Q: As the title suggests, i’m a new employee at RadioShack and i’m having a bit of trouble learning everything about the store. I started about 3 days ago, so I understand that i’ll learn more as time goes on. However, I can’t stand the situations I get into where i’m on the Sales Floor trying to help someone out, but I haven’t the slightest clue what they’re searching for.
My co-workers are immensely helpful, and luckily treat me well, but there’s just so much to learn it’s a bit overwhelming. I’m still doing the training on the computer, but so far most of the things i’ve learned have been about what the company sells rather than where they are in the store or what they do specifically.
It probably doesn’t help that this is my first real job, and that I have no clue what any of the electronic gizmos and doodads are good for. However, If your could offer tips, books, videos, websites, ANYTHING that will help speed up the learning process, I would be extremely grateful.
I apologize for it this being as long as it is, I just don’t want to miss anything. Thank you in advance for time and assistance!
A: Congratulations on your new position, Eren! How exciting this must be for you. I am pleased to see that you are taking the initiative to better yourself, especially so early in. The fact the you want to be proactive about helping customers and not simply rely on your co-workers, or wander around the store hunting for whatever your customer’s needs says a lot about you. Kudos.
Now for your question: A couple of suggestions come to mind to help you solve your dilemma.
1.) During your idle time (which does happen sometimes in retail stores), you can “walk the store.” Take one section at a time, perhaps even dusting the shelves or repositioning disheveled items. This might help you earn some “cool points” with the boss while you study up on where things are located in the store.
2.) Create a photo gallery or video of the store/product layout to study while you are away from work. Start at the door with your camera or cell phone and work your way down the aisles (being sure to go up and down the shelves), making a visual note of where things are in the store. I recommend that you do this while the store is closed (before opening or after closing) to avoid any unnecessary confusion from coworkers and customers.
3.) Ask your store manager to provide you with a copy of the store’s most recent floor plan (also called plan-o-gram, module, etc.). This document is what the store staff uses to place things where they are in the store. It could be useful as a map, until you find your way.
4.) Ask the store manager (or a more seasoned coworker) to provide you with a list of the most popular items the store sells. Locate these items first (with or without help) so that you can be able to go directly to them as you continue to discover the placement of all of the other items in the store.
As the old adage goes, “practice makes perfect.” The more your work, you will become familiar with where things are without even trying, just by moving around the store. Be mindful, however, that retail stores do move things around quite often as items are marked out of stock, moved to the clearance section, sell out, and/or are relocated to higher traffic areas of the store for quick resale.
Best wishes on your new job!