GOOD EMPLOYEES BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE, BUT HOW DO YOU GET YOUR STORE’S TEAM TO BE MOTIVATED, PRODUCTIVE AND PROFITABLE? READ ON.
It’s a fact: Motivated employees are more productive. As a retail business owner, understanding the value of your team and how each employee contributes to the overall reputation and growth of your business is key to your store’s success.
“Good employees sell more products, engage with customers in a genuine way, and act as brand ambassadors in the store and outside in their daily lives.” – Lauren Ufford, Customer Experience expert at Shopify
Marci Martin, who has over 20 years’ experience in senior management positions, agrees, adding that the relationships your employees build with your clients and customers create the foundation of your organisation.
But, because different methods appeal to different individuals, you may have to get creative in boosting your staff’s morale. Don’t wait for a slump in sales to increase productivity. By then, it may be too late.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO MOTIVATE YOUR SALES TEAM?
Your shop’s culture determines staff’s attitude towards sales, and therefore dealing with customers. Continuous sales motivation is implemented more easily when it becomes the culture of your store.
DID YOU KNOW?
“Recruitment and selection gets the right people on board physically. Employee Engagement gets them on board emotionally,” says Alinda Nortje, Executive Chairperson, Free To Grow. It’s estimated that 45% of South African employees are disengaged. This number is almost double that of global figures, according to research by Africa’s premium networking and business directory, Business Essentials.
Martin, who also holds an Associate's Degree in Business Management, offers five reasons to boost your sales staff’s morale:
- To keep the pep in your staff’s step, it’s crucial to give each employee a goal to work towards. Being driven to produce results keeps your team’s spirits high continually.
- Producing a good product doesn’t guarantee sales, so investing in your staff through motivation and incentives is important for the growth of the company.
- For teamwork to actually make the dream work, as a retail business owner, you need to focus on your staff as a team. When one employee isn’t performing as well as they should be, the bond and coordination within the team should be strong enough to mobilise success internally.
- Practise makes perfect, and this applies especially in your business where your staff are constantly striving to perform better and boost sales. Encouraging employees to develop their skills enables greater product knowledge and overall confidence in their abilities.
- Not all pressure is negative. In fact, incentivising staff is likely to drive your team to reach more customers and possibly convert them. Every customer that walks into your store has a 50% chance of either returning or taking their business elsewhere. The difference is your employees’ approach.
3 WAYS TO MOTIVATE YOUR RETAIL SALES TEAM
Sureswipe’s Loyalty Success Specialist Brad Reilander and Shopify’s Lauren Ufford offer advice on three ways to keep your salespeople motivated and drive their performance:
1. INVEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES
It’s said that in business, you have to spend money to make money. The time, money, and resources that have gone into hiring your employees only becomes an investment when you take the steps to grow your staff.
“Investing in your employees through continued on-the-job training ensures that you have a well-trained staff, shows your employees that you care about their growth and career options, and increases the efficiency of your operations,” says Ufford.
In fact, experts have concluded that underinvesting in your team leads to inefficient operations and shrinks your bottom line.
Reilander advises investing in your employees in the following ways:
- Run training days with experts or DVD-based courses to upskill staff
- Share your business’s organisational chart to enable employees to plan their role within your future plans
- Promote internally when roles for supervisors or managers become available.
HOW WALMART’S INVESTMENT IN STAFF PAID OFF
Retail giant Walmart experienced a USD5 billion increase in sales after raising its hourly pay to USD10 six months earlier. According to Harvard Business Review “highly successful retail chains not only invest heavily in store employees but also have the lowest prices in their industries, solid financial performance, and better customer service than their competitors. They have demonstrated that, even in the lowest-price segment of retail, bad jobs are not a cost-driven necessity but a choice.”
2. REWARD AND RECOGNISE YOUR TEAM
If you have already considered starting a loyalty programme to reward your regular customers, why not apply the same strategy to your employees first? Rewards and incentives are the most effective way to motivate staff, no matter how small.
Offer one free lunch a week to your top salesperson, or reward employees who go the extra mile for customers with a gift voucher to their favourite coffee shop, advises Reilander. For long-term enthusiasm, consider more substantial incentives such as salary increases and bonuses for those who meet quarterly sales targets.
The tried-and-tested an Employee of the Month award incentivises staff to go above and beyond for customers, maintain a positive attitude to their work, encourages teamwork and collaboration, and yields positive performance reviews.
3. ADD AN ELEMENT OF FUN TO THE SHOP FLOOR
Retail is an exciting and ever-evolving industry, and your employees should experience that in their daily tasks. This is where you introduce fun into your incentive programme, says Ufford:
“Engaging your employees doesn’t have to always involve cash or financial rewards — get creative! Create short-term games that employees can take part in, like the first one to sell a new product gets to leave early.”
The positivity and enthusiasm of the retail industry should inspire employees to enjoy coming to work. “Employees that love what they do and sincerely like being at work have a noticeably contagious energy customers appreciate and return to experience,” says Reilander.
As the owner of the shop and leader of your team, you and your supervisors should maintain a spirit of excitement and engagement for employees. The most important element of motivating staff in this manner is to encourage supervisors to demonstrate the attitude you’d like your employees to express on the job.
WANT TO FURTHER ENHANCE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND DRIVE LOYALTY?
Talk to Sureswipe about a cost-effective loyalty programme. We can help you retain customers and provide the platform to communicate directly with them through email and SMS. Call 0860 200 111 or fill in your details here and we’ll call you back.