Have you ever received amazingly good service from an unhappy waitperson? Probably not. Ever been WOW’d by a bored salesperson? I doubt it. That’s why the environment you create for your employees directly impacts the customer experience, the employee experience and, ultimately, store results. You’re not going to have happy customers unless you first have happy employees.
Here are six key factors to a happy retail work environment:
1. The leader’s attitude. You don’t often see a miserable staff with a happy leader. Most of the time the leader’s attitude and that of the staff go hand in hand. When everything is going well it’s pretty easy for a leader to have a good attitude. When things aren’t going well at work or home, it’s not so easy. Tell staff to check their problems at the door, keep their personal issues to themselves, and maintain a positive attitude. No matter what’s going on, it will soon pass. Even if it doesn’t, you don’t need an underperforming store or business to go along with it.
2. A leader who cares – and shows it. If a business owner or manager doesn’t care about his/her employees, why on earth will the employees care about customers? Engage your employees. Be interested and involved in their growth and development. Help them be better at their jobs. Caring is an action, not just a thought.
3. Praise and recognition. Employees who feel appreciated demonstrate that appreciation in how they treat customers. Taking time to regularly praise and recognize individuals for their contributions and efforts goes a long way toward creating a happy workplace. I meet a lot of leaders who think they give plenty of praise and recognition, but their staffs wouldn’t necessarily agree.
4. Take Five meetings every day. Take Five meetings, or huddles as some people call them, are essential to creating a happy workplace. They ensure regular communication, give you an opportunity to praise and recognize, and help everyone get focused for the day. Regular communication and feeling informed definitely contributes to an employee’s happiness. I can never stress enough the positive impact of investing a few minutes a day in a Take Five with your staff. If you don’t do them, start.
5. Keep work fun. As Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fame once said, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” Don’t underestimate the importance of games, contests, and small gestures to keep your staff smiling. Fun leads to happiness, and happiness leads to success.
6. No drama allowed. Gossip and unresolved conflict, better known as drama, directly impacts the staff attitude and impact on results. You may remember that back in early April I wrote an article on creating a drama-free store.
It’s vital that a staff be drama-free in order to be happy and successful. So let me ask, in which of these six areas are you strongest? In which can you most improve? What actions can you take today to create an even happier workplace?