Retail Employee Training: Push Productivity To Drive Success

Marketing 20 minute read 31st August 2023

All retail businesses want to increase their revenue generation. But when creating a strategy for it, they often overlook the importance of retail employee training. So are you wondering how training your employees will increase your profit and income margins? Well, here’s an answer for you.

Retail business is about making sure customers aren’t just roaming around but actually making purchases. Such businesses can’t succeed with marketing and advertising alone.

Therefore, your employees must have training to improve procedures and ensure successful sales. In this article, you will learn about the types of retail employee training and how you can create yours. You will also explore the costs and benefits of implementing such training.

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Exploring the Categories: What Is Retail Employee Training?

Retail employee training is a detailed program that retail businesses design to instruct their employees. This program runs on the basis of employee training courses focused on upskilling the team.

Besides, the main goal of such a program is to provide training about product and sales and strategic customer engagement. It also involves cash handling and leadership to ensure a unified retail business.

However, safety and security also make a world of difference. Therefore, retail businesses also focus on safety principles such as workplace safety and loss prevention.

These development programs have various types according to employee needs or the type of service your business offers:

  1. Onboarding training is the most common, and most companies provide it. It includes a visit to your retail store and sharing your product and sales policies.
  2. Product awareness training focuses on teaching about the features of retail business products. It highlights the product benefits and value for the customers.
  3. Training for customer service focuses on teaching courtesy and developing the communication skills of employees. It helps them to deal with the customer and solve customers’ problems.
  4. Sales and upselling training teaches employees about the ways to sell products. It focuses on how to create product awareness among customers and ultimately close clients to upsell the product.
  5. Security assurance training guides employees to keep an eye on theft and fraud. It focuses on teaching techniques to recognize security threats.

What Is an Effective Retail Employee Training Checklist and How To Implement It?

Now it must be clear what a retail training program is. But the concept is incomplete without straightforward guidance. So, you need to create a checklist to streamline your training.

Unfortunately, though, the best checklist doesn’t exist. It depends on your retail business needs and resources. Therefore you have to create yours. Following is an example to help you in creating an effective retail employee training checklist.

Start your checklist with your retail store procedure. Under this point, you will train employees about the opening and closing timings of your store. It also marks the cash handling mechanism and loss prevention techniques. You can also point out the peak foot traffic hours at your store.

Secondly, give an understanding of the product since it plays a main character role in your retail business. Provide knowledge about key features, benefits, and uses of your product in your retail employee training.

Now, technology is the holy grail when it comes to running businesses. And your retail business must also include various technology systems like POS, CRM, enterprise resource planning software, etc. But including these systems is not enough. How will it do any good if your employees don’t know how to use these tools with fervor?

Therefore, the checklist should mention the most important activities and checks to do with the tools you use.

Another important aspect is to train your employees in communication skills, active listening, and courteous behavior. In your checklist, you can mention important behavior that you expect. For example, if you want to get more reviews, you can include them in the checklist to always ask for them. There are also retail WiFi solutions that can automate the task.

Now comes the safety of your retail store. Here, focus on safety procedures and precautions.

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Creating a Customized Retail Employee Training Manual: A Template To Get Started

A retail employee training manual is a useful document to keep your employees updated or to refresh their minds. It is a printed or digital document that includes all the important aspects of your retail employee training. Here is what it should include.

  1. Introduction: Introduce your company on this page. This section will shed light on the aims and goals of the training. You can also describe what outcomes you expect from your employees after this training program.
  2. Welcome new employees: All of your employees will be seeing this manual, including the new ones. So this page of your retail training manual will give a wide view of your company’s products and principles. It can include attendance, timeliness, dress code, or other policies that employees need to follow strictly.
  3. Product knowledge: Add the key knowledge about your product because your employee must be aware of its features to sell it. Focus on the benefits so your employees can easily make your customers see why they need to buy from you.
  4. Right customer service skills: This section will be about effective customer service. Include instructions about treating your customers, solving problems, conflict resolution, and standard retail operations.
  5. Effective Sales Techniques: In this part, give an elaboration on how to sell a product. It can also include upselling and cross-selling techniques to ensure promising sales. You can also add in this section knowledge of the software systems you use.
  6. Safety procedures and precautions: This part will guide your employees on how to handle critical situations. Also, create awareness about handling equipment safely.
  7. Conclusion: As you close your manual in this part, serve your employees right. Tell them that you are always open to answering any questions. Also, thank them for investing their time in this training.

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How To Create a Retail Employee Training Program

Do you know that an effective retail employee training program can reduce employee turnover by 50%? Therefore, you should focus on creating one. Here’s how.

