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How to develop your team's skills in Retail !

We all know it (well, I believe so), the retail sector is constantly evolving; this evolution has accelerated over the past three years. Thus, developing the skills of your teams is essential to remain competitive and offer quality service to your customers. So, are your teams up to date with trends, technological developments, etc.? In this article, we explore different strategies for developing your teams' skills in Retail, helping them adapt to new trends and excel in their roles.

  1. Identify skill needs: Start by identifying the essential skills for different positions within your company. Consider technical skills specific to Retail and more specifically those of your commercial units, such as sales, inventory management, customer service, as well as behavioral skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. This assessment will allow you to design targeted development programs. Moreover, do you have skill assessment grids? Have you thought about how they are structured?

  2. Offer appropriate training (“Well, obviously,” you might say, but I want to make this little reminder): Once you have identified the skill needs, offer appropriate training to fill these gaps. Organize internal training sessions led by identified and willing internal experts (brings a virtue related to employee engagement) or external ones, or explore online training options. Considering the profiles of your employees, make sure the training is interactive, practical, and focused on the real challenges your teams face in their daily work.

  3. Encourage continuous learning: Skill development should not be limited to occasional training. Encourage continuous learning by providing resources such as books, articles, videos, MOOCs, or podcasts relevant to Retail. Organize knowledge-sharing sessions where team members can present their best practices and learn from each other. Create a learning culture within your company. And on this point, know that it creates employee engagement and promotes company culture.

  4. Promote mentoring and coaching: Mentoring and coaching are powerful ways to develop your teams' skills. Identify experienced employees in your organization and encourage them to share their knowledge and expertise with new team members. Also, implement coaching programs to help employees achieve their professional development goals. I have in mind the example of Bruno, who has been responsible for a commercial unit for years and had the opportunity to become a coach within his group. Today, as a true ambassador of the company, he supports and facilitates the induction of new managers.

  5. Offer career advancement opportunities: To motivate your employees to develop their skills, offer them career advancement opportunities within your company. Create clear career plans with advancement stages and progression criteria. Of course, depending on the size of your company, this may seem complex. It can be, but it is especially important to remember that the clearer the career plan, even if it is long-term, the more you will reduce employee disengagement. Encourage internal mobility by offering possibilities to change positions or departments, thus allowing your employees to develop new skills and broaden their horizons.

Conclusion: Developing your Retail sector teams' skills is a valuable investment to ensure the long-term success of your business. By identifying skill needs, offering appropriate training, promoting continuous learning, mentoring, and coaching, as well as offering career advancement opportunities, you strengthen employee engagement and performance. This will translate into a better customer experience and a stronger competitive position. And let's not forget that this will contribute to improving your employer brand.

Feel free to contact us for further advice and personalized expertise in skill development in the Retail sector.

Stay tuned for our next article, which will focus on recruiting and retaining talent in Retail.

Written by: Sébastien Genty

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

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