“What do you want for Christmas?” It’s a question that is sure to be asked frequently in the weeks to come.  For some, according to one enduring festive song, it’s their two front teeth.  For the more dentally mature it could be the latest iPhone.  For the nation’s retailers, it’s likely to be a more unified response – sales, and lots of them.

There are some obvious key factors in achieving this: great products, availability, keen prices.  The absence of any one of these will stymie sales success and lead to a sharp rebuke from shareholders and investors once the seasonal figures are released.

However, that ignores a success factor that is easily but erroneously overlooked and undervalued –  people.  In all the festive hullabaloo it is tempting to overlook the crucial role that employees play in making the period running up to Christmas a success.  Without them, the stock isn’t replenished, warehouse efficiency isn’t optimised, the tills aren’t manned, and the atmospheric decorations and displays don’t get put up.

So, people are vital to retail.  But they can also mean the difference between a good Christmas for a retailer and a great one.  The key to this?  It’s simple. Emotionally engage with them.  How?  Through solutions like StaffConnect, the award-winning mobile employee engagement platform.

Everybody loves making lists at Christmas, so here are four things that retail enterprises can achieve through mobile employee engagement platforms during the frantic festive season:

  1. Make it clear that we are all in this together. The run-up to Christmas can be hectic and stressful on the shop floor and in warehouses and distribution centres.  It’s not exactly all parties in the corporate offices either.  Mobile technology allows you to connect the boardroom to the store network and everyone in between.  Clearly communicate updates and messages.  Let everyone know that, yes, it’s busy, but busy is good and we are all striving for the same goal while demonstrating shared values. Utilise the platform to send personalised messages direct from the CEO.  Keep call centre staff motivated by delivering video clip updates on performance to date.  It’s a real opportunity to create and deliver a multi-layered internal communications campaign that’s sure to engage the workforce.
  2. Quickly integrate seasonal workers. Christmas can mean an influx of seasonal temporary workers to help with the sales surge.  Mobile employee engagement tools enable you to onboard them quickly and efficiently.  Give them access to the documents and directories they need and use the applications to introduce them to colleagues whilst inculcating them into the existing processes and teams.  Set up onboarding quizzes to make sure that everyone knows the key messages and priorities.  Measure new employees’ understanding before you let them loose in a customer-facing environment.  The quizzes make it fun but there is a critical imperative behind this. The customer experience is directly linked to the experience they have with your employees. A disengaged employee can result in a lost sale. In fact, 65% of all lost customers can be tracked to interaction with a disengaged employee.  Use the platform to turn that nightmarish stat on its head.
  3. Use your people to communicate promotions and tactical offers. Retailers don’t exist in bubbles.  With so many choices for consumers, both in terms of products and outlets, they need to be agile and ultra-responsive.  Mobile technology allows you to quickly and cost-effectively respond to evolving situations.  A competitor price cut?  Use mobile technology to instantly communicate with frontline staff that you are matching it.  An oversupply issue?  Quickly switch your employees’ focus to clearing the excess stock.  This can be of real use for communicating these messages to remote and deskless based employees who can often be harder to reach.
  4. Drive sales through games and competitions. Christmas is a time for everyone to unleash a little bit of their inner-child.  The forgotten pleasure of pushing a counter up a benevolent ladder and avoiding the nasty snake.  Bring that light-hearted relief to your employees by delivering performance-focused games via the mobile platform.  Open an online mystery gift box for every sale over a certain amount, move your counter around the virtual board for each customer compliment logged.  There are endless possibilities to keep staff engaged, happy and motivated.

All of the above have one common aim – to emotionally engage your workforce.  There is a wealth of research and real-life examples, of how an engaged employee is a productive employee.  Not only that but they are a happy employee, and happy employees will typically deliver the type of service that creates happy customers.  Happy customers tend to be loyal.  It’s a self-fulfilling circle of engagement, productivity and all-round happiness.  Great for staff, great for customers and great for the business.

The even better news – employee engagement platforms are for life not just for Christmas.  If you’d like to find out more about how employee engagement can help your business all year round, visit www.staffconnect.com

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