  1. Have a goal: You should have a training goal in mind. Do you want to train your employees to use a particular technology? Or do you want them to upskill and bring you more revenue? Pick a goal coherent with your business strategy.
  2. Decide on resources: Choose what resources your employees will use for your retail employee training. Ideally, it should be a mixture of notes, videos, and live training. Moreover, provide a training manual to all employees so they can refer back to it.
  3. Gather tools: Resources alone won’t finalize your program. So you need to decide on the tools you’ll use for training. There are several online training tools that work wonders and are free.
  4. Test the program: Choose a small test batch and train them using what you’ve created. This will help you avoid launching the wrong program. Gather feedback and iterate until you are happy with the results.
  5. Ask your employees: See if they enjoyed learning from the created program or if they think you can make some improvements. Then proceed to make the changes.
  6. Test again: If your employees give you some feedback and you incorporate it, test the program again. While this step is optional, it will help you get everything right.

Avoid Going Overboard: How Much Does It Cost To Train a Retail Employee?

Are you wondering how much it costs to train a retail employee? This is a typical retail employee training question from business owners.

According to Forbes, the average cost of training an employee is around $1,200 per employee. But it’s not that simple and depends upon various factors of your business.

First and foremost, your company size evaluates the total cost. If you’re a small business owner, it will cost you more than larger businesses. This is because you have lesser needs and will likely hire one or two people at a time. The cost of training fewer people in more batches will be on the heavier side of the scale. On the other hand, large businesses will hire more people at a time. So they can spend less money and time per batch.

Moreover, the skill and abilities of your employees also matter. So to calculate the average cost, you need to understand how much time each employee takes to understand new things.

Also, you have to decide what kind of training you are aiming to provide. The resources needed for onboarding training will differ from sales training. So factor this in when calculating the cost.

The same goes for physical training vs online training. If it’s the first one, then you need skillful experts to provide the training. Moreover, you will assign some experts to train those employees. So, it’s a fact that you will have to pay them as well for giving their time. For example, if your manager is training new employees, you must pay for his extra time and effort.

With online training, digital learning designs can simplify the procedure. However, you need training technology, like learning management software (LMS), to track the training routines.

4 Tips To Make the Most Out of Your Employee Training Program

Retail employee training is a fun and connective program. It can turn into an emotional investment for your employees in the business. Also, it will generate revenue and provide an incredible customer experience. So here are four tips for you to get more productive employees.

Retail Employee Training Tip #1: Curiosity Doesn’t Kill the Cat, but Boredom Does!

First of all, if you’re training your employees with just notes, they’re going to get bored. So, retail employee training volunteers must have multiple resources for understanding the topic and practicing it.

Therefore, include manuals, how-to videos, and other guides like live practice. Then, demonstrate the written or visual procedures in person. Once you’ve provided a demonstration, then let role-playing get into action.

For example, if you are training in customer service, guide your employee about your policies and procedures for entertaining customers. Then practice with them by acting as a complaining customer.

Role-playing is a valuable asset of training. It is potent to bring your training lessons to life. Moreover, it helps in boosting employee confidence.

Retail Employee Training Tip #2: They May Not Be Presidents, but Choose the Timing Carefully

After a variety of resources, let’s discuss time duration. Your retail employee training can be smooth and breezy if you decide the right time and duration for it. Here’s how to make it comfortable for your employees.

Firstly, try to minimize your training session between 2 to 3 hours. If you’re not touching on technical aspects, there’s no need to give an extensive lecture. But even if your training section is about POS technology use, keep it short.

Moreover, make sure to include breaks between training to make the learning steadfast.

Also, try choosing the time of the day when your employees are fresh. Don’t take out training after they have just finished their shifts or on a hectic day. Choose the time when you know your employees can be most productive.

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Retail Employee Training Tip #3: Everyone Deserves a Bit of Appreciation

While your retail employee training is in action, try to recognize your employees’ efforts. Because when you appreciate your employees for their upskilling, they feel a sense of belonging in your office culture. They will be ambitious to work harder.

Moreover, it improves employee retention and increases productivity because appreciating your employees will make them feel worthy.

Also, recognizing your employees’ efforts will build emotional connectivity. It will motivate them to work more efficiently. Hence, you’ll create a strong brand culture for your business.

Retail Employee Training Tip #4: Don’t Cheat on the Program, Make It Regular!

Consistency marks the end of this list as you need to make your program better with time.

Plan your retail employee training program as per the needs of your business. Focus on the points that need improvement to get rid of all hurdles in your way of success.

Moreover, you need a regular training procedure not only for new employees but for former ones too. It will make them stay up to date with new procedures and principles of your retail store.

In short, update your program regularly and change it according to the needs of your business for continued productivity.

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Employee Training Is Important for Retail Businesses. Don’t Overlook It

Retail employee training is important if you want your business to work at its best. You have multiple options to integrate it. Which type and approach suit your retail business depends on your needs and goals. However, it is important to have a program in place to get results.

If you are offering free WiFi to your customers, consider integrating it with a WiFi marketing solution like Beambox. It will help you automate your marketing activities and gather valuable data from your customers.

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