Resolution: Invest in my team

September 17, 2018By Behind the Shelf Blog, Resolutions

By Beth Maas, human resource manager

People make your business. Would you agree? It’s you and your staff that bring people back to your store, not the products on the shelves. A good shopping experience has a lot to do with how the customer feels after leaving your store, and how they feel is largely based on their personal interactions. That’s why it’s very important to invest in “your people” – your associates.

People are the cornerstone of any business. It might be even more so for retailers because a consumer can’t have an interaction in your store without a person being involved.
If you don’t invest in your associates, they won’t feel like a part of the team or feel any “ownership” in the store and how well it is doing. Investing in them doesn’t have to be purely financial. It can be in their personal growth – something you can further with training or education you may be able to offer. It could be a one-time seminarPharmacist and team member about communication skills at the community college or maybe a local organization offers a “business basics” informational session that could help them understand the bigger picture.

Remember that you also guide your staff by your own behavior. Leading by example is important, and when you show your genuine interest in their growth and development, it has a trickle-down effect to your customers. Treat associates and customers with respect and your team will follow your lead. If you see a need for improvement, use it as a teaching opportunity rather than a disciplinary action.

Maybe the most valuable investment you can make is your time – time in helping your team learn about your expectations of them, the store, and how you want the store to be regarded by customers and potential customers. My colleague, Mary, recently wrote a post about the importance of regular store meetings – this is a perfect venue to communicate your expectations. You can talk about why investing in them is important to you and how you want them to help create the atmosphere and experience you want in your store.

Investing in your team will undoubtedly pay off in a number of ways. Make the commitment to do it and follow through. Regular store meetings can help you stay on track and bringing your team together consistently will only boost morale and camaraderie – additional benefits that will also come through as they help customers.