If good help is hard to find, it’s even harder to hold on to.
In the world of paint and decorating retail, which is largely driven by sales and customer service, good employees can make the difference between failure and success. And while there’s rarely a shortage of resumes coming in, detecting the diamonds in the rough remains one of the biggest challenges facing small business owners.
Whether you’re looking for a long-term manager, a part-time stock boy or a seasonal cashier, you need employees who will personify the company you’ve worked so hard to build. And once you find them, you need to do everything in your power to retain them.
Here are 12 traits that make retail employees irreplaceable.
Adaptability. While there is certainly something to be said for the value of specialists, generalists are often more desirable in the ever-changing world of retail. The abilities to learn quickly and overcome obstacles are rare, and they shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Ambition. Whether she sees her job as a permanent career or a stepping stone along the way, an ideal employee should strive for perfection and always be looking forward. The term “good enough” is not in an irreplaceable employee’s vocabulary.
Autonomy. As a small business owner, you only have so many hours in a day. You want independent employees who can get along without a lot of handholding and direction.
Confidence. While skills can be learned and experience can be gained, confidence is harder to cultivate. Confident employees will not only stand out in interviews, but also approach problems head-on and thrive in leadership roles.
Conscientiousness. Regardless of the industry, attention to detail can make or break a business. You want an employee who will not only get the job done, but one who displays diligence, meets deadlines and gets the job done correctly.
Dependability. Showing up for work – and on time – should be a given. Irreplaceable employees will go above and beyond by staying 15 minutes late, covering shifts on short notice and attending optional meetings and team-building events.
Eagerness. One of the keys to running a successful business is surrounding yourself with people as enthusiastic about the company as you are. An irreplaceable employee will not wait to be told what to do, but ask. He will not dread holiday season, but look forward to it. He will not follow, but lead.
Efficiency. If the average employee can complete a task in two hours, an irreplaceable employee can complete it in one. In an industry that often pays hourly wages, it’s important to get the most out of your limited and hard-earned dollars.
Integrity. Ethics extend beyond the stock room or sales floor. Irreplaceable employees are both good workers and good people; they possess honesty, authenticity, solid values and a strong moral compass.
Optimism. Particularly in retail, it is important that employees remain positive, friendly, upbeat and outgoing. Everyone has bad days, but an irreplaceable employee will see the glass half full and turn lemons into lemonade.
Passion. The last thing you want is an employee who simply “punches the clock” to collect a paycheck. An irreplaceable employee comes in to work not because they have to, but because they want to.
Self-motivation. While risks can sometimes lead to failure, you want an employee who is proactive and unafraid of taking chances. It took initiative to get your business off the ground, and it will take initiative to take it to the next level.