Getting your associates ready to reopen stores
Through a special arrangement, what follows is an article from the blog of Graff Retail.
Slowly, stores are being given the go-ahead to reopen. It’s time to make sure the retail staff is coming back from the best place possible. Here are five things to support the re-onboarding process:
Reach out and connect with your team: Approach this from a human perspective. Ask them what they have been up to. What has their family been up to? Share how you handled quarantining. This is strictly the process of trying to establish more rapport. Get them comfortable with coming back to work and being part of the team.
Acknowledge their fear: You don’t need to solve all their fears, rather create a space where they can be heard. Your team will also have uncertainties regarding job security when they come back. If swept under the table, they become bigger issues moving forward. The more you talk about the fear and uncertainty, the more you begin to normalize it and it becomes more comfortable for everyone to deal with.
Establish trust: We want to establish trust from both an emotional and physical perspective. Emotional trust is letting your employees know it’s okay to talk, share ideas and make mistakes without fear of reprisal. This essentially lets them know that everything’s going to be okay and, as the leader, you’ve got their back. Physical trust is letting your employees know how you are going to keep them safe.
Learning now: Just imagine how much better your store would perform if your employees came back with more knowledge about the products they sell, higher sales skills, better service and technical skills. Not only would you see an improvement in sales, but your employees would be much more comfortable and confident.
Set expectations: What’s going to happen? What’s it going to look like? What’s the process going to be? Let your team know about the measures you have taken and your expectations for them.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Where do you see the biggest challenges for retail managers who are onboarding retail staff as stores reopen? What suggestions would you add to those mentioned in the article?