Encouraging employees. It’s always tough in a retail store.
You want to be as effective a retailer as Apple, as Nordstrom, as Lululemon, but you know you have a slim chance of seeing that kind of success unless you can truly engage your shoppers and keep them absorbed in what you have to sell.
And the only way to do that is to get your employees to engage those shoppers, to get them to pledge to create an exceptional experience for visitors so they buy from you, instead of scan and buy online from a competitor.
The important question is how to get your employees to focus on the customer?
Employee motivation is a delicate creature.
I know onetime a manager asked their crew what would motivate them during the holidays. They wanted a Secret Santa. So obliged…that is until one clue was he had to sit on Santa’s lap and ask for his last clue.
Motivating employees is arguably the hardest thing any manager ever has to achieve.
You are concerned with not connecting, that your words don’t resonate deeply with your employees, and you struggle to figure out a magic formula.
And that’s good…
That’s because employees don’t come to us hard-wired to perform well in a vacuum.
Unless you can find a way to connect powerfully with your team, your sales are set for failure.
I know, I know…it seems easy to say just pay them more. But regularly, no matter how much you pay them, after a period of time, their self-motivation plateaus.
That’s because when you employ people, you are also taking on all of their innate hardships and challenges, the things they deal with at home, along with the things that keep them up at night.
You are taking on the entire person, for all of the good and the bad that brings.
Their natural tendency is to do less and less unless someone encourages them to do more.
When it’s time to open the store and welcome your customers each day, it becomes your daily test to help your employees put their best efforts forward, focus on serving the customer, and keep their eyes on the goal of closing as many sales as possible.
And off of Instagram or Snap Chat…
For some retailers, this challenge is settled by simple performance metrics: Dollars. You close X number of sales, you get more money in your paycheck. And for many retailers, especially luxury retailers, a commission or performance bonus-incented sales metric makes sense.
However, if you find yourself in a position where commission-based sales don’t work for your company, you still have to find new ways to motivate your employees.
About the Author
Since 1994 companies worldwide have turned to Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor® for the proven expertise necessary to grow their sales. An American retail expert, Phibbs has been engaged as a motivational speaker on retail, a luxury retail sales trainer, author, franchiser and customer service champion.
He is frequently called on to provide commentary on Marketing and Branding for MSNBC, FOX and others. His clients include some of the largest retail brands in the world including Bernina, Caesars Palace, Chopard, Hunter Douglas, Lego, Omega, Hearts on Fire, Husqvarna, Tommy Bahama, Vera Bradley and Yamaha.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.