3 Do's and Don'ts For Empowering Your Retail Employees

By Bob Phibbs

Do's and Don'ts Retail employeesHow you treat your retail employees can have a huge impact on your company. A quick search of YouTube reveals videos of employees doing disgusting things to food and throwing iPads.

Attitudes and behaviors are largely determined by how employees feel about the person they work for, and the employee training they've received from the company. If you treat employees like they’re disposable, they’re likely to return the favor.

If you invest the time and effort to treat them like valued employees, then they’ll feel empowered to invest the time and effort to build a career with your business.

Here are three do's and three don’ts for successfully dealing with your employees to empower them.

Do: Keep it Personal

Convey important information regarding their employment in person. This goes especially for the tough stuff like firing, transferring, demoting, or laying off an employee; have the guts to tell them to their face. This also goes for what should be the easy stuff like complimenting on a great job, helping out with an order or coming in on their day off.

Don’t: Phone it in

Employers have gotten lazy about communicating with employees. They rely on email, text messages, and phone calls to deliver news that really should be handled in person. Unless there are extreme circumstances (the employee is a perceived threat, they’ve created a workplace disruption, etc.) there’s no reason you can’t personally deliver the news—good or bad.

Do: Utilize their Potential

Keep your employees engaged and motivated by giving them more challenging tasks and greater responsibilities. Boredom and laziness are contagious habits. An employee who feels like he’s wasting his time at your business is right—one way or the other. If you allow them from just one of your employees, more are likely to follow. 


Don’t: Expect the Impossible

If you’re doing your hiring and employee training correctly, you should have a good idea what an employee is capable of before they hit the floor. Don’t expect them to have skills and training that aren’t in their resume unless you’ve provided them with proper employee training.

Do: Communicate Clearly

Don’t expect your employees to be able to guess what you want. Lay out your goals, and their responsibilities, clearly and frequently. Your business is like a ship—it’s your job to set a heading and make course corrections as often as necessary. 

Don’t: Pile it On

Don’t overwhelm your employees with constant changes to your standards and practices. New is fun for customers; not employees. Keep your course corrections small and manageable or make one dramatic change like adding the best retail sales training program. Otherwise the constant rocking may knock valuable employees overboard.

See also, Discover 50 Things Employees Should Do When It's Not Busy

In Sum

The reason you want to empower your employees is simple, the more respected the employee feels, the more confident the employee feels about doing their job. That always translates into higher sales, lower turnover and more profits.

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