How do I motivate front-line employees? | Print |  E-mail

Motivating employees is not something you do to them, since motivation comes from within each person. It is the role of leadership to create the proper conditions within the work environment to stimulate and elicit motivation on the part of employees. It is also leadership that helps employees sustain their motivation through recognition, rewards, encouragement and support.

Where can I find high-quality managers and employees? | Print |  E-mail

Finding and keeping a high-quality workforce is probably the single greatest challenge facing retailers today. The good news is that there are numerous resource networks that can provide top-notch job candidates. This network consists of existing employees and customers through a referral program. Within your community there are also state and federally-funded employment organizations, NOCA for senior citizens, in addition to schools, including vocational and technical ones. Successful retailers create pro-active strategies that connect them to these numerous resources.

Why doesn't my boss recognize my hard work and efforts? | Print |  E-mail

Unfortunately, some managers have an internal focus (bookkeeping, inventory control, reports, etc.) which keeps them from being out on the front line where they can witness first-hand what's really important; employee interaction with customers. There is also a type of manager who has trouble giving praise and a pat on the back for good work. Although it's a characteristic of effective leadership to recognize and reinforce good performance, don't get down if it doesn't come. Personal pride from a job well-done and positive customer interactions can be powerful sources of job satisfaction.

Is it more important for me to focus on my customers or employees? | Print |  E-mail

If you don't have happy, friendly, helpful, motivated employees, you may not have many customers to focus on. How can you expect to really "wow" customers with employees who do not exhibit these qualities, especially given today's heated competition in the marketplace? Keep in mind that your front-line employees will treat your customers in the same manner that they are treated by their supervisors. If you are serious about delivering superior customer service, then the focus must begin with your employees and the conditions within which they interact with your customers. As the saying goes, "We are the products of our environment." What type of environment are you creating for your employees?

What does "Performance-based" mean? | Print |  E-mail

"Performance-based" means focusing on the end result versus the process used to obtain it. You need to first determine the job performance you are ultimately seeking. Once this "end-result" is determined, only then can you decide upon the strategies and/or training to accomplish it. If you're simply delivering "off-the-shelf, canned" training programs, without analyzing the end-results you're after, then you're thinking method rather than performance. What you ultimately want is effective job performance. Training and other strategies are the means to an end, not the end itself.

When is it appropriate to have "fun" in the workplace? | Print |  E-mail

Fun should be a natural outgrowth of your every-day work environment and the way you interact with your employees and they interact with each other and your customers—not something you plan for special occasions. When you think about it, if an average employee works a 40-hour work week, half their waking week is spent at work! Shouldn't it be an enjoyable place to spend that time? Having fun at work does not impair work, it enhances it. A fun work environment will help you attract quality employees, retain existing ones, boost morale, increase productivity, and encourage customer loyalty. The end result is happier employees and customers, and a healthier bottom-line.


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