How to Establish a Great Workplace Culture in Your Retail Business

Rachel Jackson
Guest Contributor

While establishing a great workplace culture in a retail business starts with listening to and valuing your shoppers, you also need to work out what your business stands for and then help all of your team members understand and adopt that vision.

We hear a lot about workplace culture these days. It’s become a huge selling point when trying to attract new staff members. Companies with a renowned workplace culture find it easy to hire the best of the best.

There are other benefits to focusing on workplace culture too. When your retail business has a great workplace culture, your staff will be more motivated and productive. They’ll offer better service to your customers and feel invested in the work they do.

If you feel your company culture could be improved, take a look at these tips for creating a great workplace culture in your retail business:

Create Company-Wide Values

If you have more than one store, it can be difficult to maintain the same great workplace culture across multiple locations. One thing that holds teams together and helps them to feel motivated in their work is a sense of shared purpose.

Develop a succinct company mantra that all of your outlets can adopt. Having a simple message to refer back to with regards the whole company vision can create a much more cohesive culture.

Show You Value Employees

This goes for any business but it can be particularly difficult in retail. A range of shift patterns means you rarely get all of your shop-floor team in the same place at the same time. And there can be a disconnect between how you show appreciation for different departments.

Nevertheless, you need to show all staff that you appreciate their efforts. You could offer a few perks such as healthy office snacks or a bike to work scheme. You could throw a few get togethers across the course of a year. A simple “great job” could do a world of good. And you should always pay a living wage if you want to get the best out of your staff.

Establish Team Goals

Pitting team members in one location against each other can create unhealthy competition. If you want to incentivise your teams, set team goals, encouraging competition between different store locations only if you feel this would be productive. This will bring your team together in a way that individual competition never will. 

Solicit Feedback from Employees

One of the biggest challenges facing a retail business wanting to create a great workplace culture is high staff turnover. It’s hard to foster a sense of team membership and common goals when staff are constantly coming and going. Low staff retention rates are sometimes just the nature of the industry – you may take on extra staff for busy seasons and then let them go when sales slow down.

However, it’s important to establish the exact reasons for high staff turnover and work out if there’s anything you can do to improve things. The simplest way of doing this is to get feedback from employees. Listen to what they have to say and then work on any issues raised.

Give Employees Ownership

When you operate across a number of locations, it makes life easy to make decisions at the head office. But this might be doing your employees and your customers a disservice. Wherever possible, it will pay to give your employees and their managers space to innovate and make improvements in their own store.

It may be that one location comes up with a strategy that can be employed company-wide. The key is keeping avenues of communication open and allowing employees ownership of their work and their store.

Establishing a great workplace culture in a retail business is all about listening to and valuing your customers. You also need to work out what your business stands for and then help all of your team members to understand and adopt that vision.

About the writer: Rachel Jackson is a mother of two beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about traveling, education and business. Rachel is also a great fan of sustainable living and a strong supporter of the sharing economy.

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