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Retail Recovery: Engaging store teams during Peak




Fran O'Malley

— 4 minute read

Christmas is going to look a little bit different this year. We may need to say a sad farewell to the raucous office Christmas parties, celebrations with extended family and Christmas Eve spent in the pub – at least for now.

But that doesn’t mean Christmas is cancelled.

More than ever, we’re determined to make the most of the holiday which comes at the end of a very difficult year.

And for the perfect Christmas you need the perfect celebration. We may be limited by the “rule of six”, and increased unemployment, but for the most part people still want to embrace the Christmas traditions – feasting, gift giving and celebrating with loved ones.

In the coming weeks, peak trading will kick off and we should see more shoppers hitting the high street, albeit footfall could be down 3.1-4.1% on last year according to the Retail Economics Forecast.

For teams in-store who are already grappling with new procedures, health and safety measures and welcoming seasonal staff – it’s going to be a challenging few weeks. To get the most from your storess you need to engage store teams with effective communication and inspire them with top-class training throughout the festive period.

Engaging store teams with effective communication

Peak is always a challenging time of year for your store teams. Shops floors are busier, returns are more frequent and all the while managers are training a fleet of temporary workers.

And this is only exacerbated by new health and safety regulations, changing consumer habits and the possibility of progressing to the next tier of lockdown at a moment’s notice.

Whether your store teams have been with the store for two years or two days, it’s important to make sure they have access to the right information as quickly as possible.

Your store teams need a single source of truth for all communications – a place where they can go for the most up to date and relevant information. This information should be:

Tailored and relevant – At this busy time of year, your teams simply don’t have the capacity to be sifting through information to find what’s relevant for them. Stores should be able to filter information to see any tasks or news that is relevant to their store, so it’s easy to action.

Clear and straightforward – It needs to be easy for your stores to separate any tasks that have been set for them from wider communications. Whilst of course it’s important for stores to understand the context of the tasks they’re completing – some things are time sensitive, so these tasks must be easy to find and action.

Editable and flexible – Plans change. It’s important that you can amend and edit any communications you send to stores so you don’t inundate your store teams with amendments and retractions.

Engaging and inspiring – With so much new information to take on board, it can be difficult to digest. That’s why you should be sending information in multiple formats. That could be a newsflash for important policy updates and the latest government advice, a video announcement from senior management, a link to Ted Talks on motivation and wellbeing or the NHS video on how to wash your hands.

Build your in-store community

2020 has been an uncertain and turbulent year. The international health crisis has no doubt harboured feelings of anxiety and stress. These feelings are particularly prevalent in store, where your teams are on the front line, interacting with customers throughout their workday.

As a brand it’s important to create a sense of community and belonging for your store teams. As a Head Office team, you should:

Give support: Provide teams with a dedicated support mailbox, share top tips for staving off anxiety during Covid-19. Share links to mindfulness and meditation apps.

Show gratitude: Thank you teams for their continued support, it’s important they know how much you appreciate everything they do for your brand.

Celebrate: Let everyone know the employees who are going above and beyond to support your teams through this busy and stressful time. A little recognition goes along way!

Make it fun!

“It’s the most wonderful tiimmmeeee of the year”

It appears it’ll be hard to embrace the festive season with the same carefree enthusiasm as Christmases past.

But as the nights continue to draw in and we begin to deck the halls, trim the tree, mull the wine and stuff the stockings – we’ll be reminded that ‘tis the season to be jolly.

If your staff are enjoying the work they’re doing, they’re more likely to perform better.

Inject your communications, tasks and reviews with a bit of festive spirit to keep your teams happy and motivated throughout Peak.

The right training for the job

To ensure your staff remain engaged and motivated throughout Peak season, it’s important to maintain training and development. Whether you are training up seasonal staff or are looking to encourage your employees to learn new skills and put them into practice – Peak is a great time to think about personal development.

StorIQ have developed the StorIQ Academy, a Learning Management Platform to help train, engage and motivate your store team. If you’d like to learn more about what we’ve been working on, then contact us on

Looking for clear communication to inspire and engage store teams? Click here to see what our platform could do for you!

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