Maintaining a clear line of communication in the retail industry is tremendously difficult, with the company message often getting lost between management and sales staff out on the floor.
Retail employees spend most of their time providing customer service and correcting product issues, leaving little time for company updates, team building efforts, and professional development or upskilling.
In fact, a recent study found serious problems and bottlenecks in the communication strategy of many retail managers. In particular, the study showed that retail employees prefer more face-to-face interaction with management to create an engaging dialogue and prevent information overload.
While face-to-face communication isn’t always possible, retailers can utilize technology to improve internal communication and engagement with their employees. Here are five things retailers can do to effectively communication with their retail employees.
1. Enable Employee Information Sharing
Some of the most valuable lessons and insights are learned down in the trenches by sales staff on the floor. During staff meetings, give your retail employees the time and encouragement to reveal any issues, new insights, or industry updates that would benefit both management and their coworkers.
2. Establish a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy
With so many available options for smartphones, tablets, and laptops, it doesn’t make much sense to lock your retail employees into a specific device or operating system anymore. Almost all software and apps are compatible with Android and Apple operating systems. This gives you and your retail employees the freedom to communicate on the devices you’re most comfortable with.
3. Institute Pre-Shift Huddles
Before a shift is the best time to get your employees’ attention and enable them to communicate with management. Start using pre-shift huddles to help employees discuss top priorities, ask for help, and share news.
4. Celebrate Employee Accomplishments
No matter how big or small, retailers can create a happy and productive work environment by sharing appreciation for their employees on a regular basis.
For example, UPS has a Twitter account that is exclusively used for employee recognition, allowing their employees all over the world to learn more about each other and create a sense of camaraderie among the ranks of their frontline workers.
5. Start Using an Operational Communication Platform
Your employees spend a lot of their free time on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, so it only makes sense to use a business messaging platform that allows your employees to connect with your company and each other.
Enterprise messaging platforms allow your retail employees to do just that, and most importantly, because they function similar to social networks, employees are more likely to use it, and become more engaged with their coworkers and your company.
Most retail staff time is spent interacting with customers, making it imperative that broader corporate initiatives and company strategy are being communicated properly. Store managers are often the sounding board for employees and the messenger of corporate updates.
However, with new communication platforms, retailers can bypass the middleman and allow employees to communicate globally within your company and enable management to directly communicate with frontline staff, creating the best of both worlds in an industry that relies on everyone being on the same page.
Watch how Beekeeper helped Globus create effective internal communication for their retail stores!
Looking to build more effective communication in your retail company? Get in touch with us to find out more about Beekeeper — a mobile communication platform for frontline teams.
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