As an entrepreneur, it goes without saying that you’re passionate about the success of your small business. Your company’s longevity and your personal livelihood depend on it, after all.
But just because you exude enthusiasm about sales, customer service and everything in between, it doesn’t mean your employees will display the same drive that you do. But because your success depends on them as much as it does you, we’ve put together a list of ways to keep your retail associates motivated.
Create a Family Environment. If you’ve ever been employed by someone who is more intimidating than they are open and friendly, you probably remember times that you weren’t especially thrilled to be at work. Help your employees feel comfortable by asking about their day-to-day lives, celebrating their birthdays, acknowledging their personal achievements and remembering details about their relationships and family members. If they feel like they’re more than just a minion, they’ll see you as more than just a boss.
Share Your Goals and Offer Incentives. It’s true in any situation: if you’re aware of a specific target, you’ll be better able to focus on it and increase your chances of hitting it. By sharing your weekly, monthly or annual sales (or other) goals with your staff, they’ll feel valued and work harder. If simply involving them doesn’t do the trick, try offering some type of team reward for meeting specific targets, such as product discounts, time off or a staff celebration.
Encourage Creativity. Although your retail employees are mainly focused on sales and/or customer service, it doesn’t mean they can’t put their creativity to good use. In fact, one of the best ways to make your employees feel motivated and excited about work is to encourage them to think outside the box and share their ideas. If they know you value their ideas and opinions, they’ll feel more motivated to go above and beyond the basics of their job description.
Offer Learning Opportunities. If you notice a certain employee has been working harder or has taken an interest in a particular aspect of your business, consider investing in his or her professional development. By helping your employees enhance or expand their skill-set, you’ll equip them with the ability and the confidence to achieve more – a benefit to both them and your company.
Have Fun. At the end of the day, people feel motivated about their jobs when they genuinely like being at work. As the person at the top of the pyramid, that means creating a comfortable work environment and scheduling time to bond and have fun. Whether you organize a monthly company lunch, an annual retreat or ongoing contests, there’s no better source of motivation than happiness.