If you add up the collective years your employees have worked in the bookstore, I’ll bet the end number will be pretty high. It’s likely they were hired for their love for the written word. But have you taken an inventory of the other talents they have to offer?
You probably already know their reading preferences, but it’s a good idea to make note of them. You might be surprised to learn that Margaret, who loves history also likes graphic novels. Or did you know that the bookseller you hired to work in the teen section also has an affinity for poetry?
Are they skilled at specific social media? Ask for their Twitter handles or Instagram names and follow them. Maybe they know the ins and outs of Pinterest and can help create a store presence.
Do they have graphic design skills? What programs have they they used? To gauge their talent, ask them to create a bookmark for the store.
Do they have an interest in display or window design? What ideas to they want to try?
Can they help with online efforts? Do they have experience working with Drupal, WordPress, HTML, etc.?
Are they aspiring writers? Perhaps they can contribute to your bookstore blog, compile the newsletter or write reviews.
Don’t underutilize talented staff. When you show an interest in learning what they have to offer, they’ll take on a mental level of ownership in the bookstore. Appreciate and use their talents, and all parties will feel rewarded.