Shopping for retail training sites (Web Sight, July 15, 2002)

Often times in the retail sector, employee training consists of a quick walk around the store and a point to the direction of the punch clock. It has become synonymous with orientation.

After that, employees are left to their own learning devices for the entire term of their employment. The following sites offer advice on how to stand out from the rest in the retail industry when it comes to training.

Macy’s recipe for retention

This site takes a look at one of the retail leaders in orientation and training, providing a brief blueprint of the hiring and retention strategies at Macy’s. You may also benefit from the links on this page, which feature other articles on retail training. (This is a “Subscribe For Free” site. After signing up, re-paste the URL in your browser.)

Recognition rewards

It’s one of the biggest issues in retail management — the lack of recognition training. This author talks about the benefits of it and gives a six-step approach to “help you implement recognition as a way of life and not as a program.” There are a few things management can do to get the ball rolling — respect employees, appreciate their skills and talents, and make time to get to know them. These small things can create a more productive work environment.

Little league

A focus on smaller retail environments, how they can recruit and retain great employees and compete in the “big leagues.” The author makes the comparison of little league baseball and independent retailers, claiming there is little difference between the two. Both can compete with “major league” competitors, that is, if they practice hard enough. Batter’s up.

The customer is always right

This is a personal account of two training consultants who illustrate the difference between poor and great customer service at two major department stores. They wrote: “What a difference between the two stores. The first made us fight for what was rightfully ours. The second took care of the problem immediately, treated us with respect and sincerely invited us to return. It was evident which store knew the difference properly trained associates could have on a customer.”

From a mystery shopper’s point-of-view

Mystery shopping usually gets “sold” in the wrong way to staff. Employees are often fearful of the dreaded “secret shopper,” terrified they could be the next target. This article is about a seasoned veteran in the mystery shopping circuit and her experiences on the job. The mystery message: mystery shopping should be used for training and not to “catch” bad employees.

It’s all about me

According to this training professional, the first step in getting employees interested in learning is the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) statement. It’s the type of thinking that can be applied to all training programs, not just retail, saving many employers from OTMBTS (One Too Many Bad Training Sessions).

Retail management training

Management skills is the number one training program offered by most U.S. retailers, according to a recent report put out by New York-based MOHR Learning, a training consulting company. Seventy-nine retail organizations were polled and 95 per cent of the surveyors said management skills programs were offered at their workplace. Other findings of the survey are also detailed.

Training new hires

A step-by-step guide to training new retail employees (and old ones for that matter). There is an emphasis on how training can change your entire business around.

Scratching the surface

From the retail pet food industry, this site has short customer service training tips useful for any retail store. The article answers important questions such as, “When is the best time to begin your training?” and “How do you know if employees are retaining their training?”

Scott Stratten is a speaker, trainer and the creator of He can be reached at [email protected]
or (905) 844-2818.

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