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How to Onboard New Retail Employees

Starting a new job can be exciting, nerve-wracking, and overwhelming all at the same time. It is your obligation as an employer to ensure that your new retail employees have a seamless onboarding process so that they feel welcomed and prepared for their new role. A smooth onboarding process not only prepares new employees for success but can also boost employee retention and job satisfaction. A robust onboarding process is critical in the retail industry since turnover rates are famously high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall turnover rate in 2020 was 57.3%. These statistics emphasize the significance of a well-planned and performed onboarding process in ensuring that new workers feel appreciated, supported, and prepared to succeed.



So, how can you properly onboarding  new retail employees? In this post, we’ll look at – 

Tips to Onboard New Retail Employees

1. Create a detailed onboarding strategy.

2. Convey expectations and objectives

3. Offer extensive training

4. Appoint a mentor or companion

5. Make socialization opportunities available.

6. Encourage a Good Corporate Culture

7. Continued assistance



Tips to Onboard New Retail Employees

  1. Make a plan:

Developing a comprehensive onboarding strategy for retail employees is essential for ensuring a smooth transition into their new roles. The first step in developing an efficient onboarding process is to create a detailed plan. This strategy should include pre-employment tasks such as sending welcome emails and completing necessary paperwork, as well as planning for the employee’s first day and beyond. This is where online task management software and operation management solutions can come in handy. A well-planned transition can assist in guaranteeing that new employees feel prepared to undertake their job obligations. 

Consider the following while creating an onboarding strategy:

  • What duties should be accomplished prior to the new employee’s first day on the job?

  • How will the new employee’s first day be structured?

  • What kind of training will be offered, and how will it be delivered?

  • With whom will the new employee collaborate, and what are their duties and responsibilities?

  • What objectives should the new employee set for themselves during their first several weeks on the job?

  1. Establish clear goals:

Be explicit during the onboarding process and provide examples when conveying expectations and goals. This can assist them in understanding what is expected of them and what they must do to succeed in their position. Retail workforce management systems can be used to track performance objectives and ensure that new employees are meeting their targets. For example, retail-specific expectations may include – 

  • maintaining a clean and organized store environment, 

  • providing excellent customer service, and 

  • adhering to store policies regarding merchandise returns and exchanges. 

Performance objectives may include –

  • meeting sales targets, 

  • achieving high customer satisfaction ratings, and 

  • demonstrating product knowledge. 



Providing clear and specific examples of what is expected of retail employees in these areas can help them understand what it takes to succeed in their role and contribute to the overall success of the store.

  1. Make training engaging

Employee training is an essential part of the onboarding process. Incoming employees must be aware of their job responsibilities, as well as corporate policies and procedures. This is where SOP management software can come in handy, providing employees with easy access to training materials and allowing them to refer back to them as needed. They must also be familiar with any Operations Management software, or equipment essential for their role.

Consider the following when conducting employee training:

  • Use a combination of hands-on and classroom-style training. This could include practical training on customer service skills, product knowledge, point-of-sale systems, and inventory management. Classroom-style training could cover topics such as store policies and procedures, company culture, and sales techniques.  

  • Training materials such as videos, manuals, and interactive simulations can help keep training engaging and immersive.

  • Provide practice and feedback opportunities to assist new employees in feeling confident in their talents.

  • Providing access to e-learning modules can also be an effective way to supplement in-person training and ensure that employees can easily refer back to training materials as needed.

  1. Use a buddy system

Assigning new employees a mentor or buddy can be a beneficial component of the onboarding process. This person can function as a point of contact for the new employee, addressing any questions they may have and guiding them through their new role.

Consider the following when choosing a mentor or buddy:

  • When choosing a mentor or buddy for a new employee, consider their experience in a similar role, availability to provide guidance, familiarity with relevant software or systems.

  • Be clear about the mentor or buddy’s role and responsibilities and ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. This could include setting goals and milestones for the new employee’s development and establishing regular check-ins to review progress and provide feedback.

  1. Break the ice



Feeling like a member of the team is vital for new employees, andorganizational socialization can help them feel linked to their colleagues and the corporate culture. Here are some examples:

  • Organize a welcome lunch or breakfast for new employees to meet their colleagues and learn more about the company culture.

  • Plan team-building activities such as scavenger hunts, escape rooms, or group outings to local attractions or events.

  • Offer regular social events such as happy hours, game nights, or movie screenings for employees to relax and socialize after work.

  • Encourage employees to participate in volunteer opportunities or charitable events as a team.

  • Provide opportunities for employees to share their interests and hobbies with each other, such as through a book club, running group, or cooking club.

These can be great opportunities for new employees to meet their coworkers and feel more at ease in their new workplace. 

  1. Instil sense of belongingness

A positive business culture can make new employees feel welcomed and engaged in their position. Toboost employee engagement and establish a feeling of community, consider hosting team-building activities, business events, and social outings. Encourage team members to communicate and collaborate openly and recognize and reward staff for their hard work and accomplishments.

  1. Don’t stop after the first month

Onboarding does not end on the first day or even the first few weeks of employment for a new employee. Continuous support can help new employees grow and develop in their roles while also feeling valued and supported by the organization.

Consider the following options for continued assistance:

  • Follow up with new hires on a regular basis to check how they’re adjusting to their new role and to resolve any concerns they may have.

  • Provide professional development opportunities, such as skill development classes or mentoring programs.

  • Promote open communication and feedback so that new employees can share their thoughts and concerns.


A well-designed onboarding process is critical for new retail employees’ success which can be achieved by using HR onboarding procedures and retail workforce management solutions. While onboarding new employees, companies help them to feel prepared, confident, and appreciated in their role by defining a clear plan, clarifying objectives and goals, giving extensive training, designating a mentor or buddy, creating opportunities for socializing, and providing continuing support. An effective onboarding process can also lead to increased retention rates and overall corporate performance.



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