The best ways to onboard employees in retail

Most of us know it as one of the most difficult parts in retail to find the right employees and keep them interested and motivated. As a matter of fact, 30% of new employees leave within the first year. No wonder it is perceived as an ongoing battle. Well, we’re here to tell you:

It shouldn’t be!

With the right tools and mindset, you are on your way to a well-educated and eager-to-learn team, that will blow your socks off.

And honestly, we’re here to do the same. Stay with us for an overview of the pitfalls and the process of onboarding in retail and some tips and tricks to make your job easier.

Let’s dive right in with the most pressing concerns in onboarding:

Pitfalls

With the right onboarding track there’s a 91% chance of keeping the newcomer. Without it, chances reduce to 30%.

Furthermore, a good onboarding promises a productivity that is 54% higher and 34% faster than without one. Sounds like enough reason to invest some time in that more elaborate welcome, don’t you think?

And that’s exactly where the problem lies: Time!

We understand that in retail, time is gold and that there isn’t always enough of it to train your employees. It’s also common that training sessions are organized by the head office on certain days, so there might be a long waiting time to get your employee’s training on.

You know how it goes: a new employee starts in summer. It’s a busy time with sales and seasonal changes. To get them on board, you would need to take an employee out of their workflow to train them. This means that you lose two people (the trainer and the trainee) on the floor, and this for a large amount of time. It’s not an ideal situation and it doesn’t always work like that.

As a result, there’s a lot of learning by doing or a one-off explanation to train employees. Experience tells us that’s not the way to go. As you may suspect there’s a lot to gain with the right onboarding. A small time-investment can go a long way!

Let’s check out how to establish the right setting for motivational learning.

Process

Preboarding

Most of the time, there’s a certain period between signing the contract and the employee starting at your company. It’s important to maintain contact during this period to create involvement and trust with your new team member.

You can start by sending some congratulations! Sounds easy, but it proves to be enormously effective.

You can address the interests that are currently living within the team to involve not only the new employee, but also your existing team. Remember to explain how the new team member can find their contact person and set up a short introduction.

Of course, you can’t forget the administrative obligations, but be sure not to start with it. You wouldn’t want to come across as another boring employer, do you?

First day

When the start day has finally come, you can make sure to give the newbie a warm welcome (gift baskets for the win!). Be sure to make it a personal welcome to make them feel right at home.

Following days

Most of the companies stop there. But with our help, you can go that little bit further.

Make sure the new employee knows that their opinion matters and that, when working with humans, mistakes are inevitable (we are only machines in the proverbial sense of the word). Just remember to let them know, help is never far away.

First weeks

During those first weeks you can teach them all about the products and services you provide and where they fit in.

Microlearning is the perfect tool to present the company and set expectations. This will also decrease the amount of time you need to invest. It’s a win-win situation!

circle learning

First months

There’s no need to stop while you’re ahead! Do regular check-ups on the employee’s knowledge. This too can be perfectly sustained with mobile learning!

As you see, it’s important to keep at it. There’s no need to stop after two weeks and let the new employee figure it out for themselves. In retail, they will play an important role in your customer’s experience. There’s no better investment than this!

To summarize

There are some pitfalls, but there are equally as much solutions for it. It’s just a matter of investing in some good onboarding!

Are you convinced? Not yet? No problem. We’ve got some more tips and tricks for you!

Tips and tricks

Our first and best tip is microlearning: there’s no better way to give a lot of information in 3 to 5 minutes a day and retain that info by using interesting video material.

It’s a lot less time invasive and a lot more performant then using another team member to give the training.

This way, you can also keep the training coming for several weeks and elaborate where you want. The existing team can benefit from this as well.

Picture this: a new season, a new collection! That’s a lot of information to take in. You would need a couple of hours to present the information and after that…it’s all gone (like that biology exam you studied so hard for). There’s no retention at all and a lot of time wasted.

With microlearning you don’t have that kind of problem. It gives you and the employee a lot more freedom and isn’t that what we all strive for?

Our second tip can be used in the microlearning platform as well. Wouldn’t it be great if the Managing Director presented himself and the company in a personal video? That video can be shown in a learning moment and followed up by a couple of questions to keep those brain juices flowing. It’s personal and effective: Genius, if you ask us!

Another thing you could do is integrate some trivia about the company or the team to keep it personal and fun, e.g. Did you know Emma loves her spaghetti bolognese? That too can be integrated into a microlearning platform. Win-win again!

Conclusion: A good onboarding is crucial for a strong collaboration between you and your employees!

There are only advantages here:

  • A smoother learning of products and services;
  • Higher productivity;
  • Faster work;
  • More work-related satisfaction with new and existing employees;
  • Better staff retention;
  • The new employees become an ambassador of your company.

What’s not to like?

You may have read between the lines that microlearning is a great add-on when it comes to onboarding. And that’s where MobieTrain comes in!

As Ray Riley, CEO at Progress Retail says it so beautifully:

“The culture of the retail firm needs to embrace continuing education and lifelong learning.”

We couldn’t have said it better!