4 No-Cost Actions to Keep Associates Motivated During Tough Times on the Salesfloor

By Doron Levy, President, Captus Business Consulting

Life in retail is tough these days. Shrinking resources are putting huge strains on our human assets. Managers have fewer hours and less people to work with. True merchants know that customer service is what will drive the bottom line. Retailers cannot afford to lose productivity or customers in this environment. How can we continually motivate our people to perform at their very best in this negative economic and social environment?

In the retail industry, there is no denying that our people are our most important asset. Coincidentally, our people are humans, and humans have a need for self worth. It doesn’t matter who what or where, self worth is a basic human need. Showing appreciation and validation to your employees on an individual basis can go a long way to creating an upbeat and positive environment. Here are four no-cost actions management can take to keep spirits high and sales humming:

1. Create an environment of open communication. The quickest way to destroy morale is when people don’t know what’s going on. The rumor and speculation mill go into afterburner mode and things can get out of hand very fast. Share and share alike!

2. Promote ownership within the store. Give out special projects that frontline associates wouldn’t normally undertake. A great example is to assign endcaps and displays to associates and then have them track sales and turns. Finishing the display doesn’t end the job; they ‘own’ the section until it’s sold.

3. Continue improving your people. Killing training programs and workshops will ultimately create a stale and zombie-like team.

4. Do personnel tours daily. Even if you can’t hit everyone, walk around to say hello and find out what’s going on in their world.

These are simple, no-cost actions that the management team can implement immediately. Another key aspect within the store is the manager’s presence. Nobody wants to work for someone in an ivory tower. Leadership in retail begins and ends on the selling floor. When your team knows that they can count on you, the less they will rely on you and you will begin to see independence and creativity.

Imagine an independent, self sufficient team that takes ownership in the store they work in. Imagine a team that actually wants to come to work and give their very best every day. Imagine actually looking forward to getting your P&L’s at the end of the month.

Doron Levy delivers his retail expertise through Captus Business Consulting. During his 20 years in the industry, he has been successful in increasing revenue and margin, optimizing and streamlining retail operations, reducing shrink, increasing employee morale and, most importantly, driving the bottom line. Doron has created solutions and training workshops for some of the biggest names in retail. He is a published author and has contributed to many retail trade magazines and websites. For more information on Captus services for business, please contact Doron directly at doron@gocaptus.com