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Five Ways To Fast-Track Training Your Retail Staff

With the peak summer season just around the corner, it’s never been more important.

While 10-week programs and weekend training camps away in Byron Bay are all good and well, the reality is most retailers, especially at this time of year, don’t have the capacity or time for them. Full-scale training programs are often not cost effective either considering most casual staff are hired temporarily.

So how should retail managers go about training their new casuals quickly, in time for the busy Christmas period? Here are five strategies to consider to fast-track their development.

1. Use key skills

Rather than teaching all new casuals everything about the store, use their key skills and experiences and allocate them roles they can learn quickly. If they’re smart with technology, give them a quick run down on the sales systems and get them on the sales desk. If they are great communicators, concentrate on product knowledge and get them welcoming new customers.

Once it starts to slow down, introduce other areas so they can cover more bases when staff numbers are lower.

2. Create documents

Create some how-to guides for your new casuals to reference outside of official training sessions. Then allocate these, along with key troubleshooting answers, to each workstation in the store. This will provide them with something to reference when they need an urgent answer during a busy period.

Some people learn quicker by reading, too, so creating this documentation will help hasten the process overall.

3. Find mentors

Job shadowing is a very effective way train your staff on the job. Pair all new casuals with a well-trained and experienced co-worker, schedule their shifts together and encourage them to work simultaneously.

4. Encourage dialogue

Encourage your new casuals to ask questions. While you want to inspire them to show initiative, you don’t want work to be slowed down by something that could easily be resolved by them speaking up.

Also, routinely check in with them over the first month to see how they are going. An effective learning environment is one where there is regular communication between the ranks.

5. Lead by example

Practise what your preach. If you display a positive attitude, work hard and are the first one to arrive and the last to leave, then you will inspire others to replicate your behaviour.

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