It’s easy to discount the experience of someone working in retail, or in hospitality as a water or point of sale staff, as it’s a job many people work, and is often considered to be the lowest rung of said industries. But to continue discounting them and consider this work unskilled is patently wrong. An employee working at a cash register will encounter many situations in the course of one day that will require them to exercise their best judgement. Treating them as automatons will only show you your own biases as a manager, and odds are, this perspective will lead your staff turnover to be pretty high.
But it’s not enough to appreciate and care for the experience of those at the front line at your business. It is also essential to keep them as safe as you can. As you can imagine, continual and repeated contact with the public can potentially open them up to a higher statistical likelihood of danger, particularly in places such as liquor stores, where denial of service might be a regular occurence.
With our advice, you’ll keep them as safe as you can:
Allow Them To Refuse Service
It is essential you afford your staff the ability to view a situation and manage it to the degree they are comfortable. When staff face many customers in a day, there’s a chance that at least one of them will cause a problem. Alternatively, in order to enforce certain legal codes, they may have to refuse service completely. Allowing them to do this indiscriminately should they choose to can help them avoid further confrontation with someone who is being disrespectful, or who may be causing trouble.
CCTV integration is excellent in that it can help your staff have video evidence of an issue they might be facing, prove their worthwhile conduct, or even catch those who have bad intentions before they walk into the store. Additionally, with a security team member continually viewing these feeds, they can react to issues that a staff member may not otherwise be able to respond to. Additionally, if you have the chance for it, a panic button under their station could help them alert your security to trouble and will help them become much safer in the event of an incident.
Manage Them Well
It’s not as if the only risks your customer-facing staff face will come from your customers. How you manage them is important. Do they have access to appropriate breaks? Do they have a chair to sit in or are you making them stand in a stationary spot for a 10 hour shift? Do you have a means to allow them to report issues to you confidentially? How do you ensure they are energized and motivated? Can you identify burnout where you see it and how do you progress from there? It’s these questions that make you a better management, and then additionally help you enjoy a better workforce.
With this advice, you are certain to keep your customer-facing staff as safe as possible.
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