9 Tips to Successfully Manage Retail Associates

I found an article on motivating your retail employees. It gives great tips on how to keep your employees feeling involved and important. As being an employee in retail I realize how important these tips are. Your employees aren’t going to be as productive or hard-working if they feel underappreciated and uneducated.  


#1 Respect they have a brain

You need to respect their decisions and not harp on them right away for their decision. Think about why maybe they made that decision or ask them why they made a certain choice.


#2 Complement in public

Give them a compliment in front of their peers so they feel appreciated and recognized. Any employee of a company would like to be recognized for their hard work in front of their peers, it boosts their self-esteem. It also helps your other associates I feel. Once another employee hears that a different employee is doing well they trust that employee and knows they are a hard worker, I feel it also increases their competitive edge to be recognized as well.


#3 Train in Private

As mentioned in this article, they say “For training to stick, you have to get past bad behaviors, which requires correction. But no one likes to be corrected in front of others.” It’s embarrassing to be corrected in front of your co-workers and especially customers. So it’s a good idea to do some training that is off the floor. This time gives the employee to fully pay attention without the distraction of customers and they also don’t have to be embarrassed to ask certain questions. Online training is just as good. It lets the employee read the directions for each training and go at their own pace so that they understand to their best ability.


#4 Encourage exploring the merchandise

Not knowing the merchandise on the floor is going to cause some hiccups. You may get bad reviews in of your store which makes your company look bad. When you have your employees learn the majority of the merchandise it helps your company in total and also gives your employee a feeling of being needed by the store. When they can help anyone with finding anything, they feel like a valued employee. When a customer comes up to an employee with a question they are going to be highly satisfied when the associate knows exactly what they are talking about.


#5 Pay above minimum wage

Paying above minimum wage helps keep valuable employees. As an employee, working hard for a lot of hours for 2 weeks, to just get a very small paycheck makes your employee question why they are still there. They feel they could find a better paying job than just the minimum wage.


#6 Hold accountable

Once they are trained in a certain area such as returns, you need to hold them accountable and assume that they know what to do. When you hold them accountable for things it helps them feel important in the company. Instead of giving all of your responsibilities to your assistant managers or shift leads, give them to the part-timers. Most of the time, they are the people that are going to be interacting with customers the most.


#7 Help them find a friend

When they have someone who they can relate with and talk to at work, it makes for an easier shift and a happier employee. You don’t want someone who is mad all the time working with your customers.  If they have someone they feel comfortable asking questions to, you’ll gain a smarter employee as well.


#8 Ask their opinion

Employees like to feel like they are a part of the company. By helping make decisions or voicing their opinion they are contributing to the store more than just working their shift. Collaboration is key to having a successful store.


#9 Thoughtfully reward them

When your employees achieve certain goals or go above and beyond in any work they do, reward them. It gives them something to work for. Whether it be a free car wash, small gift card, free lunch, etc. They have something to work towards.

I feel that if you incorporate even half of these tips, you will have a more successful store. Your employees are going to feel more needed and acknowledged when you give them the respect and feedback they need.