We have been looking into the importance of staff development in stores. In a recent TRDP survey, over 40% of retailers reported that they do not offer any form of staff development. Is this a mistake?

July 17, 2017
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Developing Your People - What to expect?

In February 2017, we explored the impact of the living wage and found that despite worries around staffing costs, retailers such as Bay Bashir saw it as an opportunity to develop their staff and expect more in return.

Retailers React: Are living wage costs a threat?

In a recent TRDP survey, over 80% of respondents felt that cost increases from the Living Wage pose a threat to their convenience retail business. We spoke to retailers to find out more about this issue.

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The great thing about paying your staff more is that you can expect more out of them. I don’t want my staff to just stand behind the till; I want them to be a positive presence while they’re at work and the living wage helps ensure that this happens. Bay Bashir – Belle Vue, Middlesbrough

Over the past few weeks, we have been looking into the importance of staff development in stores. In a recent TRDP survey, over 40% of retailers reported that they do not offer any form of staff development, but is this a mistake?

Your staff are your greatest asset: Keep developing your team. If you delegate responsibility and encourage every member of staff to thrive, you’ll enjoy the benefits of an engaged, hard-working team. Bay Bashir – Belle Vue, Middlesbrough

Why not?

Retailers reported a variety of reasons for not providing staff development, the most common being lack of staff, time and money.

Lack of Staff

Many retailers employ members of their family to work in the shop but are reluctant to push staff development. Encouraging your employees and family members to be more actively involved in your business will, in turn, motivate and engage them.

Lack of Time

As the saying goes ‘you reap what you sow’. Staff development is an investment. The time you spend now, you will get back in improved productivity in the future, which saves you time and makes you money.

Lack of Money

Short term investment in training can lead to long-term benefits, not only financially but in a stronger, more flexible workforce. 53% of retailers who invest in training have reported a considerable increase in turnover.

How to get started…

The benefits of developing your staff are clear. Getting started is quicker, simpler and cheaper than you may think.

Mentoring Learning Objectives Training Courses

Experienced staff are your most valuable asset. Mentoring is about using that asset to develop those less experienced in a supportive, team culture. The senior member of staff also benefits from mentoring as it helps build their skills as a teacher and manager, putting them on a meaningful path of progression. It also encourages them to maintain high standards.

Giving your staff measurable targets helps your employees to understand your expectations of them and strengthens job performance, aims and aspirations. Through tasks set for them, your employees have something to work towards, and a sense of achievement when things go right.

It’s obviously essential to ensure that your staff are able to carry out their duties, but you can use training courses to expand job roles and fill knowledge gaps in your business. Don’t know anything about marketing? Why not send a member of staff out on a course and turn them into your eager marketeer?

Do these methods reduce staff turnover?

It’s disappointing to invest time and money into a member of staff that then leaves your business, but did you know that staff development actively prevents this? Evidence suggests that well trained, engaged employees feel valued, motivated and loyal. Leading retailer Jonathan James prides himself in developing his over 600 staff and as a result, experiences staff turnover at an average of just 4%.

So, if you are considering this change, we encourage you to look into the various methods of staff development and apply this to your daily routine. It is safe to say developing this strategy will have a positive impact on the future of your business.

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