Retail Restrictions - Enemies Within

Some retailers are fortunate to have enthusiastic salespeople who enjoy their jobs and do their best to represent the store in the best light. Other retailers, however, aren’t quite as lucky. Instead of hiring employees who want to work for them, they hire people who need jobs. The difference between a job someone wants versus a job someone needs is vast. When you go into a store where the employees want to work there, they are happy to greet and assist you. A store with employees who just need jobs, on the contrary, will not have such a welcoming feeling. This is just one reason why it’s important to find out if you have any enemies within. Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if you have employees doing more harm to your company than good:

  • How do they look? This is not referencing the size of their waistline or the color of their hair. Rather, take a closer look at your employees. Are they dressed appropriately for the tone of the store? Do they look as if they took great care when getting ready, or do they look disheveled and unkempt? Having employees who look slovenly or as if they don’t care can be a turn-off for many shoppers.
  • How do they act? Are your employees courteous and pleasant, or are they stuck up or even sarcastic? Employees wanting to play around with their coworkers while on the clock is understandable, especially if traffic in the store is slow. That being said, however, employees need to know when to tone it down. The way they act, even amongst each other, impacts the image of your store to your customers.
  • Do they think before they speak? Many people might remember their elders teaching them, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Nothing holds more true when it comes to retail. How an associate interacts with a customer leaves a lasting impression. Associates need to think about what they are saying to the customers. Will it be perceived positively or negatively? Even innocently made remarks can leave permanent blemishes.
  • Do they care about how the customers feel about them? Associates need to be aware of things such as personal space and determine how interactive they should be with people who walk into the store. Customers generally will show signs via body language, or blatantly tell the associates, how much assistance they want to receive. Employees need to be aware of this and learn to “read” your customers.

If you have an employee that doesn’t look or act appropriately, who doesn’t think before he talks, or who doesn’t appear to care about the business, you might need to assess the situation. Is your retail location suffering from an enemy within? It’s never too late to fix. Try to rectify the wrongs of the employee. Reach out to them to find out if there is something you can do to make their position there better, which in turn can make your store better. If you are unable to alter the behavior, you may need to consider replacing the employee. Your store needs to be a safe place for you and your business.

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