A study by WorkJam revealed that around 46% of managers didn’t have a medium for direct communication with their frontline employees. They can only communicate via store managers. Meaning, the information is passed from the country manager to the store manager and the store manager informs the front line employees about new product additions and promotions.
Without a direct mode of communication to reach your front line employees who are the actual face of your organization, there is a serious flaw in the retail communications strategy that needs to be fixed sooner. Indirect communication is dangerous and might hamper the growth of the entire organization.
Here are some ways through which you can close the internal communication gap in retail.
Leverage The Power of Technology to Streamline Communications
It is hard to believe but true that a majority of retail companies still rely on older methods of communication to communicate with their employees. We can’t use paper as a mode of communication to inform our employees about important changes within the organization!
A product like Zipline can be extremely effective in improving the store communication. Zipline helps to streamline all the important emails, documents, newsletters, articles etc in one place that is accessible from anywhere. Moreover, the information is personalized for every member in your team so that the employees remain aware of their exact roles and responsibilities.
Train Your Employees
You need to make your brand’s vision and mission statement clear to everybody. This starts with proper training. When all employees stand unified about the achievement of the company goals, they start performing better and this ultimately helps to improve the bottom line.
You can allow both in-person or online training and allow them to learn at their own pace. Lessonly is a powerful training software that will help your team to serve your customer faster, reduce ramp time, reinforce best practices and close more deals.
Adopt interactive training methods like quizzes and Q&A sessions. You can even conduct small group discussions and present case studies to discuss problems as well as solutions. Engaging in role playing is an excellent way to improve interpersonal skills. Holding interactive sessions helps to keep the employees engaged and makes them receptive to new information.
It is important to teach your employees “why” before you teach them “how” because they must know the reasons, why they have been asked to do a particular task. Have your employees practice their sessions daily and ask the seniors to share their expertise with their colleagues regularly. This will not only strengthen the communication across all processes but also help to strengthen the bonds between all employees.
Consistency is the key to effective communication and you must never forget this. Make sure to send the weekly or monthly meeting agenda at the same time and day of the week and in the same format so that the employees know the urgency and importance of the information. Do not hesitate to write “URGENT” in the body of the email if something urgent needs to be communicated so that the teams know that they need to open it and view the information immediately.
Here are some steps to establish consistency in your communication:
- Establish some ground rules so that employees are aware of the language they need to use in proper internal communication.
- Teach politeness so that everyone know how to prepare polite emails.
- Make sure that your employees have a good understanding of workplace jargon.
- Be regular in taking feedback from the employees so that you remain aware of their opinions about a particular product or a recent change in policy.
- Adopt an open door policy to make it easier for the staff to communicate with the managers as and when they need it.
- Make sure to have a positive atmosphere in the company so that every staff member has a positive attitude and outlook.
Use Social Media For Employee Recognition
Communication should not be always related to company announcements and product updates. Instead, start recognizing your employees to keep their morale high. You need to treat your employees like your audience. Make it easier for each and every employee in your company to know about the achievements of each other irrespective of their geographical location.
Social media is a great place to let employees all over the world know about the feats of one another. You can use a platform like WooBoard that mimics peer to peer recognition as in real life and mimics the best of social media to drive conversation of recognition. Faster recognition will lead to a better and happier workplace. This will eventually raise the sales of your company.
Hold Weekly and Monthly Meetings
It is necessary to hold weekly meetings with your managers and monthly meetings with the rest of the staff. Meetings help to reach a decision by brainstorming and personal interaction with each other. An ideal meeting should last about 30 minutes to one hour depending on the agenda. Tuesday afternoon is the best time to hold a meeting because it’s not too early and not too late.
Here are some tips for conducting great meetings:
- Schedule an agenda for the meeting a week before you wish to hold it.
- Make sure each of your employees are present on the day of the meeting.
- Set a time limit for the meeting and do not extend it. Keep the meeting simple and clear.
- Have one to one interaction with your employees and allow them to ask questions. One important point to note here is that you should allow all the questions to be asked at the end of the meeting or else the entire meeting will be ruined with sudden questions and incomplete answers.
Internal communication is important for every organization. You need to make it extremely easier for the employees to communicate with each other and the management. When the communication becomes easy, employees start to work hard and this in turn raises the productivity of the company. Follow the tips described in this article to streamline your store communication and watch your sales grow higher.