As a store proprietor, you recognize that creating a cohesive, motivated staff makes you better able to serve your customers. A staff meeting is one way to share information with and motivate your employees, but they will lose interest quickly if they can't relate to your meeting topics. Consider some unconventional ideas that may pique your staff's curiosity and creativity.

Store Redesign

Your store's functionality can affect shoppers' perceptions and may even influence their buying habits. Customers who have difficulty navigating overcrowded aisles or who cannot easily find advertised products may simply give up and exit the store. Ask your staff for ways to solve these traffic flow and display problems or for other store design ideas during a meeting. Emphasize that involvement of associates in your store redesign is key to its success.

Stock Sweepstakes

Let your staff help you move surplus or past-season merchandise by competing in a “Stock Sweepstakes” that rewards employees for their winning sales ideas. During each week's meeting, announce a different product you want to banish from your shrinking stockroom. Ask your staff to suggest merchandising and sales strategies to generate product sales. Each week, reward the winning idea with a coffee bar or cafe gift card. At the contest's conclusion, award a restaurant gift card to the staffer with the highest-volume sales idea.

Sales Stars

Motivating your staff to excel at their jobs can be challenging. The customer service and relationship skills of retail store associates can vary widely, making it difficult to develop sales support materials for your entire staff. Consider some high-caliber reinforcements to add some spark to your staff meeting.

If you operate a corporate-owned or franchise store, ask your support team to send a top-performing sales professional to relate his success story. If that approach is not feasible, ask your city's Chamber of Commerce to connect you with a top-notch local sales pro willing to share her secrets.

Anti-Shoplifting Strategies

Creative, determined shoplifters are an unwelcome drain on your store's bottom line. Fortunately, an equally committed coalition of law enforcement personnel and merchants can help outwit these thieves. Invite a local police department representative and nearby merchants to your next staff meeting. Ask the officer to bring local shoplifting suspects' mug shots and share details of how the shoplifters operate. This information will help your employees and fellow merchants be aware of potential problems and take a proactive approach to shoplifting.