The best way to disseminate important information to retail store employees is by holding a store meeting. Some retailers have mandatory monthly meetings and others wait until special events or circumstances arise which may warrant a store meeting. Another good time to have a store meeting is when you've hired new staff and want to restate store policies with all employees.
When to Have a Store Meeting
The ideal time to hold a store meeting will depend on the size of your staff, their length of employment and the topic(s) to be discussed. If your shop only has one or two employees, a store meeting could be an impromptu 15 minute discussion during a lull in shoppers. Meetings with larger groups may take more planning to get everyone together.
Scheduling the Meeting
Plan your store's meeting at least one to two weeks in advance. Pick a time when most employees will be available. A store meeting would be fine after hours or before opening the store.
Post an announcement regarding the meeting in a conspicuous place. A note written near the weekly schedule is a good location. Don't forget to mention the date/time to each employee a few days before the store meeting.
If your goal is to have a monthly meeting, schedule a recurring time for your store meetings. For example, if everyone knows that the store meeting is held every first Sunday of the month at 8 AM then you should have a better attendance rate.
What Should be Discussed?
Topics for a store meeting should include any recent issues or other general problem areas. Other store meeting topics could be:
- Customer Service
- Loss Prevention
- Policies & Procedures
- Business Goals
As you plan the meeting, be sure to keep the tone positive. Bring up any good examples you've seen exhibited by the staff. Use the store meeting to role play, or physically show the employees how to do something.
People accept and retain information differently. Keep the meeting on topic, brief and include a printed outline of the information discussed to give to each employee.
Be sure to open the floor for any questions, comments or concerns. Let the employees provide feedback and air any grievances they may have. If the meeting is turning into a gripe session, ask for solutions to the problems. It could lead to a better working environment for everyone involved.
Once the meeting is over, take time to follow up on any concerns or questions brought up by the staff. Get the answers to them as soon as possible. This will show you are as dedicated to them as you are to running your store.