Preparing for Second Semester: Your Staff

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As the busy season of second semester and holiday shopping approaches, here are four tips for best preparing your staff and setting them (and your store) up for success.

Training (for both old and new employees)

Training is certainly a time investment, which is why now is the perfect time to make sure everyone is aware of important processes. Waiting until the thick of busy season will only bring rushed and unhelpful training. If you are hiring new employees in preparation for the rush, take the time to train them properly. Even if you are not hiring, now is a good opportunity to review important policies, procedures, and processes with your current staff. Even seasoned employees can forget how things ought to be done, and a refresher certainly never harmed anyone. Create checklists and simplified instructions for employees to refer back to when the store is busy.

Set Schedules

Your future self will thank you if you set staff schedules in advance instead of when you are busy! Not only is this helpful for you, but it gives employees a chance to know their schedule in advance of holidays which avoids last minute rescheduling. Scheduling retail staff can sometimes be a headache but there are low-cost and even free apps that help manage employee schedules. Check out this helpful resource on scheduling employees.

Communicate Important Dates

As you get ready for the rush, prep your staff on important dates and holidays which are usually the busiest. Inform staff on any marketing campaigns or other plans. Research when your customers are looking for your products and be prepared for the rush based on what you offer. Schedule employees accordingly as well so that potential busy days have the most help.

Learn From the Past

If you have records from last year, look up which days were busies for foot traffic or sales. Look into special events or holidays that those days coincided with. What do you remember from last year that you want to repeat or avoid? Armed with this data, you can make informed decisions about staffing and employee schedules. And remember to take notes this year and to improve your process next year!

What are you doing differently from last year? How are you preparing your staff for the upcoming rush? Share in the comments below!

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