There has been a lot of press lately highlighting how a number of big name retailers have upped their starting pay rates.  In one case, Starbucks has gone as far as paying 100% of the college tuition for its employees … WELL DONE!

In fact, overall employee management practices have evolved a lot over the past number of years.  Fairer scheduling practices.  Better perks.  Improved benefits.  Enhanced work environments. Higher rates of pay.   All in all, it could be successfully argued that retail employees have it better today than ever before.  And good for them!  

The challenge now for all retailers is to ensure they’re keeping up with what everyone around them is doing.  If you’re a retail owner reading this, don’t worry.  It all comes back to you through improved employee engagement, lower staff turnover rates and higher productivity.

But, as the title of this article states, it’s a two-way street.  If employers are going to give more, then so too must employees.

It’s time to raise the bar on the expectation level of store staff.  Let’s start by doing the most basic thing of all and having everyone comply with the store standards that have been set.  It’s shocking how often retailers don’t achieve compliance on minimum standards like dress code, merchandising, housekeeping and worst of all, selling and service standards.   Look, you have the right to have your stores run the right way.  It’s not about being a bully.  It’s about having everyone take more pride in what they do every day.

Give your staff what they need to meet these increased expectations:

  1. A clear understanding of what they are (write them down and post them!)
  2. The ability to do what you want them to do (train them better)

If, as the employer, you’re doing your part to provide a better work experience and providing the support necessary for your staff to meet your expectations, then it’s fair to expect better performance from everyone.

Raise the bar on expected performance from everyone, including yourself.  Better results will follow … guaranteed!

Kevin Graff is the main guy behind all things Graff Retail. A renowned retail expert, Kevin is recognized in the retail industry as a speaker, author and expert trainer. Kevin's main passion is to help retailers drive staff performance.

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