COVID-19: Getting Your Retail Store Employees Ready After Stores Reopen

With retail stores opening back up, its time to talk about steps you can take to onboard your staff. There is a direct correlation between the quality of onboarding and the quality of performance you get from your team.

COVID-19 is a different situation and your team has been off for a while, so you need to make sure to do a good job onboarding them.

Relationships Come First

We all know as leaders that in the absence of good relations with your team, not much good happens. You can’t coach them and they are not cooperative. Your team’s been off for a while now and there is a lot to do and a rush to get back into the business.

You need to slow down, and in the very beginning find an hour to do a little bit of team building. Spend some time one-on-one with your team members and focus on building the right relationship. Don’t get so caught up in running the business that you forget you’re working with a group of people that need you to be their leader.

Dealing with new challenges for store staff isn’t easy. It’s why we created our Retail Sales Training During COVID-19 program – to help retailers give their staff the skills they need.

Stick to Your Word

In a previous blog post, we discussed reaching out to your staff and letting them know what measures would be implemented at the store and what they should expect. When your staff comes back to work, they are going to be comparing you to what you said. Make sure you are doing everything you said you were going to do. There might be somethings you said that changed, you need to get out in front of this and explain why this happened. You have to be a credible leader!

Building Trust

Building trust might be the most important thing going forward. As a leader of your team, you need to have their back on safety issues, they need to know that when customers are not respecting your safety protocols you are going to bat for your team.  Your team has fears and anxieties and as a leader, you need to make sure that they are in a safe working environment.

Make sure you create an environment that treasures open and candid feedback and communication.  Your team needs to know that it’s going to be ok when they make mistakes and this is just a learning experience. Trust comes from you as a leader when your team knows you have their best interest at heart.

At Graff Retail we offer online training programs that show you how to improve the performance of your stores.

Training on New Safety Standards

You need to do a great job of training your team on all the new safety standards and protocols that will be in place at the store.  This is unchartered territory, your team needs to be aware of wearing masks, sanitization, and social distancing. Take the time to do a full detailed training and fully expect that you’re going to have to go over it more than one time because it’s brand new.

Raise the Bar

During this off-period customers have been exposed to all kinds of different shopping options. Now that customers are returning to stores, the experience needs to be amazing. That amazing gets delivered by you and every team member. The bar needs to be raised on the service standards, selling standards, product knowledge, the checkout procedure, and everything else in the store.  The store needs to be operated with a higher degree of pride and that is going to start in the onboarding process.

It’s exciting to get stores back open again and the job starts with you onboarding your team properly. Now more than ever you need to support your staff and give them the skills they need to provide exceptional customer service in the COVID-19 world.

Contact us today and we can help get your staff ready!



At Graff Retail, we create leading-edge retail training programs specifically designed and customized to increase staff knowledge and performance with innovative teaching methods to drive sales and revenue for businesses.

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