An effective convenience store training program covers a lot of ground. Your employees obviously need to be trained on equipment specific to your business, compliance topics such as age-restricted sales, and safety issues such as robbery and skimming prevention. These are all examples of hard skills that employees must master to help keep your business running. They’re important, for sure, but they aren’t all-inclusive. For employees to implement those hard skills in conjunction with taking care of customers and working with their teammates, they also need a strong soft skills training foundation.
Top 10 List of Soft Skills for Employees
Soft skills are sometimes referred to as “people skills” or “interpersonal skills.” These skills relate to how employees handle interactions with others, rather than with a machine or a process. Soft skills training can often be challenging because it must teach subjective skills such as flexibility, judgment, and temperament. To improve the collective soft skills of your staff, make sure you’re training on these top 10 soft skills topics:
#10 – Situational awareness. A cool buzzword for paying attention to your surroundings, situational awareness is important for convenience store employees because it enhances safety and tunes employee into customer needs.
#9 – Attention to detail. When employees are trained to pay attention to details, they are more likely to follow procedures methodically and complete their tasks thoroughly.
#8 – Flexibility. Being flexible may seem contrary to being methodical, but it doesn’t have to be. Teach your employees how to adapt to changing circumstances within the boundaries of your policies and procedures.
#7 – Active listening. As a leader, your communication style should be one in which you listen more than you speak. Teach your employees active listening skills as well. This will lead to more questions, two-way communication, and a deeper understanding of each other.
#6 – Time management. Convenience store employees have to juggle shift-specific tasks along with taking care of the needs of customers. To do this, they need time management skills in organizing, prioritizing, and multi-tasking.
#5 – Problem-solving. There’s no shortage of problems that come up in convenience stores. Employees may face problems with customers, teammates, vendors, or managers. Teaching employees a problem-solving strategy they can apply to many different situations will help them keep small problems from becoming big ones.
#4 – Product knowledge. Knowing the ins and outs of your product offerings may seem like a hard skill rather than a soft skill. However, answering customer questions, recommending complementary products, and fitting customers’ needs to the right products are all soft skills that you must teach.
#3 – Sensitivity. For the sake of your business, your team, and your customers, you must make sure you cover issues of diversity, sensitivity, and productive work environment as part of your soft skills training program.
#2 – Collaboration. Convenience store teams must work together toward common team goals. This requires collaboration, a soft skill that may not come naturally to all your employees. Even lone wolves can learn how to run with a pack, you just have to show them the benefits of teamwork.
#1 – Customer service. The number one soft skill for convenience store employees is customer service. All the soft skills in the list before this one relate to how employees handle interactions with customers, both positive and negative. It all comes down to exceeding customer expectations, and you can’t accomplish that without soft skills.
Convenience Store Training
Online training is a streamlined way to provide soft skills and hard skills training. Our online convenience store training curriculum is delivered through trainingGrid®, our easy-to-use learning management system. Learn more here.