Reward staff and keep them

Engaging the correct rewards for retail staff to stay interested in their job can often play a large part in staff retention.

It will also draw new, passionate people to your team. The most talked reward is the financial incentive and base salary employers are prepared to offer retail employees to secure their employ in the hope they will do their best and rise above the call of duty.

Good Retail is all about good people. Similarly to an expensive garment, the quality will last long after the price is forgotten.

The number one rule when looking at attracting and keeping good people is this: pay them well and further still be known for doing so.

If you are seen as a place which looks after its people, you will have a larger selection of people to choose from. Paying extra may seem to some like an unnecessary expense in the short term, but has longer term positive benefits for the business. In short, if employees know and feel they are being looked after, the gesture will be returned. Paying them extra also means they won’t be looking for extra work or another job.

Of course this must be aligned with retail sustainability and growth projections.

Staff are a huge expense in any retail business coming third after rent and cost of stock. But I am a firm believer that passionate and well paid people often go hand in hand. These employees will often nurture loyal customers.

Hand in hand with a higher pay structure, management has to set achievable budgets retail staff should be able to achieve.

In another area, and totally removed from higher financial incentives, recognition of a job well done from management is an area which also brings quality people closer together. An inspirational word from the chairman or GM can do wonders for morale. It reiterates the retail family unit and the message that we all have the same goal from the top down: business sustainability and growth.

In the face of higher retail occupancy costs and booming online sales, the most powerful weapon we have in our arsenal is the quality of our people and the lengths they will go to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.

And lastly as a side note…

When the Australian dollar dips back below parity with the US dollar, local consumers who normally shop on overseas websites will re-evaluate where to spend their money. If just five per cent decide to spend it on Australian retailers – online or offline – that could add an extra $250 million over a year pumped back into our industry. Make sure you are ready for this opportunity. Get stuck into procuring the right people and focus on improving your customer service message.

Happy Trading.

Barry Nicolaou heads Barlan Consulting and is available for private workshops, specialising in opportunity engagement, management aspects and the legal do’s and don’ts of the retail industry.

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