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Engaging store teams – Managing the impact of Covid-19

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New York, London, Paris and Rome are under quarantine. In every city, the once crowded streets are empty and so are the supermarket shelves. From the safety of their windows people clap for the NHS, sing in unison from their balconies and chant “keep going!” from their apartment blocks. French and Italian luxury fashion houses are shifting their production to produce medical supplies, a move unprecedented since WWII.

It is now thought that ¼ of the world’s population is in some form of isolation whether that’s limiting social distancing measures or full-blown lock down.

These measures mean that most stores around the world that have been deemed “non-essential” and are now closed. We won’t fully understand the financial impact of this decision until later down the line, but we can look to China with guarded optimism as people return to the streets, malls begin to open and consumers return to stores.

China is showing positive signs of recovery. Federica Levato, partner at Bain & Company commented that “Chinese customers are already going back to shopping; we see a fast recovery of the willingness to buy and of the Chinese consumer confidence.”

Outside China, the feeling of uncertainty is felt by everyone, but we can take comfort in the fact that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

And with the knowledge that this crisis will pass and life will return to some level of normality, in the coming months it’s important that you continue to communicate, engage and inspire your store teams during this time at home.

The StorIQ customer success team have been working with our retail clients to help them communicate essential information to stores and keep teams motivated and inspired by using our platform in ways we hadn’t envisaged during the development process.

We thought we’d share some of these ideas with you.  

Communicating effectively with your store teams

At around 5pm every day, Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, has been updating the nation on Covid-19, disclosing the latest infection statistics, health advice and government measures.

With a daily feed of new information, as well as reporting from news outlets, blogs and social media – you need to make sure your teams are receiving the right information whilst at home.

Our customers are using StorIQ Homepages to communicate key COVID-19 updates to store teams.

With Homepages you can communicate important policy updates and the latest government advice, share video announcements from senior management, links to Ted Talks on motivation and well being or the NHS video on how to wash your hands.

It’s important that this government advice and new ways of working are disseminated quickly and easily to store teams – somewhere that’s not hard to miss!

Another easy way that our customers are communicating vital information is with newsflashes. Even when your teams are at home, you can be sure they’re getting all the right information.

Build a sense of community

With the majority of stores closed, it’s easy for team members to feel isolated – particularly if they live alone.

As a brand, it is important to create a sense of community and belonging in your team to keep you managers engaged and ward off any feelings of isolation.

Give Support: With so much uncertainty around when we’ll get back to work and scary statistics being broadcast on the news, it’s hard not to feel anxious. Our customers are using homepages to promote dedicated Covid-19 mailboxes to provide support to their team members most in need.

They’re sharing top tips for staving off anxiety during Covid-19, links to mindfulness and meditation apps and creating forums for store teams to come together and discuss their worries as a community.

If you’d like any more advice on how to support your store teams whilst they’re at home then you can contact the StorIQ team by clicking this link.

Show Gratitude: This one’s easy.

Thank your team for their hard work and their continued support over the past month. It’s been a difficult time for everyone, but it’s important they know you recognise and appreciate them.

Celebrate: With many stores closed, we’ve got a bit more time to think about our teams and what they’ve done to help the business.

Celebrate those team members that had outstanding performances in the last quarter or have gone above and beyond to support their store team during the crisis.

A little recognition goes a long way.

Keep your teams motivated

All our lives have been changed drastically in a matter of weeks. Yoga studios and gyms are closed and so are restaurants and pubs. Our commutes have gone from a 20 minute train journey to a 20 metre walk to the dining room table.

Our options for exercise and entertainment are limited, and that’s bound to leave anyone lethargic and lacking motivation and enthusiasm.

Some StorIQ customers have been coming up with really fun ways to keep their teams engaged and motivated.

They’ve set up selfie campaigns using StorIQ for their store managers to take a photo or video of themselves outlining how they will come out stronger after Covid-19 has passed. The response was brilliant and it was a great way to bring store managers together.

If you need any advice on engaging your remote teams, then please get in touch – we’ll be happy to help!

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