How to Train Santa Approved Retail Employees This Holiday Season

December 18, 2018

by Nancy Boas

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The National Retail Federation expects that 2018 holiday sales will increase nearly 5 percent over 2017 to a total of $717.45 billion across the months of November and December. Keeping this in mind, one of the most critical factors for businesses to consider when trying to reach their unique sales goals include identifying the right strategies to manage their employees while also maintaining the seemingly never ending to-do-list that most merchants have.

To help create Santa approved employees for your store this holiday season, consider the below tips.

Tip #1: Welcome modern technology into your workforce management.

Free your team’s time to allow them to do what they do best… sell, sell, sell. As any seasoned retailer knows, selling time can easily be squandered with administrative tasks . Successful execution requires a strong merchandising strategy, an understanding of inventory demands, clear customer service expectations, and of course, effectively managing employees. To help accomplish these objectives, savvy retailers enable their management efforts with modern technology. With modern workforce scheduling and engagement platforms, retailers can automatically staff their top performing associates during peak hours while scheduling employees during their preferred times to work.  A technology-driven approach provides a superior outcome and less time from your team while ensuring that both your customers and your employees are happy, and your store managers are free to actively manage the floor during this busy time of the year.

Tip #2: Schedule employee trainings before or after store hours.

‘Tis the season for holiday shoppers and holiday demands. Store responsibilities such as creating seasonal displays, gift wrapping customer purchases, identifying slow-moving and best-selling items, hosting holiday inspired store events and more leave little time for employee engagement. To avoid missing out on the benefits of well-trained employees, schedule retail trainings for your workforce either before or after store hours. Adding festivity to your training experiences – such as sharing holiday treats or hosting an employee gift exchange – are fun ways to engage your team while still delivering quality trainings that will benefit their work performance. From inventory training to customer service expectations and more, there is no shortage of opportunities to strengthen your employee’s knowledge while keeping new associates motivated.

Tip #3: Respect the reality of holiday demands outside of your store. 

Santa Claus may be coming to town, but that doesn’t mean friends and family aren’t either. The reality is employees have less down time during the holidays in between their work shifts due to festive commitments outside of their work responsibilities. Keeping this in mind, support the hustle and bustle of your employees collective schedule – not just their working hours – so that their performance will be at its best while they are working in your store. To help do this, empower employees to have 24/7 access to their schedule in an effort to reduce last minute scheduling conflicts while boosting employee engagement.  Having mobile access also introduces time-saving benefits for management, helps to alleviate unnecessary back and forth conversations between associates and can even boost employee satisfaction thanks to its ease and flexibility.

Finally, as you continue to aim for a profitable and successful holiday season, remember that by embracing the tips above you can better positioned to focus on sales versus getting distracted by time-consuming details that could be automated. If monotonous tasks consume more time than they should during your work week, make sure Santa knows what you want this holiday season and get a workforce engagement platform to help improve your employee retention, efficiency and overall productivity.

See how Legion’s AI-powered labor platform can help you easily match demand with labor this holiday!

Photo under license of Shutterstock.