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Retaining good employees

You’ve hired someone perfect and they are trained to perfection. Now how do you keep them working at your store?How to retain good employees in retailHow to retain good employees in retail

You already know that keeping a good customer is less expensive than finding a new one. But have you ever stopped to consider the case for retaining good employees? In this third in our HireTrain-Retain series we’ll look at three retention strategies proven to work in the retail environment.

Tell employees they are valued

This may seem like a no-brainer or something you already do. But you would be surprised how often employers do not give praise when praise is due. The secret here is the term due. Offering empty praise for standard level work from someone you know can do better is not a good way to retain employees—in fact, you are just sending the message that the minimum effort is all you expect. Instead, keep your eye out for an employee that really helps a customer or catches an error in the stocking system and praise that person. Thank them in a sincere manner and, if you can, in front of other employees, and you’ll be on your way to retention.

Show employees they are valued

By going beyond lip service to action you are effectively retaining employees through doing. Showing employees they are valued does not have to include expensive gifts or lavish parties. Instead, it can be a consistent set of perks available to everyone such as – an employee discount, a small raise after a certain length of employment, and recognition at yearly anniversaries. If you want to go a little bigger consider giving each employee a small gift at the holidays with a personal thank you card. Or host a holiday party at a local restaurant.

Check that they feel valued

You’re doing a lot of work here. You’re watching for moments to praise employees when it’s due. You’re showing employees they are valued with discounts and other recognition. But are you sure the message is getting across? Using “Stay Interviews” as a means of checking in on employees is an excellent way to gauge how well you are meeting your employees’ needs. These interviews should be relaxed, short, and take place in a private area where your employee can talk with you honestly. Come prepared with a positive comment and two or three questions that will get your employee talking about their experience. Do this every six months. You’ll learn a lot about your employees (and your business) from the interviews and they will no doubt have a positive overall impact on retention.

By praising good work, rewarding excellent service and conducting stay interviews, you’ll have laid the groundwork for telling them they are valued, showing them they are valued and checking to be sure they actually do feel valued. We’ll leave you with this final thought—a retention program is never one-size-fits-all. The best way to decide what should go into a retention program for your store is to ask your employees. You’d be surprised how helpful, innovative, creative, and wise many of their suggestions are. And, including them in your process is a proof point that you value their input.

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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