How To Keep Your Retail Employees Happy

Retailers with the highest rates of employee satisfaction extend most, if not all, of the following to their employees.

Flexible Schedule
Retail stores stay open more than 40 hours each week, but most would rather not pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours. That means there is some flexibility in the schedule. Retailers that have managed to use that flexibility to the employee’s advantage have happier employees. Such flexibility allows employees to pick children up from school, take college classes, or work multiple jobs. To make scheduling adjustments less burdensome for management and more easily accessible for employees, some retailers use a computer program employees can access to make scheduling changes. This gives ownership of the hours to the employees themselves.

American workers want benefits. Retail stores that provide those benefits have more satisfied employees. Benefits span the gamut:

  •      Medical insurance coverage for families
  •      Life insurance
  •      Dental and vision coverage
  •      401k plans
  •      Vacation days and paid holidays
  •      Family leave for childbirth and/or adoption
  •      Profit sharing
  •      Gym membership

Some retailers may look at that list and see nothing but dollar signs. Others recognize that happy employees make better employees. Benefits like these allow employers to select only the best employees to represent their company to customers. Companies like The Container Store are able to hire only the top 3% of their applicants. When you hire the cream of the crop, you become the cream of the crop. Benefits make a difference.

In addition to benefits, retail employees like perks. For restaurants, perks might include free meals for employees. At clothing stores, a perk might be the 20% employee discount. At an outdoor store like REI, the perks include company grants that employees can use to purchase merchandise or to go on company sponsored trips.

Private companies sometimes take the perks a step further by making their retail employees partial owners of the company. This means the bottom line affects everybody, not just management.

Input and Trust Increase Employee Satisfaction
If you haven’t noticed already, these things build upon each other. A flexible schedule is considered a benefit. Benefits lead to perks, and perks lead to ownership. Ownership, at its core, leads to trust. Retail employees who feel as though managers and executives listen to their input and consider their advice tend to be happier than those who don’t. When an employee suggests something they believe will help the company and they see that suggestion implemented, they feel like a respected part of the team. In turn, they are more likely to trust the higher-ups. This “circle of trust” (a term coined by Simon Sinek in his book, Leaders Eat Last) creates and healthier work environment, better productivity, and an overall superior company.

Improve Retail Point of Sale Systems
User friendly equipment like an iPad POS makes life easier for retail employees. When your point of sale system is a device most people are already familiar with, the learning curve is smaller and employees are less frustrated. Making changes to your point of sale system may seem more administrative, but the easier you can make life on your retail employees, the happier they will be, the less turnover you will have, and the more successful your company will be. Sign up today for a free trial of Bindo’s iPad POS.

In truth, the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” applies to retail employees, too. Invest in your workers and they’ll invest in their work. In the long run, everybody wins.

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