The Way to Motivate Your Retail Workers at the Beginning of the Year


January doldrums — that sense of low energy and lack of soul that lots of men and women get at the start of the year — is very common in retail. Retail workers, having just come back from the holiday […]

January doldrums — that sense of low energy and lack of soul that lots of men and women get at the start of the year — is very common in retail. Retail workers, having just come back from the holiday break might not be in complete”work mode” yet.

If you are dealing with low spirits and lack of motivation on your shop, fret not. We have put together some handy pointers to help keep your employees motivated right after the holidays.

Check them out.

Understand the science behind motivation

Before diving into specific approaches, let us take some time to understand just what drives people and what motivates them to do it. Doing this will help you decide how to best apply the suggestions in the remainder of this post.

So, what gets people moving? How can you inspire them when they are feeling the January slump?

Based on Kerry Goyette, the Creator of Aperio Consulting Group, individuals are usually driven by two forms of things: seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.

The pleasure-seeking side is about ambition and achievement. As an example, someone who’s aspirational by nature is highly motivated towards making their degree or taking their career to another level.

The pain avoidance side, on the other hand, is all about dodging unpleasant things. So this might be a student who works hard because they do not want to flunk out of college. Or, it might be the accountant that takes extra care with his client’s tax returns to avoid trouble with the IRS.

Kerry states that people have a propensity to be highly motivated either on the side OR the pain side. As an employer or supervisor, you will need to find out which side a worker belongs since that will determine how you present goals and tasks to them.

For example, let’s say you have a sales partner named Jane, and she is highly motivated by enjoyment. In cases like this, you will want to speak with her about achieving sales targets and how good it is to take the business to next level.

Now, let’s say you own a clerk called Jack, and he is mostly motivated by pain. That aspirational address you gave Jane might not unlock Jack’s motivation, so you will want to take a different approach.

In Jack’s case, you will likely want to discuss the pains that will need to be avoided. As an example, you could mention the ramifications of lousy customer support — i.e., using a shop full of cranky people or losing shoppers into the competition.

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So, before you begin trying out inspirational strategies, spend some time getting to understand what drives the different members of your group. Which workers are motivated by pleasure and which ones are prompted by pain avoidance? Figure that out, and adjust your procedures so.

And if you want to learn more about the science of inspiration, you can check out Kerry’s TED Chat below:

Key takeaways:

  • People typically have two main motivations: there is the motivation to find pleasure and the motivation to prevent pain.
  • Someone who is driven by pleasure will become more ambitious and aspirational, even though someone who’s motivated by pain prevention is great at mitigating risks.
  • To unlock a person’s motivation, you will need to find out which motivation (i.e. pleaure or pain-avoidance) drives them, and then tailor your approach accordingly.

Set the Perfect example

If you are the owner or manager of this shop, always bear in mind that your staff will take their cue from you. That is why it’s very important that you be on the ground yourself and really execute those tasks that you would like your staff to perform.

“Maybe nothing motivates a team more than visiting the director getting their hands dirty and actually doing their part to aid on the ground level,” states Cord Himelstein, Vice President of Marketing and Communications in HALO Recognition.

“If a worker remains in’holiday mode,’ verbal motivation can only go up to now. Employers and supervisors must also be the illustration of the desirable behavior.”

So, go out there and spend some time on the sales floor. Speak with your customers. Help them find what they need. Ring up sales. Besides setting the perfect example and motivating your employees to do their part, you will also get the opportunity to get some face time with shoppers and gain insights that you won’t get from just staying in the back.

Key takeaways:

  • Remember that your employees are watching you.
  • The best way to get them to behave is to lead by example.
  • Do not just spend all of your time in your workplace. Make an appearance on the sales floor and get some face time with your customers.

Redefine your aims

The perfect goals can inspire and set your employees up for success. Make certain to kick off each day or change by outlining your metrics for success. You want people to understand what they’re working towards.

Also note your goals at this time of the year could be somewhat different than your aims for state, the Christmas season. As Marc Prosser, co-founder in says,”At the holiday season, the metric for success is revenue.”

“Now, change the metric to creating exceptional experiences one of those coming to the shop. The return process may be an opportunity for client service to glow. Were returns fast? Did the partner do a fantastic job describing the return policy? Did the partner ask what the customer could be needing for your new year?”

Consider any goal changes you might have for your own staff, then convey those KPIs.

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Another tip? Make those aims short-term and reward those who achieve them.

That is what Innovent Healthcare does to inspire their staff. We like to set short-term (within 30-45 days), attainable goals for our staff to push up the dopamine and instill confidence in our group,” stocks Kathryn Kerrigan, who works on the marketing side for Innovent Healthcare.

“By achieving such objectives, a group member may get a little gift card or an inexpensive but appropriate gift (awesome new Bluetooth keyboard/mouse) OR simply their name and face on the wall for a couple of weeks.”

Key takeaways:

  • Your”beginning of this year” goals could be a bit different from the holiday season objectives.
  • Make certain to identify your new objectives, metrics, and KPIs and communicate them to your employees.
  • For best results, stick to short-term targets and set rewards.

Show empathy

Let your employees know that you know where they are coming from. A simple”I understand how you feel” can do wonders for a person’s morale.

“Communicate that you are aware everyone is coming back from holiday and sincerely ask them to put their best foot forward. Show compassion and compassion, and be a friend about it. A pre-opening huddle is a excellent opportunity to set appropriate expectations, and is a frequent touch-base method in retail settings,” advises Cord.

Demonstrating compassion also helps break that”us against them” mentality that employees may have about their supervisors or employers. It reinforces the fact you are all on the same side — and that, in itself is a reassuring (and inspiring ) thing.

Key takeaways:

  • Place yourself in the shoes of your team members. Strive to know where they are coming from.
  • Tell them you know how they feel and that you empathize with them.
  • Help them see that you are all on the same side and that you will need to work together to achieve the overall aims of the company.

Celebrate the wins of your group

“Placing extra focus on recognizing and celebrating wins during the day is just another fantastic way to create more interest and value in the work of employees. Be generous with compliments, high fives, and fist-bumps. For those who have an employee rewards system, use it,” adds Cord.

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Just how should you reward your employees? That depends. Some companies give personalized rewards and think of a gift specifically for the best performer. For others, more overall tokens — such as gift cards, money, pizza parties — will do just fine.

Discover what works for your group and your budget and go from there.

Key takeaways:

  • Reward employees that are hitting their KPIs.
  • Consider giving personalized gifts or move for overall tokens like money, gift cards, food, etc..

Provide Additional comforts

It’s difficult to power during the post-holiday slump, so provide some little comforts for your group.

“On days you know will be extra-busy or stressful, it never hurts to supply additional creature comforts like free breakfast, coffee, and much more elastic breaks. Employees will appreciate the excess gesture, and it puts more value on the job and their time,” advises Cord.

Kathryn echoes the point about flexibility, stating that flexible hours make it easier for workers transition from the post-holiday season.

“We like to be flexible within the first couple of weeks following the holiday season. This might be a bit more lunch, shaving 15-20 minutes away from the workday or a surprise early release on a Friday,” she shares.

“We all know that by allowing our employees to operate in a natural rhythm (albeit — still generating work and keeping job objectives), we’ll observe a higher degree of job productivity, making our company more effective. Also… everyone is happier, and we have fun.”

Key takeaways:

  • Keep people motivated by providing little perks.
  • A favorite perk is offering flexibility with alterations and breaks.

Your turn

Now we want to hear from you. Are you currently experiencing a post-holiday slump in your enterprise? How are you coping with it? Tell us in the comments.

Source references

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