Motivating retail employees is essential to capitalizing on revenue opportunities for post-holiday returns
As a retail owner, you know the holiday rush doesn't end on New Year's Eve. The weeks leading up to Christmas are the busiest times of the year, but the waves of customers return in January ready to exchange itchy sweaters and claim gift cards.
Motivating retail employees to jump into action will have a huge impact on revenues. Returns and gift cards are often viewed as free money, giving shoppers incentive to make additional purchases. There are many upsell opportunities, so your job is to educate your employees on how to stay motivated and deliver great customer service.
How will your employees perform during the busy weeks after New Year's? Strategize ways to keep your team focused (and to have fun!).
Creative ideas for motivating retail employees during the post-holiday rush
1. Throw a party for the staff
If you know the post-holiday rush is hectic for your company every year, reward your team with a celebration. Invite your staff to take a vote on an activity or venue for the event. If there is a particular sales goal for January, add on something extra special to thank them for their hard work.
Here are a few party activities for motivating retail employees:
- Laser tag
- After hours at the store
- Indoor go karts
- Ice skating
2. Give rewards for upsells
Create an incentive program for your employees. You can reward a certain percentage of upsold revenues for returned items and gifts cards. If that information isn't traceable per individual, set a sales goal amount for everyone to strive for. You can give out commission bonuses at the end of the month if the entire team meets the goal.
Also, remember that motivating retail employees goes beyond offering money. Dig deep and ask yourself what rewards your staff find truly valuable, fun, and worthy of the effort.
3. Run a contest—the winner receives a giant tub of ice cream
Get creative and run a contest your employees will find fun and engaging. Does your company offer rewards cards? Or maybe a customer newsletter? Ask your staff to sign up as many customers as possible within a two-week period. Award the winner something outlandish, like a giant tub of ice cream or a life-sized teddy bear. If you'd rather gift something entertaining, purchase a pair of tickets to a local sports event or concert.
4. Purchase a "community" gift for everyone
Community gifts can make the workplace more fun and be a constant reminder of teamwork during busy times of the year. What cool items would your staff want to have around? Make it something that appeals to everyone.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Ping pong table
- A soda or coffee dispenser
- A vintage gumball machine
- A massage chair
5. Create a catalog of pictures for social media
Just because the post-holiday rush is busy, that doesn't mean your team can't have fun and share with others. Take pictures of your employees working together and post them to your company's social media profiles. You can create a #postholidayfun hashtag and promote the teamwork environment at the store.
Customers like to see that your staff knows how to have a good time and are proud to work there. But be sure not to distract your employees—you don't want any accidents to happen!
Motivating retail employees begins with stellar management
You can't expect to motivate your staff unless you get out there and lead the pack. Focus on creating a workplace where freedom of expression and teamwork are encouraged at all times. Your employees will act by example if you push them to do well and reward them for hard work. Keep a positive attitude and showcase how great customer service is delivered in the holiday season.
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Do you have any thoughts about motivating retail employees? What's your secret to empowering teamwork during the holiday rush? Share your story in the comments!