Autumn can be a difficult season to manage a retail space. In addition to the new styles you must learn to incorporate into store displays, you also have to deal with employees juggling multiple responsibilities and time demands, as well as the typical post-summer doldrums that many people experience. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your staff happy, which can turn into positive customer relations for everyone involved.
Employees who believe they are stuck in one position with no chance of mobility will not be as motivated to work. To prevent this complacency from striking your workers, show them there are opportunities for advancement. This doesn’t have to be a major undertaking – promoting staff to new positions can be as simple as changing a job title.
Regular crew members who are excellent at dealing with customers or making sales can become a “sales associate” or “sales specialist.” If there is an individual great at handling store fixtures and setting up displays, consider making them a “merchandising associate.” While it may not seem like much, taking these little steps can show appreciation for employees and get them on the right track toward advancing in the retail business.
Understand the weather
One of the unique aspects of fall is the unpredictable weather. With the forecast usually spanning everything from hurricane season and heavy storms to surprise snows, you never know what inclement weather could throw a wrench in the plans of your employees or shoppers. It is important to take this into consideration as you go about managing a store.
For example, if staff members are a bit late due to intense rains and the subsequent slow-moving traffic, you should be accommodating. While you do need to maintain your authority and crack down on employees who abuse your good will, taking outside factors into account will help establish a positive relationship between you and your employees.
It is also a good idea to take the forecast into account when creating a schedule. Is there a hurricane or other tropical storm on the horizon? If so, you may want to consider scheduling fewer employees for that day, but more workers in the time leading up to its arrival. Not only will this help you deal with the shopping rush typically associated with big storms, but it shows employees you care about their personal safety and well-being.
Work around the holidays
Another hallmark of the fall is the start of the holiday season. While this runs into the winter, you can start with certain practices in the autumn that will carry you throughout the colder months. It is important for you and your employees to recognize the demand that will likely strike with Black Friday. Although you and your staff should be able to enjoy Thanksgiving, it is important to prepare for the next day. Let your employees know what you expect from Black Friday and provide them with plenty of time to make plans. That way, if some workers are heading out of town for family gatherings, all parties can make the necessary arrangements for the big day.
Show your trust
The fall season may be stressful for employees, but it can also place a lot of extra pressure on your shoulders. However, you can take care of two birds with one stone by delegating certain tasks to your staff, thereby eliminating excess work for yourself and showing trust in the workers. Give them freedom to organize bulk retail supplies or set up table displays, which can alleviate your workload and make the employee feel more invested in the store.