Trust is built from the inside out and retailers should give greater responsibility to staff across their businesses, says Maze’s Mark Rice

Trust can be interpreted in many ways but they all have one thing in common: trust has its limits. 

A great example is a large electrical retailer that trusts its colleagues with the keys and alarm codes to its stores, which house half a million pounds worth of stock, and yet does not trust them with a company phone. 

It seems crazy but I suspect this sounds very familiar to a lot of readers.

Another example is that we trust people to turn up at work, be polite and serve customers. But, when it comes to training and development, we tell them what to do rather than let them make their own judgements as to what they need.

If we work on the principle that you do not employ anyone that goes to work to intentionally do a bad job, then people want to improve every day.  

In the UK, as opposed to what we have seen elsewhere in Europe, employers adopt a top-down approach to training, a uniform approach to deliver consistency. 

Empower your colleagues – or watch them leave

Like human beings, each individual store has its own needs, whether that is down to the demographic it serves or the people it employs, therefore this uniform approach is set up to fail.

What retailers need today is to show a little trust, to let their teams choose where their weaknesses are and work to improve them.

But they do not have to let them do this on their own or without support.  

In fact, retailers can still deliver brand values and arrive at uniformity across stores faster – only while giving employees the ability to choose how to get there.

Working dinner

On October 4, two leading retail executives from GrandVision and Byggmakker will hold an open discussion in conjunction with UK retail peers at the official residence of the Norwegian ambassador in London about how they are empowering their employees to listen to the demands of their customers. 

Click here to register to attend. 

Gaining feedback from in-store customers is integral to perfecting the customer experience. It is key for retailers to highlight which areas they excel in and where they can improve.

Colleagues with a sense of purpose always exceed others

Great service should be celebrated and shared with everyone, from the very top to the very bottom.

Positive store staff performance should be rewarded as when these actions are noticed as it breeds more action, which brings business and sales success.

It comes down to trust and trusting colleagues – fellow human beings – to do the right thing and grow, improve and represent your brand in the best possible way.

Mark Rice is UK sales manager at Maze Feedback