When was the last time you went on a holiday?
You would be amazed at how many retailers laugh and answer,” I can’t remember! It’s been that long”.
Such a simple question gives great insights into the way in which a retail business is operating.
The answer to being able to go on a holiday for a retail business owner is in creating a business that can operate effectively without them being physically present in the store.
The most common trait of a successful retail business is the skill of their staff.
A well trained sales force is one that can implement the business processes and bring the ethos of the organisation alive without micro management.
Building such a workforce comes down to effective training.
A 2014 Retail Workforce Study by the Australian Government showed that retail workforce has a low level of formal qualification at only 37% compared to an all-industries average of 60%. The young age profile of the retail industry is largely a contributor to this figure but we know one thing for sure.
People are not leaving school educated in working in retail but a positive sign is that the uptake of higher level Certificate courses in retailing are growing with an increase from 31.5% in 2006 to 37.6% in 2011.
The government have forecast an increase in retail employment to 8.9% by 2017, so the challenge of training staff is growing at the same time.
The 2014 study noted that as retail environments introduce greater levels of technology, there is an expectation that sales staff will have a deeper level of product knowledge, as well as advanced problem-solving skills and digital literacy. Furthermore, there is a growing need for staff to have data analysis skills to understand and respond to the preferences of individual customers, and to have the specialist skills required to access, design and implement new technology solutions.
The first step of training staff is making them aware of what your expectations are of them. This not only involves communicating how you expect them to interact with customers but also what you expect from other aspects of the retail business including product and pricing knowledge.
The value of training delves extensively into the use of the stores POS solution.
Retail Point of Sale solutions are almost a staple in retail businesses as they help coordinate business processes. Therefore, having staff that can work with the POS system effectively is imperative to better process management.
POS solutions not only help with the day to day operational tasks in store but collect information to help managers make better decisions.
If the staff are not accurately processing data in store then the data available for managers to review is inaccurate and ineffective.
The great news is that training staff has never been easier.
Not only can you receive one on one training from education outlets or consultants but the online world offers easy access to training information.
The world of online training has taken off and retail is a major beneficiary. Organisations such as the Australian Retailers Association offer numerous courses as well as work with retailers to customise their own in-house training programmes.
When it comes to POS training, iVend users have a range of services with both onsite training via our partner network and a host of online resources.
So next time you are wondering why you haven’t been on a holiday lately, consider investing the time to train your staff to behave the way you need them to, so that you can leave your business and explore the world.
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