Use Incentives to Reinforce Retail Training Priorities and Control Payroll

I was speaking with a retail owner a few days ago when they mentioned that they just can’t seem to get their team members excited about participating in any form of retail sales training or product certifications.  Interestingly enough the conversation had started with the retailer asking me for tips on getting his payroll under control.

As a retail training consultant I am clearly a proponent of training store employees on sales, customer service, product knowledge and more.  I am not, however a fan of training for training’s sake.  I am a big fan of keeping store-level payroll under control though.  So the real question is why don’t more retailers combine training and expense control into an integrated program?

Control Payroll Costs By Using Incentives

For example, you could give your retail employees an incentive to complete their training certifications through giving them the right to earn commissions only after they have completed their retail sales training and customer service programs.

Additionally, certain products should require the completion of a 15 minute computer-based retail training course.  Once the product training program or certification has been completed the team member will earn the right to earn spiffs on that product line.

Finally, you might tie increases in hourly rates or base wages to not only tenure, but the completion of advanced training levels.  This includes the requirement to complete retail management training courses for any employee seeking a promotion to store manager or district manager.

Training incentives are a simple way to drive desired behaviour with regard to getting you employees certified in key areas of the business and they ensure that you will save valuable payroll dollars until they attain those goals.

-          David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group.  As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has directed the activities of hundreds of retail locations and thousands of retail sales representatives and store managers.  RAG offers consulting services, retail sales training and management training programs.   You can learn more at www.retailertrainingservices.com.