Are Your Employees Not Motivated?
Gallup’s 2019 State of the Workplace demonstrates that a motivated workforce is not typical. The survey found that just 21% of employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.
Motivated employees are engaged employees. However, the typical American business can describe only 33% of its employees as engaged, according to the survey. Engaged employees have 41% lower absenteeism, 24% less turnover (in high-turnover organizations), 28% less shrinkage, 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales, and 21% higher profitability.
With motivated employees bringing multiple benefits to your retail business, the question becomes how do you inspire employee morale and motivation? Below are five easy tips that can be implemented immediately!
#1: Train Your Employees
When workers are thoroughly trained, they feel competent and confident in their skills, which is motivating to retail employees. Training takes time and money. Therefore, when a company trains an employee, it sends a message: We want you to know your skill level matters to us.
Training does not stop after onboarding. “Investing in your employees through continued on-the-job training ensures that you have a well-trained staff, shows your employees that you care about their growth and career options, and increases the efficiency of your operations,” according to Lauren Ufford on Shopify.
Continued training inspires employees at all levels, including part-time, full-time, and management. Francesca Nicasio of Vend, a Point of Sale (POS) company, says of retail management, “Train your management as well. These are your part-timers’ day-to-day contacts, so they should be educated on what it takes to be an effective supervisor.”
How should training be communicated? A Gallup survey found, “employees are more likely to learn and grow when they receive immediate feedback that is specific, targeted at their development and able to be put into practice right away.”
#2: Compliment Your Employees
Every relationship and interaction benefits from good communication. Employee motivation and morale improve when management communicates clearly and positively.
The part of feedback employees tend to remember is the negatives and “needs improvement” areas. However, it’s important to remember to be positive. “Getting positive feedback after a job well done is a pretty good feeling, and it can usually turn someone’s whole day around,” says Lilian Chifley on Lightspeed.
Nicasio refers to Matt Heller’s book, The Myth of Employee Burnout, which says, “recognition is one of the best ways to stimulate your employees to take the actions you want them to take.” So, employees are motivated and ultimately become better at their job when they receive positive recognition.
#3: Pay Your Employees Generously
While people may not like to say it aloud, money matters. Rewarding employees for their efforts provides motivation. And poor salary and benefits can demotivate. A Gallup survey found that pay and benefits is one of the leading reasons employees leave their workplaces.
Monetary motivation can ultimately improve business. “Multiple studies have shown that retailers with well-paid, well-trained employees outperform competitors that didn’t invest enough in their staff,” says Nicasio. She cites a New Yorker article which refers to a study from the Wharton School. According to the study, “every dollar in additional payroll led to somewhere between four and twenty-eight dollars in new sales.” In other words, it’s motivating retail sales.
Many small businesses are working on small margins and may not be able to afford to pay their employees high salaries. However, Ufford notes, “Rewards can be small, like buying top weekly performers lunch, or providing gift cards for popular coffee shops to those who go above and beyond with customers.”
#4: Encourage Employee Growth
One standard piece of motivational speech is to move. Simply moving, rather than staying in the same place, creates a sense of opportunity and possibility.
Similarly, at work, motivating part-time sales staff, full time sales staff, and management means giving them the opportunity to grow. The Gallup data show that a lack of development and career growth is the No. 1 reason employees leave a job.
Encouraging employee development does not necessarily mean a promotion, though it can. From Gallup, “more accurately, development is a process of understanding each person’s unique talents (naturally recurring patterns of thoughts, feelings or behaviors that can be productively applied) and finding roles, positions and projects that allow them to combine their talents and abilities with experiences to build strengths….”
Besides inspiring motivation, growth opportunities also inspire loyalty. Employees recognize their best interests are being considered, and they develop to the best of their ability.
#5: Remember That Each Employee is Unique
Finally, it’s important to remember when motivating retail employees, each is unique and thus motivated in their own way. However, providing training, growth opportunities, good communication, and high pay will motivate most people. Well-motivated employees are happy, productive, and loyal. That will motivate retail sales and grow the bottom line of your small retail business.
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