*10 Ways to Keep Your Team Engaged, Productive & Loyal

Yeah, I am writing about people again. They are simply that important to your business!

10 Ways to Keep Your Team Engaged, Productive & Loyal

Back in mid-July, I published “10 Ways to Stop the Retail Employee Exodus”. In that issue I discussed tactics that retailers could use to keep team members more engaged, productive, and loyal. They were (click the link above to see the details of each idea):

  1. Onboarding New Team Members

  2. Say Thank You

  3. Food

  4. Celebrate Milestones

  5. Invest Time

  6. Recognize Wins

  7. Written Thank You Notes

  8. Company Apparel

  9. Town Hall Meetings

  10. Scheduling

The response was great and hopefully added value for many of you. Given the fact that challenges with attracting, hiring, motivating, and retaining staff continue across retail and many other industries, it seems an appropriate time to provide 10 additional ideas regarding team building.

This is my 4th issue where the lead story revolves around people. You may ask why the deep focus on this subject? The answer is simple: people are the lifeblood of your business. Any business. Every business. If you invest the proper time and effort into attracting, hiring, developing, and leveraging an exceptional team of people, it’s highly likely your business will be successful (there are certainly other “success levers” such as product/ market fit but these levers are all impacted by your team). I have seen this proven out for years and years, with very few exceptions. So remember this highly technical equation:

Great Teams = Great Results

Weak Teams = Poor Results

Lastly, before I jump in to the details, please don’t think it’s too late in the year to begin to use any of these ideas. Your team development relies on your input and effort as a leader, so the sooner you begin, the faster you will see results.

Here we go:

  1. Provide Ongoing Feedback: create an constant communication flow with your team members. Don’t wait for reviews or sit-down meetings. Provide feedback in real time, be it on the salesfloor, backroom, outside of the store, etc. Positive comments (“Great job upselling that last customer”) can be made anywhere, while developmental suggestions (“Next time try doing XXX to upsell a customer”) should be made out of earshot of others. Regardless, keep the feedback flow active all of the time and to all team members.

What Do You Think? Drive-thrus for Retail.

If you have watched the fast food and QSR industries, you know that the shift from dine-in restaurants to those that focus mostly or entirely on drive-thru business is in full swing. This was driven in great part by how Covid impacted purchase habits, and even as the pandemic begins to wane, the trend towards shifting to drive-thru models continues to pick up steam.

The list of companies investing in growing their drive-thru capabilities is very long and includes well known operators like Wendy’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Chipotle, Taco Bell and McDonalds. Some operators are eliminating in-restaurant seating entirely!

Per QSR Magazine:

“1. Drive-thru infrastructure is a must: with this heightened awareness of the drive-thru customer’s experience, restaurants are making investments in infrastructure that helps them bring the welcoming brand experience they are known for inside out to the drive thru.

2. Make room for express ordering technology: when implementing changes to the drive thru, it’s crucial to remember that the ways consumers now interact with restaurants have changed. Though many brands experimented with mobile apps and online ordering ahead of the pandemic, adoption rates grew significantly over the past 16 months, and consumers are unlikely to give them up, even in a post-pandemic world.

So the question becomes, is there an opportunity for traditional retailers to offer drive-thru as a means of enhancing their service offerings? Not all retail buildings can support a drive-thru lane (there may be partnership solutions to this; a discussion for another day), but where they can, should retailers begin to test the drive-thru option?

What do you think?

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