First off, a company culture simply isn’t a couple of values that you can put on the wall and expect everyone to live by. It’s something that lives in your employees, your leaders and influences how everyone thinks and acts.

The biggest differentiator between successful retail chains and less successful ones, is how they can change and perfect their behaviour. And if you try to change behaviours without having a positive culture to support it, it will never work.

If you want change, you have to start with the culture.

Let’s look at 6 steps on how to create a winning culture, where the end goal is happy employees, positive customer experiences and increased revenue and profit.

1. Create a transparent environment / Create psychological safety

If your employees don’t feel safe at work, nothing else matters. You need to create a workplace based on transparency and openness, where your employees can feel like they are a part of the organisation.

If the company shares things like numbers, feedback and future plans more openly, your employees will put more trust in you. Gen Z, for example, wants to know why they’re doing what they’re currently doing. Otherwise, they feel like it lacks purpose and they lose trust in the company.

And a positive side effect of a transparent culture is that employees will feel more confident and able to express themselves when something feels off, or when they get an idea that could help the business. When this bond of trust is created, you can start to create positive change.

2. Have an open feedback culture

How would your employees know how to improve if they don’t get feedback on their performance? Regular feedback is what keeps the trust high and sets the stage for continuous improvement and behaviour change.

We’re talking not only about feedback from managers, but from customers as well. You should gather as much feedback as you can to make sure your customer interactions are improving according to the customers’ needs.

3. Recognize successes

Feedback is not always about improving. It’s equally important to use it for increased engagement and to create a positive environment. And make sure that every bit of positive feedback reaches the right person. No one wants to go to work feeling like their hard work isn’t being noticed.

People need to feel appreciated – it’s a big part of what makes work meaningful.

This is one of the essential tools in our app Maze, where employees can get feedback, do daily activities to improve, and also receive and send kudos. Managers tend to love the kudos feature, since it’s easy to recognize when someone does something great.

4. Make personal development your biggest value

What’s you biggest value? And do you actually live it? Today’s employees, especially from Gen Z, wants an authentic employer. They care less about what the company sells, but more about what the company stands for.

So why should you have personal development as one of your biggest values? Well, you can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. If personal development is ingrained into the company, you will attract people who wants to improve and who takes accountability of their own development.

And when your people see their colleagues valuing personal development, and becoming better salespeople, it will create a positive ripple effect in the whole team.

5. Invest in wellbeing

Leaders need to listen to their employees and be more inclusive than ever before. Empathy is a core skill, and you demonstrate it by using your ears and taking the right actions.

Make sure you understand what makes your employees engaged and happy and invest in those areas. For some, it’s more feedback and work engagement, for others it’s flexibility and work-life balance.

Investing in employee wellbeing is indirectly an investment in your retail chain revenue, since the happier your co-workers are, the more they will improve and engage in their roles. This is the most important thing if you want to create world class customer experiences and have repeat customers year after year.

6. Lead by example

Okay, you’ve gone over your culture and values, you show more empathy, and you adjust to your employees’ needs. Now you need to keep showing up as a leader. If you aren’t living the values of the company, why should your employees?

Make sure you’re transparent, and make sure your people feel safe talking to you. Put your focus into your employees and they will reward you with top-tier performance, great customer interactions and higher sales numbers.

Use Maze to support your culture

Maze is a training app for your employees and managers, where the frontline staff can gamify their day to day work and have more motivation to reach their full potential as salespeople. Managers gets a clear overview of how their stores are performing and insights to why, making it easy to take actions that will benefit the whole retail chain.