Strategies To Improve Retail Employee Engagement

A proven methodology for boosting engagement among retail employees, including examples from PetSmart

Focusing on retail employee engagement brings a multitude of benefits that reverberate throughout the entire organization.

Connected employees are more likely to collaborate seamlessly, share insights, and foster a strong sense of camaraderie, leading to improved teamwork and higher productivity on the shop floor. Engaged employees, on the other hand, exhibit greater dedication, enthusiasm, and a sense of ownership in their roles. Engaged employees are also far less likely to experience retail burnout.

This translates to enhanced customer interactions, elevated customer satisfaction, and a positive brand reputation. Moreover, a connected and engaged workforce experiences reduced turnover rates, as employees feel valued and invested in the company’s success.

Altogether, these advantages contribute to a vibrant and customer-centric retail environment, where employees are motivated, customers are delighted, and the business flourishes.

14 Ways To Improve Retail Employee Engagement

Keeping retail floor associates engaged is crucial for ensuring exceptional customer service, increased productivity, and overall business success.

Here are strategies to maintain high levels of engagement among your retail floor associates:

1. Provide Clear Expectations and Goals: Set clear performance expectations and goals for your associates. When they understand what’s expected of them and have measurable objectives to strive for, they feel a sense of purpose and direction.

2. Offer Training and Development: Invest in ongoing training and development opportunities. Provide skill-building workshops, product knowledge sessions, and customer service training. Associates who see opportunities for growth are more likely to stay engaged.

3. Foster a Positive Work Environment: Create a positive and supportive atmosphere on the shop floor. Encourage open communication, teamwork, and a sense of camaraderie. Associates who feel valued and supported by their colleagues and managers are more likely to be engaged.

4. Recognize and Reward Performance: Implement a recognition program that celebrates associates’ achievements. Regularly acknowledge and reward exceptional performance, whether through verbal praise, small incentives, or public recognition. Feeling appreciated boosts morale and engagement.

5. Empower Decision-Making: Give associates the autonomy to make certain decisions within their roles. Empower them to solve customer problems, handle minor issues, and contribute ideas. This sense of responsibility enhances their ownership and engagement.

6. Provide Opportunities for Feedback: Create avenues for associates to voice their opinions and offer feedback. Regularly solicit their insights on processes, products, and customer interactions. Knowing their opinions matter enhances their engagement. For inspiration, see our guide to the questions to ask in a retail staff survey.

7. Rotate Responsibilities: By rotating tasks among associates, you offer your employees variety. This prevents monotony and keeps them engaged by experiencing different aspects of the retail environment.

8. Offer Flexible Scheduling: Provide flexibility in scheduling wherever possible. Acknowledge and accommodate personal commitments, which can reduce stress and increase overall job satisfaction.

9. Use Technology to Enhance Engagement: Leverage technology to engage associates. Use digital platforms for communication, recognition, and training. Gamification elements can add an element of fun to tasks and learning.

10. Invest in Well-Being: Demonstrate a genuine concern for associates’ well-being. Offer wellness programs, mental health support, and access to resources that promote work-life balance.

11. Communicate Company Vision: In retail, it is crucial to have a well-thought-out communication strategy. Regularly communicate the company’s vision, mission, and goals to associates. Help them understand how their roles contribute to the bigger picture, fostering a sense of purpose.

12. Celebrate Milestones: Celebrate work anniversaries, birthdays, and personal milestones of your associates. When done well, personal connections and celebrations contribute to a positive and engaging work environment.

13. Encourage Professional Relationships: Facilitate mentorship and buddy programs to encourage associates to support each other’s growth. These relationships can enhance their engagement and sense of community.

14. Lead by Example: Effective leadership plays a significant role in associate engagement. Lead by example, demonstrating enthusiasm, open communication, and a commitment to excellence.

Remember that every associate is unique, so be open to adapting these strategies to suit individual preferences and needs. Consistently showing that you value and invest in your retail floor associates will go a long way in keeping them engaged and motivated.

How PetSmart Keeps Employees Connected & Engaged

Want to learn how PetSmart took its associate engagement to the next level? 

Before MangoApps, PetSmart relied on a WordPress-based site called ‘The Dish’ to share company news, updates, and training videos.

With the majority of their workforce located in stores and distribution centers, most PetSmart associates could not access The Dish unless they were connected to a shared device or VPN. 

PetSmart set out to find a solution that could increase employee engagement across its retail workforce.

With over 50,000 associates spread across 1,600+ stores and 7 distribution centers, PetSmart wanted to find a tool that could reach their entire workforce, including the frontline associates who were disconnected from company-wide communications. 

PetSmart’s journey with MangoApps began in October, and they launched ‘Central Bark’ just a few months later with the goal of increasing engagement for their frontline workforce. 

PetSmart launched the ‘opt-in’ Central Bark app and immediately started garnering engagement from its associates.

Since switching to MangoApps, PetSmart has seen significant improvements in its internal communications and overall engagement.

With Central Bark, PetSmart is able to:

  • Gamify its internal comms strategy by incorporating contests, giveaways, themed campaigns, and more to generate engagement across associates.
  • Emphasize company culture to build stronger connections between associates and the PetSmart brand.
  • Leverage analytics to keep relevant content succinct and to the point. PetSmart can track engagement, reactions, views, and more to gauge the success of its internal comms strategy.

Let’s break down PetSmart’s success:

  • Central Bark – 8% engagement on content (4X industry average).
  • PetSmart can connect & engage 100% of its workforce.
  • Associates are able to ‘buy in’ to the PetSmart culture, improving engagement company-wide.

See How PetSmart Generates Engagement Across Associates

Watch the full video to learn how PetSmart:

  • Generates engagement across associates
  • Takes advantage of company-wide initiatives to improve adoption
  • Keeps associates up-to-date and engaged on a weekly basis

Learn more about MangoApps for retail, or dive into our wealth of resources related to frontline employee communication and engagement.

Get new articles in your inbox