Employing part-time workers is a catch-22. Part-time employees work in the grocery industry (for now) because they don’t require a lot of experience or high wages. However, when your employees aren’t consistently in your store or tied to your company with a full-time position, it’s likely that they’re less informed, less engaged, and ingrained in your brand than they would be if they were full-time employees.
That’s an issue.
Customers expect to have a consistent A+ experience, no matter if the employee they’re interacting with is exempt or non-exempt. Shoppers simply want to know that they’re spending their money in a store that values them, one that employs people who are willing to go the extra mile to make them happy.
It’s up to you to ensure that your employees fit the bill. To do this, you need to keep your employees informed, engaged, and on-brand.
Keep employees informed
Employees need to know your store and your products inside and out to give your customers an expert experience each time they shop. Give them the confidence they need to do just that by providing weekly, monthly, or even quarterly video updates from your corporate office about the business. What’s new to your shelves? What initiatives are important to the company right now? Open it up for discussion and Q&A opportunities with your executives. Even your part-time employees will feel connected when they’re given the chance to transparently discuss company-wide goals and the strategies that you’re putting in place to accomplish them.
Keep employees engaged
Engagement is the next building block in employee success. Think of it this way: without the relevant information, employees will never be engaged. They need to understand what’s going on behind the scenes in order to want to give their job their all. So, this is the next step. Incentivize your employees to do an exceptional job by offering rewards to those who live up to your company values and deliver on the projects that they’re assigned to. Make their work day more than “just another shift” by holding internal contests. How many customers can your employees interact with? How many positive reviews can they attain from your shoppers? How few errors can they rack up during a store walk? All of these metrics and more can be used to keep your employees engaged in your business, and feeling like they’re a part of something bigger than just another shift in a grocery store.
Keep employees on-brand
Finally, once you have employees who are not only informed but also engaged, you can start to ensure that they’re on-brand. This is important to your overall strategy (not just your hiring strategy) because it provides your customers with a consistent experience. If your employees are on-brand, a customer can walk into any one of your stores and feel like it’s familiar.
To help your employees understand and maintain your brand, create in-store collateral around your core values. Hang these rallying words from banners on your ceiling or on posters in your break room. Periodically provide customer service scripts to your employees to show them how to talk about specific products or initiatives so everyone can align around a common message.
Keeping your employees informed, engaged, and on-brand is integral to the success of your business. Without these three building blocks, employees can become apathetic and you’ll have trouble retaining them. Implement the ideas mentioned in this post in order to build and maintain a workforce that is not only informed, engaged, and on-brand, but also just plain happy.