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Are your front-line employees getting the recognition and supportive coaching they need to stay engaged and excited about serving your consumers? Are they motivated to bring their A-game each and every day?

These days, practically every retailer is struggling with finding and retaining employees. The last thing any retailer wants is for their valued employees to become dissatisfied, disengaged, and ultimately, decide to leave.

Celebrating current success and providing training for forward-looking skills helps associates feel supported and valued, encouraging them to stay with the company longer.

Every good manager knows that encouraging, motivating, and recognizing the contributions of employees is essential to maintaining good morale, top performance, and high retention rates. Yet, Forrester research (May 2022, “The Future of Work Paves a New Path to Customer Obsession”) shows that only 54% of employees surveyed agreed with the statement, “My boss has given me praise or recognition for doing good work in the past month.” What’s causing this simple “management 101” principle to be overlooked?

Myth: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

The number of demands placed on store and call-center supervisors in today’s retail environment may be a reason for the lack of employee recognition and praise. With fewer associates on staff, managers are often required to cover the remaining duties. They may literally not have the time to identify what’s going well and recognize all of the employees who deserve praise. Precedence is often given to correcting the things that are going wrong. The prevailing attitude is that what appears to be working can be left alone.

The problem is that “what appears to be working” cannot be taken for granted for long. Employees who do not feel valued are nearly certain to become dissatisfied and leave, burdening managers with new recruitment and training costs that average $4000 per employee according to Glassdoor, not to mention the time required for training.

Focus on the positive

What if managers and their organizations had easily accessible, objective insights into good, better, and best employee behaviors? Putting that information at managers’ fingertips can make it simple to identify employees deserving of positive recognition and upskilling opportunities.

The answer lies in advanced analytic tools. Using the retailer’s existing data, robust software like Appriss® Secure Coach can examine the log of employee activity to identify successes. The retailer selects the positive actions to be reinforced companywide, and the software compares employee behaviors to the goals. Managers then receive notifications about the positive behaviors of each employee and can respond accordingly with recognition through praise, awards, or upskilling opportunities to keep employees engaged and help them grow.

Certified results offer a halo of credibility

Many retailers already use Employee-of-the-Month, loyalty sign-up contests, up-sell incentives, and other types of selling skills contests. These programs and awards can be effective tools, yet they are sometimes misinterpreted by associates as popularity contests—the work equivalent of the teacher’s pet.

Celebrating current success and providing training for forward-looking skills helps associates feel supported and valued, encouraging them to stay with the company longer.

Recognition programs fueled by data-driven reports of top performance in key areas bestow impartiality, give employees confidence in the results, and demonstrate that the goals are attainable. Once employees know they have a fair shot to earn the recognition or win the award and can compare their own results to the winners, they naturally become competitive.

Give associates room to bloom

According to McKinsey & Company, 59% of employees surveyed “did not feel an investment in their knowledge, skills, and abilities by their organizations.” Celebrating current success and providing training for forward-looking skills helps associates feel supported and valued, encouraging them to stay with the company longer. They flourish as the company grows.

A corporately administered employee enrichment program can focus associates and managers on developing the skills needed for employees and the company to grow. Plus, using analytics to identify employee aptitude also helps managers determine who is likely to excel at a new task.

Recognize employee success and direct future growth

You know that to remain competitive, you need a skilled team on the front lines to provide excellent service to your consumers. The need for a corporate-driven success program cannot be understated. If employees are going to be motivated in their jobs long-term, the company needs to set the tone and direction. It also needs to help managers fit the process into the weekly, if not daily, schedule. Providing the tools to identify and support employee successes will help managers build and retain strong teams that are future fit.

Recognize Top Talent with Secure Coach



Tom Rittman, Vice President, Marketing, Appriss Retail

Tom Rittman, vice president of Marketing at Appriss Retail, is responsible for all aspects of branding, marketing, and business development. Prior to joining Appriss Retail, Tom served as the vice president of marketing for Datavantage, a retail technology company that is now part of Oracle. He holds his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Akron.

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