4 Tips to Help Motivate Your Retail Staff

Many retail staffers report feeling overworked and underappreciated, but it needn’t be all doom and gloom. If they are learning, then they have goals to work toward.

Retail can be a hard industry to work in. Long hours and high targets can weigh down some employees. Many retail staffers report feeling overworked and underappreciated, but it needn’t be all doom and gloom. Here are four tips to help you keep your retail staff motivated.

1. Paint the bigger picture. When staff members are given an idea of where a company is headed and what the focus is for the month, they can help work toward it. If staff members are kept in the dark, it is going to be difficult for them to help you achieve your goals. In addition, when you paint the bigger picture to your staff, they feel more valued and respected. It is much easier to do well when you know what doing well looks like. If your staff members don’t have a clear idea of how to succeed, they are less likely to perform actions that please you and that benefit the business.

2. Give your employees responsibility. Relinquishing control can be scary sometimes, but allowing your employees to take some responsibility can help to increase motivation. Micromanaging, on the other hand, can kill employee motivation. If you have a staff member who is particularly interested in visual merchandising or store displays, why not give him or her a section to take responsibility for? You can always suggest edits to keep things on brand, but by giving employees responsibility for something they care about, you are encouraging them to step up.

This also has a positive secondary effect: If one of your employees has been given responsibility for an element, he or she will help to chase your other staff for you. If the other members of the team aren’t pulling their weight, it may reflect badly on the staff member who is trying to step up. So rather than fall into this trap, the responsible employee will help you keep the other staffers in check.

3. Create a tidy shop environment. If your shop is overcrowded with merchandise and your fixtures are worn out and tired, it is going to be difficult to keep your shop in shape. If your staff members are always picking clothes up from the floor and struggling to keep your space looking tidy, it might be time to rethink your store display.

In particular, your wall systems and clothes rails may need a refresh, or potentially even an upgrade. Systems such as slatwall can be particularly helpful, as the arms can be moved around without needing tools. This ensures that your fittings suit your merchandise and that your staff can keep your shop tidy and clean, without it being a demoralizing chore.

Even simple things such as hanger grips can make a big difference. Hanger grips simply self-adhere to the shoulders of hangers and cling to the clothes. This makes it harder for customers to knock merchandise to the floor in the flurry. This then frees up time for retail staff to focus on customers and higher-level merchandising tasks.

4. Encourage development. Even if you are a small shop and don’t have the option to offer promotions, you can still help your staff grow. You can offer your staff many other interesting benefits that will add to their motivation by encouraging development. For example, if you have staff members who would like to grow, you could offer them the opportunity to learn from you about how you market your store, or the opportunity to run your social media accounts. This will help them to diversify their portfolio, while also helping you gain some valuable exposure for your shop.

Small projects and opportunities like these can help to keep retail staff interested for longer. It is better to allow your staff the opportunity to grow than to keep them in the same place. If they are learning, then they have goals to work toward. If there are no opportunities for growth or development, staff can begin to feel trapped and, therefore, may begin to wish to escape.

Ali Newton is the Marketing executive for The Display Centre, where a team of creative experts provides retail supplies and store display equipment, including bespoke items. Newton combines her fine art and fashion qualifications with her market research experience and psychology degree to help retailers drive their sales.


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