Retail is a key industry for the British economy, responsible for employing millions of Brits.
Every year, thousands of youngsters get their first job working for a high street retailer, whilst many more manage to work their way up into management positions.
It’s one of the biggest industries in terms of the proportion of Brits it keeps in a job. With this in mind, all retailers have a huge responsibility to the country to treat their employees well.
Teaching transferable skills
There are plenty of skills which can be learnt in the retail industry and ultimately transferred across a whole range of other sectors. A fair proportion of retail jobs are customer-facing, so the onus is on employers to ensure their staff have great customer service skills. The ability to leave every customer with a smile is great skill to have – and which plenty of employers will be impressed by.
A great employer will ensure that their staff maintain a professional image at all times. They will ensure that staff are punctual, reliable and work well within a team. They will make sure that employee uniforms, complete with staff name badges, are always presentable. These are transferable skills which will prove useful in almost any line of work.
Most retail franchises offer staff the opportunity to progress from the ranks. A youngster on the tills can be trained to supervise staff, manage a store or even one day a chain of stores.
The best retailers are those that encourage this progression amongst all of their staff. They find the time to teach staff the skills needed to make that next step up and make enough profits to create positions for them to fill.
The prospect of promotion is a great incentive to motivate staff into working harder and performing better. The best retailers recognise this and will create a programme to ensure they can always fill management positions internally.
It’s not just the prospect of promotion which can motivate employees. Some employees are motivated by company targets, a fun working atmosphere, or recognition from their peers. People are different and are typically motivated by different things. The best employers recognise this and offer staff a range of things to get excited about.
A lot of seemingly huge retail empires have crumbled to the ground in the last couple of years, costing thousands of workers their jobs. This was mostly due to stagnant business models and poor business decisions at the very top. The recession has made a sustainable business model even more important for retailers – as no-one likes working with the threat of redundancy looming over their head.
A strong brand image and a forward-thinking business strategy are becoming increasingly important in this day and age. Retailers investing in the e-commerce market, sustainable delivery practices and emerging overseas markets could boost employees’ confidence in their long-term job security.
Retailers who show the attributes listed above could arguably have the best chance of thriving in the economic downturn.