People tend to openly discuss certain types of issues in a workplace such as lack of opportunity for growth, the absence of team work, poor communication and other such topics that relate to the organisations culture or way of doing things.
What is not so commonly discussed, is the mental health within a business. Even though awareness has grown considerably around mental wellbeing in the workplace, it can still be a subject avoided and met with mixed response.
Mental health isn’t simply employees being, upbeat, motivated and positive. Rather it’s how people cope with the everyday stresses of their work and the environment they work in.
There are certainly things that can contribute to a workplace environment which can put strain on employee’s mental health. These include; secrecy, disrespect, scrambling due to disorganisation and a tense reactive atmosphere. When people find themselves immersed in an unhealthy environment day after day, it can take its toll.
Other factors than can affect mental health at work, is when people feel they have little direction. They may feel they are not being productive, having no goal or vision, resulting in people feeling lost. Not knowing if their job is secure can also have a detrimental effect.
What can make the situation worse, is when mental health is a taboo topic within the organisation. To this day, people commonly feel they will show weakness talking about their mental health at work, whether it’s a pre-existing issue that’s being triggered by the work environment or a mental health issue brought about by the workplace.
When people don’t dare mention their mental state in fear of people thinking they are unstable and are a liability, they struggle silently with their work impacted negatively. It may also become such an issue, they take it home with them, life affecting personal relationships and leisure time.
Fostering a high level of mental health in the workplace can have many benefits. Improved work relationships, increased productivity, reduced staff turnover and employees taking less time off as ‘mental health days’.
Businesses must make mental health conversations a safe topic. Recognising there are very good people within their teams, who cope with things differently. Also giving people the opportunity to bring adverse conditions to the attention of leaders, so as to minimise these environmental factors.
With increased awareness and openness, people can go from dreading spending hours each day in an unhealthy environment, to feeling supported and don’t mind giving that little bit extra effort in return.
In a time when retail stores are struggling to achieve the sales targets or budgets assigned to them, it can be easy for the team to become disheartened and loose motivation when they see these targets being missed week after week.
Although hitting a sales target is the ultimate goal in terms of sales performance, when this becomes a difficult task, leaders must look for strong performance or results worthy of praise in other areas. This can be found in the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) measured in retail.
One such KPI is Average Sale, also referred to as Average Transaction Value, which refers to the average dollar value or spend of customers per transaction. Even though the number of transactions or sales in a store may be low, stores with a higher average sale show the store team are utilising the extra time they have with customers, to build a quality sale. This is through establishing value in higher priced items, with customers benefiting from additional features or a higher quality product.
Items Per Transaction
Average Sale will also increase, if the team are taking the time to understand customers’ wants and needs and recommending additional items to suit. By showing customers products that enhance or compliment their main purchase and ensuring they have the complete solution or package when they leave the store, will reflect in the average number of items sold per transaction.
It’s not only additional products that may be introduced to customers but also the additional services offered by the business. These services may include extended warranties or service plans, which not only benefit the customer in terms of peace of mind but such services commonly have a higher gross profit (GP) for the business. It increases the average spend of customers as well as the bottom line.
While customer traffic may be low, stores can still have a strong conversion rate, or a high closure rate of the customers that do visit the store. By focusing on engaging customers, showing genuine interest in understanding them, building relationships and offering the best solution tailored to their wants and needs, customers are more likely to purchase thereby, increasing conversion. They are also more likely to become a repeat customer when the team provide them with the best experience possible, which important in tough times.
When a team are being recognised for their achievements in a midst of significant challenges and uncertainty, morale is more likely to remain positive. These and other KPI’s can show the leaders of the retail business, that the team are maximising opportunities both for the customer and for the business even during slower periods.