How to train more motivated, top performing retail staff


The Christmas season is upon us; the shops are heaving, the snow is (sometimes) falling and retail staff are set for their busiest and most hectic period of the year. It is often during this time of year that retail employees can become stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, which can lead to a lack of motivation. Some might say, that this is unavoidable, but we here at Bolt believe there are always ways to keep your staff happy and motivated; no matter the time of year. 


Switch It Up

During this time of year, the days are shorter, the weather is colder and the workload is much heavier. This is a recipe for unhappy staff and although you can’t alter the rotation of the earth nor want to stem the oncoming hordes of shoppers, you can provide a little variety to your employee’s day that offers reprieve from the above. Simple things like offering tasty treats in your break room to having fun activities they can all engage in whilst on their lunches or breaks will not only show that you’re making an effort but can also increase socialisation and create solidarity among your staff. Don’t let them sit in silence staring at social media on their phones!

Simple, interactive, bite-size eLearning modules can drive product and category knowledge, inform them about new promotions, ensure customer service tips are kept top of mind. Go one step further and introduce elements of Gamification or Collaborative Learning into your online training solution and you've got staff engaged and motivated to progress. Get them talking and laughing with one another and it will help build team spirit which they can take back out onto the shop floor. 



Reward Motivation

There will naturally be members of staff who are more motivated than others who don’t need that extra push. However, the biggest threat to the motivation of these staff is the lack of motivation from others. Negativity is like an infection in any working environment, once a few members of staff become unmotivated and lazy, it can start to have a negative impact on other staff members. By rewarding your hard-workers you not only encourage those who are needing that little push to work a little bit harder but you also keep your hard workers happy. If done right this can increase the motivation of all your staff by giving them something tangible that they can show for their efforts. Embracing Gamification as part of your online training solution can add a competitive edge to training, allowing employees to complete different levels, or even appear on score boards along side colleagues. Many are motivated by progressing through different tasks or Learning quests, completing levels like they would in a computer game.


Enable Your Staff

At this time of year, it can be hard to get out from under the long queues and ruined displays. The constant bombardment from customers and the mess they create can make your employees feel like they're fighting a losing battle. By enabling your staff and giving them responsibility for certain parts of the store or for certain tasks they can feel like they have some semblance of ownership amidst all of the chaos. Allow one staff member to be in charge of organising queues, allow another to be in charge of the display for one area of the shop; people are much more motivated when they feel like the work they are doing is their own.

By simply giving your employees that little bit more responsibility you’ll start to see that they’ll be a little bit more motivated to do their job well. But they obviously need the knowledge and skills (and confidence) to deliver against each new responsibility. eLearning can help you train your employees and also monitor your employees level of understanding and knowledge retention. Staff members who feel well-trained, armed with the knowledge and skills to do their job are likely to deliver much better service to your customers, and sales for your business. Enbaling your staff to do their job well doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, many 'off-the-shelf' modules already exist.



Sing Their Praises

This is the easiest step that you can take to motivate your staff. Much like rewarding your hard workers, praising your staff will give them a much-needed morale boost during this often-overwhelming period of the year. Everyone loves to be told when they’ve done a good job. Holding meetings at the end of the day to praise your staff for the hard work they have done will make them feel like their hard work is appreciated. The difference that a few words of encouragement and praise can make is huge. While their mood may drop and their attitude strain during the day, letting them leave work with positivity rather than negativity will make them feel a little bit better about their next shift.

Recognising and rewarding staff with a universal reward , such as epoints, can drive motivation and loyalty. You can reward great customer service, loyalty, or even completing training via Bolt LMS successfully.


Get Personal

Whilst these steps above can increase the motivation of your staff the truth is that everyone is unique and not everyone responds to the same methods. As a result, you’ll have to be tentative to each member of your staff’s needs. If there’s anyone you don’t know too well, take the time to get to know them so that you can offer solutions more in line with their individual needs. Play it by ear and try different methods and see which one produces the best results. The worst thing you can do is to try and force a solution or method of working that is a “one size fits all” approach.

This is relevant to staff training too - don't force staff to all take the same training, when it may not be relevant or at a time suitable for them. eLearning can help you personalise your retail staff training with Adaptive eLearning techniques. Like a person’s body, each person’s brain composition is unique (like DNA) as is their learning style. We have designed our modules to take into consideration each trainee’s skills, capabilities and knowledge to create a personalised training plan which is as unique as each learner.

Recognise and celebrate the diversity of your employees and you’ll quickly find that the respect you give to them will be given back to you. 


Want to find out how to motivate, engage and traing your retail staff to grow their knowledge, skills and capability? Contact us or take a look at how other retailers have benefitted from working with us.