Winding down for Christmas - seasonal thoughts from the retail sector

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Claire Kane of specialist retail and FMCG recruiter Excel Recruitment has some end-of-year tips for retail staff and managers.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Actually, in the retail industry it has looked like Christmas for quite some time - but the rush is truly underway now, with managers and employees alike experiencing a mix of emotions from dealing with the pressures of the festive shopping crowds to building excitement about the staff party.

Retail is a tough industry, and the amount of work that goes into ensuring Christmas is a successful period can be quite wearing on staff. So at this time of year it’s important for retail managers to ensure that the end-of-year period is about more than just WHAM!, Christmas jumpers and Baileys.

End of year tips for retail managers and team leaders:

• Take advantage of the high spirits and use the time to show your employees that you are thankful for the hard work they have put in, not just around Christmas but throughout the entire year.

• When given the opportunity, talk with your team and discuss with them, ideally as a group, the progression that has been made and which must be made in the New Year. Ask them how they feel, if they consider themselves to be appreciated.

• Furthermore, you should take the time to let employees know what’s next for 2013. It is a time to reinstate the fact that retail is all about team work and what better way of doing that than keeping them clued in.

• Christmas is usually a time for sending cards, being thankful and charitable so this is the ideal opportunity for you to give something back to your team. Perhaps instead of dictating the Christmas party, if you can, why not ask your team offer some ideas of what you can do? This is a great way of showing them your thanks for their hard work.

• While many retailers will offer a bonus based on sales, this is the perfect time of year to recognise effort, not just results. In retail whether it is sales staff or assistant managers each member of the team has worked to maintain the store and the keep the momentum going. It will encourage them to continue their strong efforts if you praise them at the end of the year with a verbal thank-you and a small token.

• Remember to enjoy spending time with your team. A manager in retail can often seem quite autonomous so this is your chance to relax with them and get to know them; something which is important for a well functioning retail team. It won’t be long before you and the rest of the team will back to the grindstone, pulling out the sale rails and dealing with the crowds again so be sure to use a brief moment to thank them for their hard work.

Happy Christmas from all at Excel Recruitment!

About Claire Kane

Claire Kane is a Digital Marketing Executive with Excel Recruitment, a leading Irish recruitment agency specialising in the retail and FMCG sectors and with particular expertise in Food and Fashion. Excel MD Barry Whelan is also well known in the retail management and recruitment industry and is a member of Retail Excellence Ireland.