussing how they’d like to progress their career will boost retention. Offering training and ways to progress will make them want to stay, as they will feel they’ve a future within your business.

6. Have fun and encourage creativity

Where can you inject fun into the day-to-day tasks of your team? Could you have themed fundraisers for a chosen charity in the store? Could you have regular team socials to encourage working together and getting to know one another outside of work? Could you send your staff out on ‘snoop days’ to scope out the competition and feedback their findings? Encourage your staff to suggest ideas for ways to inject more fun and be creative and they’ll want to get involved and enjoy coming to work.

7. Ensure breaks are taken

Not only are you legally obliged to ensure your staff take regular breaks, but ensuring that they’re taken will stop staff feeling resentful if their break was missed or they had to wait to take it. It’s also key for their health and energy – if they’re tired and hungry they won’t be motivated!

8. Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries

Making sure your staff’s birthdays and work anniversaries are celebrated – with a card signed by the team and a cake – will make them feel a part of a team and that you take care to remember the little things.

Get ready for National Apprenticeship Week 2016

14-18 March 2016 sees the return of the popular National Apprenticeship Week. Co-ordinated by the Skills Funding Agency to celebrate the positive impact of apprenticeships and traineeships on people, businesses and the wider economy, it involves hundreds of events and activities across England.

 

During the week, employers, apprentices, business support organisations, colleges and training organisations and schools across the country will be encouraged to host activities to showcase the achievements and benefits of apprenticeships.

 

Over the next five years, the government is committed to three million new apprenticeships, so they are keen to promote their many benefits – and National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity to spread the word.

 

23,000 new vacancies were pledged in 2015

 

Apprenticeships and traineeships play an important role in upskilling the nation and increasing productivity, and during last year’s National Apprenticeship Week a record-breaking 23,000 new apprenticeship vacancies were pledged. 200 new businesses also joined the Trailblzer programme to design high quality apprenticeships, and degree apprenticeships were launched.

 

This year, the National Apprenticeship Service are setting their sights even higher, as their Director Sue Husband says:

 

“Last year’s National Apprenticeship Week saw some tremendous achievements, but I want next year’s National Apprenticeship Week to be the best yet. I am looking forward to once again raising the profile of apprenticeships and traineeships and celebrating the important role they play in equipping people of all ages with the skills that they need to prosper in their lives.”

 

You can find out more about this year’s National Apprenticeship Week here.

Break that corporate tension with these 5 team building ice breakers

Creating a friendly office environment is one of the most challenging tasks a manager faces in their early stages of developing a successful team. Any office can be civil but it takes time and effort for a group of individuals to function together as a team and achieve results.

In the words of Henry Ford “Coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

So how can a manager help his or her team connect with one another? Building trust between members is critical to building a team so we’ve put together five of the best ice-breakers for the start of team meetings that will take your team from a small-talk office to a “going out together after work” office in no time.

Guess Who
There’s always an element of mystery about new colleagues; what are their hobbies? Do they have a family? What music do they like? Most people feel uncomfortable asking these questions but you can hide all curiosity behind Guess Who where colleagues will share personal information they’re comfortable with. The idea of this game is to give team members slips of paper and ask them to write two things about themselves that no one at work will know about. Collect them all then shuffle. Give each colleague a slip of paper and let them read and guess the owner of these two facts. Most colleagues will elaborate on the two facts without prompting but if not, as the manager, ask some leading questions to encourage them to explain a bit more. You’ll find common interests, shocking facts and there are bound to be some fun facts that get the team laughing.

Fear in a hat
Fear in a hat is a great team building exercise to build unity and group cohesion. Each person writes a personal fear anonymously on slips of paper which are collected in a hat and read aloud. Each person tries to describe his or her understanding of the person’s fear. This game will lead to good discussions about those fears.

Vertical names
In this particular game, each colleague writes their name vertically on a sheet of paper and then list one word horizontally that starts with each letter of their name and that has to describe something about them. Some colleagues may feel embarrassed to describe themselves in a positive way so as manager set the pace by writing your name first and being as dramatic and fun as possible, it will get the team comfortable enough to be as honest and positive about themselves too. This is a great personal and team building exercise.

The imaginary line
This game will divide your office in a good way. Create an imaginary line along your office with one side being “for” and one side being “against”, anything in between will indicate “indifferent” or “unsure”. For this game you will ask colleagues to choose between two things, it could be coffee or tea, white chocolate or milk chocolate, Hawaii or New York. This is a great way for colleagues to see who has a similar preference to them. Be careful not to choose anything too controversial such as religious or political preferences, stick with light-hearted and fun.

My story is our story
Story-time is not just for children! This is an alternative yet fun way to get the office giggles. Gathered in a circle, each colleague will vocally share a funny incident that happened in their life in one sentence, the next colleague will carry the story on by adding something funny has happened in their life. The idea is to go around the circle two or three times. This is a great way for colleagues to feel connected, having created one hilarious story from their own personal tales.

These games will enable team members to show their vulnerability and help you build a cohesive and trusting team.

These are our five top ice breakers, which will you be trying for your team? Comment below or tweet us @F2LAW.

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