Festive season isn’t just a time for planning ways and means to motivate shopping but it is also the time to develop and design strategies to keep the staff motivated. Expecting the front end staff to be upbeat working during festive season with their personal commitments at home, is a bit dicey thing. We speak with a few retailers to find out how they ensure a motivated staff during festive season.
Usually year-end time is when festivities keep each retailer occupied. From ensuring that the stocks are well in place to having a perfect ambiance at the store to entice people to shop more, each minute thing has to be taken care of. This Diwali, retailers experienced on an average about 15-18 percent of growth in their sales and expectation now lay on the upcoming Christmas season. Just as much as retailers are seen spending on pampering their customers, behind the scene each retailer would accept that it is also the staff that needs to be taken care of and made to feel special.
Shares Natasha Shah, founder – The Nature’s Co., “Before the festive season sets in there is a lot of preparations that need to be done at the store level. Ensuring adequate stocks, decorating the store, gearing up for the upcoming promotion etc. We don’t conduct training during that time but we ensue we call each store, talk to each staff individually and the zonal heads monitor how they will keep up with the festive spirit, boost sales and look their best! Diwali and Christmas is a time wherein we have observed a sales staff is self-motivated usually. Training sessions and workshops are done during the slack period.” Adding on to this, Ishu Datwani from Anmol Jewelllers says, “We conduct in-store workshops and training programs periodically and specially before the festive season for our sales staff to refresh their product and sales knowledge.” Considering purchase of jewelry forms an integral part during any festive season, this definitely becomes imperative for any jeweler to do.
Since the advent of electronic chains dealing in a host of consumer durables has come in picture, the sale of consumer durables during festive season has taken a new turn. Where earlier it was pre-decided what new things were needed in the house, today a lot of it is impulse purchase which more often than not is led by the persuasion of the floor staff and the rapport they manage to establish with the customers. Sharing on what Croma does, Ajit Joshi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infiniti Retail says, “We are preparing and looking forward to a good festive season. Croma’s intent is to help the consumers in this buying process which is aptly expressed in the tagline ‘We help you buy’. We have equipped our employees with various training which is our top priority on the check list, if only to serve customers better. We ensure our staff is absolutely thorough in their knowledge of the products and their understanding of customer needs. So, besides offering a training programme that is a mix of on-the-job and classroom sessions, we have also initiated sending daily SMS snippets to our employees with updated information about the products, brands, categories that are stocked by the company.”
At The Nature’s Co. a special initiative is undertaken to keep the staff in sync with the office ambiance and atmosphere during festive season. Sharing details on what the brand does specifically during Diwali, Shah shares, “Change of attire during Diwali season. We ask them not to wear their regular uniforms but to wear traditional clothes during those two three days. The staff also conducts a small puja during Diwali and other festivals, before the store opening. They are also permitted to leave early any one of the 3 days to celebrate the evening with their families.”
Adopting Employee Friendly Strategies to MotivateShares Datwani, “We have developed an HR initiative called ‘Hum Anmol Hai’ under which we give a ‘Star of the Month’ award to the Best Sales Staff, Best Back Office Staff & Best Office Boy every month. Apart from the monetary incentives, the winners get a ‘Star of the Month’ badge and their pictures are put up on a board inside our store and on our social media channels.”
Talking about what The Nature’s Co. has in place, Shah adds, “We run a rewards and recognition program every month, which is designed to motivate sales team, boost sales and keep their team spirits high. Commission on sales is a constant perk at our end. Apart from this we give cash incentives to employee generating the highest revenue, stores that have achieved their monthly sales targets, sales men achieving their individual targets and also for outstanding performances (soft skills included) by them. For promotions carried out exceptionally well by a team we treat them with lunch / dinner of their choice. Diwali we announce bonus for our employees too. During Diwali commissions on corporate gifting plays a very vital incentive too.”
At Anmol Jewellers, Datwni ensures that the staff is treated at par with the way the company treats its clients. The gifts sent to the clients are the same gifts shared with the staff as well.
The Boomerang Effect“The sales always depends on how the sales executive attends to the clients. Also, sometimes extra sales efforts help as its not about what a client has come to buy, but its more about what we are able to sell. It can even result in a trade-up by selling a piece of jewelry of a higher price than the price-point and budget the client had in mind,” shares Datwani.
Making a point, Shah ends saying, “A motivated staff will never has his mind at home or miss their festive celebrations with their families when on a shop floor. They celebrate the festive with their colleagues that are like their extended families. The team spirit is high and they help each other to boost sales further.