Employee engagement is important for every industry, but you can argue it’s even more important in retail than any other industry. Why? Because engaged employees are happy employees – and happy employees mean happy customers. In retail, the customer is paramount. So how can you keep all your employees engaged in your retail chain? Here are three easy tips on how to connect with your employees.
1. Offer perks
Set your company apart from your competitors by offering perks to your employees. Some companies have seen great success in employee engagement by offering professional growth opportunities as well. This can help decrease turnover in an industry fraught with it. A recent CareerBuilder survey found 35% of respondents said an increase in learning opportunities would convince them to stay with their employer.
For example, QuikTrip, a convenience store chain, offers generous perks like college tuition reimbursement. While not all companies can do this, you could offer alternatives like online courses or conferences.
2. Offer mobile communication
When employees are spread out between multiple locations, consistent communication with coworkers and managers alike can be challenging. In the past companies have distributed training manuals and messaging the older fashioned way with paper. Today this has become expensive, and more importantly, doesn’t meet your workers where they are.
When your employees aren’t working on the floor, a large amount of their time is spent using their smartphones. Mobile communication is not only able to connect your employees, but when done correctly, can increase engagement and retention. Restaurant chain Applebee’s uses mobile communication (and gamification) to teach employees about workplace safety and also introduce new menu items. The system helps employees stay engaged, and enables management to monitor sales and track the program’s effectiveness.
3. Offer employees autonomy
Employees don’t want to be micro-managed. They want to feel trusted by their supervisors and coworkers. They also want to be recognized for their success. Tracy Maylett, the CEO of a management consulting firm, has found when “an employee feels that she is trusted by her manager, she is far more likely to be engaged than when that trust isn’t present.”
Allow employees – who have been properly trained – to have a sense of autonomy. The best managers give their employees the tools they need to reach their goals on their own accord. Employees who feel a sense of ownership in their role are far more likely to succeed than a worker who is micro-managed.
In an industry known for its high turnover rate, employee engagement is essential to lowering hiring costs and improved customer service. Separate yourself from your competitors by focusing on your employees’ happiness today, as you learn how to connect with your employees.