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How to support your retail team through Level 2 and beyond

Ben Sleeman from retail sales and service training company, RedSeed shares how they are adapting their business to help retailers recognise that now, more than ever, is the time to develop the skills and capabilities of their people to adapt to our new normal.

COVID-19 stopped traditional retail in its tracks.

The New Zealand Government’s response to the global pandemic has forced a number of brick-and-mortar retailers to review their value proposition, and quickly determine how this value translates to an eCommerce landscape.

As the Government begins to roll back restrictions and “re-open the economy”, retailers are now faced with a number of completely new challenges.

While we could share information on how to operate a retail store in a socially distant way, we know that there’s already a number of great resources available, and we would just be regurgitating what most retailers already know.

Instead, we set to focus on two practical areas that will help retailers adapt to the new retail environment and bring some normalcy back to their business:

  1. Sales and service upskilling

  2. Supporting mental health

Sales and service upskilling

There are a multitude of challenges facing the retail industry right now; from navigating the industry's digital disruption to maintaining customer loyalty in times of crisis.

Thinking about our current situation logically, most front-line retail staff haven’t had a customer interaction for the last eight weeks, so they can be forgiven for being a little rusty on the sales process!

What a lot of retailers are looking for at the moment, is a training solution which can scale. With RedSeed you can train teams of different sizes in three key ways;

  1. Using the RedSeed LMS. This has been purposefully designed for the retail industry and gives you tools for managing courses, users and roles on your own.

  2. Partnering with us to develop custom online retail training courses utilising our team of learning experts and instructional designers.

  3. Off-the-shelf retail courses which can be customised to your business using our in-house production team to film learning examples with your team in your business.

Training should play an integral role in getting back to normal because training is all about change and change management.

We all know that having a skilled workforce is essential to the survival of any business, but it is most important for industries like retail and hospitality who rely on good customer service to drive repeat business.

Supporting Mental Health

As a Christchurch-based company, we’ve been through a lot over the past decade, and we understand how important it is to support your mental health.

The global pandemic, much like many of the other disasters we have seen, has been a cause for a lot of uncertainty, stress and anxiety.

Retail is an industry which relies heavily on its people, which is why having teams who feel supported through this time is going to be a crucial part of business sustainability.

Most retailers also understand the importance of supporting the mental wellbeing of their teams. However, supporting staff who are facing mental health challenges, can be a delicate situation to navigate.

Often, employers want to do the right thing by employees experiencing mental distress but don’t know where to start.

Sometimes small actions - such as just listening - make a big difference. Here are some things to consider.

Help employees with mental health problems stay at work and return to work. Being at work and able to be productive in a supportive environment can be very helpful to their recovery.

Jointly create a support plan with the employee. This could involve other support people, such as family members or clinicians. A good support plan includes:

  • listening non-judgementally and with empathy, respecting privacy and confidentiality

  • understanding what you can legally ask your employee - what's reasonable and relevant

  • not jumping to conclusions about what's needed

  • not making assumptions about what it means to have a mental illness

  • keeping focused on the strengths the employee brings to the workplace

  • building trust by keeping your work

  • working with key support people.

When COVID-19 became a growing problem, we quickly decided to collaborate with Clinical Psychologist, Graeme Clarke, who helped us develop a course specifically focused on tools to manage stress and anxiety in times of crisis, and made it freely available to the public.

About RedSeed’s retail training suite

We are the course content creation experts in Australasia. Often, companies can be sold on a shiny, fancy new Learning Management System but the actual creation of their training content is left to them.

And it’s a monster of a job!

We can take care of that for you.

From completely bespoke to customised off-the-shelf content, we build results-focused programmes with one major objective: get more dollars in your till.

Retail Sales Training

The Retail Sales Training course teaches your team how to increase revenue by increasing the items per sale [IPS], average basket size, and conversion rate.

The outcome is happy, satisfied customers who become loyal brand fans!

Customer Service Training

Understanding a customer’s expectations and also what upsets customers can provide valuable insight for your team.

Our online Customer Service Training course gives them the motivation to lift their game and set you apart for all the right reasons!

Peak trade

This course will give your team of full-timers and seasonal casuals, the ability to quickly manage the sales process in peak trade times such as; Easter, Black Friday and Christmas.

Retail Coach Training

A great coach understands the power of getting alongside their team and developing their skills. Our online retail management training programs have been designed to teach managers and training leaders how to coach their teams more effectively.

Through the right mindset, good observation, and appropriate feedback using the right technique you will see positive change in team culture and sales KPIs.

Recruitment Training

Learning how to best prepare, and then conduct an effective interview is an essential skill in building a winning team, and the Recruitment Training course teaches you just that.

Understanding what skills you will be able to teach your new hire, and what characteristics and traits they need to bring with them, will help you and your managers make the right decision when selecting a candidate.


RedSeed are leaders in sales and service training for retailers across Australasia. For more information visit #retail #retailx #redseed #retailtraining #retailcoach #retailsales

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