• Nita Thaker

Onboarding Process For A Retail Organization

“We’re too busy to run a Retail Employee Onboarding Process,” can stop you dead in your tracks from making your Retail Stores succeed.

When Origin Consultants was consulting a Fashion Retail Client and trying to understand their existing Onboarding Process, we found that Onboarding there consisted of:

  • A checklist of topics that the employee had to self-study and self-learn.

  • A document which the newcomer signed stating that he had understood his role and responsibilities and knows how and where to get his uniforms.

  • An instruction to shadow his co-worker Sagar, who will be his “On the Job Trainer” at the store. Sagar had been with the organization for over 8 months.

The newcomer obviously failed miserably when servicing the customers at the Retail outlet and following Sagar’s explicit instruction to let customers take only 4 apparels to trial rooms, the customer said, "What is this?" and demanded to carry more. The customer got angry and called for the store manager. The new joinee then endured a dressing down by his manager in front of the customers at the store.

Origin Consultants understood, the newcomers were thrown into a pool and told to swim.

Such incidents have been instrumental when designing all the Retail Employees Onboarding and Induction Processes that Origin Consultants have crafted for their Retail Clients over the years.

Origin Consultants believe that Onboarding should prepare an employee for his tenure at the organization.

So many Retail Organizations are struggling to fill vacant positions due to high turnover and uncertainty about the future.

Here’s a little secret… The better you Onboard your employees, the more likely they will stay with your organization and vice versa.

So, what is Onboarding for a Retail Employee?

Onboarding Process includes all the detailed steps you use to set an employee and your team - up for success! It must include the following:

Corporate Section:

  • Code of Conduct

  • Company Values

  • Founders and / or Top Management Brief

  • Vision & Mission of the Company

Human Resource Section:

  • Reporting Structure

  • Introduction to the Team

  • Dress code & Personal Hygiene

  • Leave & Work Hour Policies

  • Harassment Guidelines

  • Asset Allocation & Record

  • HR Handbook

Employee Record:

All Personnel Records need to be up to date and as per the statutory compliances:

  • Employee Identification Details

  • Employee Tax Details

  • Past Employment Records

  • Educational Documents

  • Family Contact Details

  • Blood Group and Health Record

  • HR Benefits Forms & Documents

  • Health & Accident Insurance

Functional / Store Related:

Most standard onboarding processes are geared around orienting the new associate to the store; however, it must also plan for their long-term relationship with customers and the retail brand and must include:

  • Store Operations SOPs – Standard Operating Procedures

  • Retail KPIs

  • Performance Evaluation Parameters

  • Growth opportunities for employees

  • Billing & POS Training

  • Product Knowledge

  • Who are the Customers?

  • How to deal with Emergencies like theft, fire, etc.

What are the benefits of a thoughtfully crafted Onboarding Program?

  • 70% of employees who have a positive onboarding experience at your company are more likely to remain with you.

  • Professional onboarding increases employee performance rates, employee engagement and retention levels.

  • Further, a structured onboarding process results in a steep increase in productivity.

Thus, there is a high return on investment in onboarding employees for success, but it does take time, professionalism and consistency.

If onboarding is rushed as a checklist to be completed as fast as possible, you set yourself up for new associates having to learn – as one did at the retail outlet – only from making mistakes.

However, a well-designed Onboarding Process where the learner is achieving quick wins, will boost motivation and confidence in your new hires.

Get in touch to Design and Implement your Retail Employee Onboarding Process today!
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