It’s undeniable that there is nearly always a gap between corporate and store level employees in retail. A strong internal communication plan can help to close that gap and strengthen the business. The following are a few tips to follow as you go.
Make Communications Count
In an effort to stay in communication with employees, many managers take the tactic of relaying information all day, every day. That level of communication is just as harmful as no communication at all. Rather than bogging employees down with information, decide:
- What they need to know?
- How do we simplify the message?
- How do we consolidate so that information is delivered less frequently?
Ideally, you will develop a system to communicate in a clear and consistent manner, with useful information that is straight to the point.
Have a Single Point Person
In larger companies, employees might be receiving messages from many different people across numerous levels of management. Too often, those messages are contradicting one another and causing even more confusion.
Choosing a single point person to be the go between from corporate to store level can alleviate this problem, and many times, that would be the most direct manager. If the company is too large for one person to handle the responsibility, assign different people to specific tasks or regions.
Develop a System for Sharing Information
While having a point person resolves the problem of conflicting messages, it could quickly become overwhelming for that person to handle communications with multiple stores. That’s why it’s important to have a system in place to send, receive, and filter messages.
Employees should know exactly how to get in touch with their point person, whether it’s through emails or an online messaging system. They should also know approximately how long they’ll need to wait for an answer. Finally, make sure employees are comfortable with receiving both top-down as well as peer-to-peer communications.
An internal messaging system can be used for employees to talk to one another and for your point person to reach out to store level employees. Weekly newsletters might be the best way to send updates on new releases or changes within the company. Once your employees are familiar with the channels you use to push information, they will begin to expect certain messages at certain times.
However, constantly switching from one method of communication to another might make it difficult for employees to know how to communicate with you, which then makes it nearly impossible to recall information from the source later.
Let Employees Know They’re Valued
The most important part of any retail communication program is to make sure employees know they’re valued within the company. These are the people that are talking to customers and handling the day to day operations. Be sure they don’t feel like minions carrying out your tasks. Instead, make sure they know they are a valuable part of the team, and essential to the success of the company.
Developing a communication plan seems like a simple solution to the hectic day-to-day operations of the retail industry. Unfortunately, the process isn’t quick or simple. Luckily, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a demo and find out how your business can benefit from backstitch’s services.