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    How to Motivate Employees in the Retail and Service Industry


    “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill.

    Running a successful business depends on motivating employees to achieve excellence. However, if your staff’s enthusiasm is waning and morale is low, keeping productivity high and reaching business objectives can be challenging. The reality is that motivating employees isn’t always easy, but there are proven ways that you, as a leader, can encourage workers to stay engaged and enthusiastic about their work. This blog explores ways to motivate employees by creating an engaging workplace and organizational culture.

    What does workplace motivation mean?

    Motivation is derived from the Latin word “movere,” which means movement; “motivation” refers to the driving force behind human actions. In organizations, motivation is the enthusiasm, energy level, commitment, and creativity employees bring to the workplace.

    Recognizing Employee Contributions

    Employee recognition is the act of publicly acknowledging the effort of employees for the work they do. With employee appreciation, employees encourage each other and make the workplace feel more inclusive and synergetic, raising company morale and staff commitment.

    “An employee recognition survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) has demonstrated that recognized workers are 68% more likely to commit to an organization.”

    Recognition helps employees see that their company values them and their contributions to the success of individuals, teams, and the business.

    Work with Employees to Establish Goals 

     “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee.

    Employee goal setting establishes specific, measurable, and performance-oriented objectives for that employee’s work. Goals should be written to be precise, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This format provides clear communication between employees and management. 

    Examples of employee goals are as follows:

    • Close $300,000 in total sales by the end of the current fiscal year
    • Complete the CompTIA A+ certification by September 2023
    • Reduce inbound customer service waiting times by 3 minutes per call by year-end
    • Learn how to assess and reduce operating costs by 10-20% by Q3
    • Complete the company leadership training course by April 2023

    Researchers have found that setting goals can help employees feel more connected to their organization. On an individual level, setting goals helps to provide focus, increased productivity, and higher motivation levels. On an organizational level, goals can have the effect of increasing employee optimism and morale.

    Note: Employee goals are usually a collaborative effort between a manager and a direct report.

    Reward Employees for Achieving Results

    A reward system refers to all the monetary, non-monetary, and psychological payments an organization provides to its employees in exchange for their work and commitment. Reward programs include extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. 

    Extrinsic Rewards

    Extrinsic rewards generally have monetary value and are given to employees for achieving the desired business outcomes. Examples include bonuses, pay raises, and other benefits. 

    Intrinsic Rewards

    Intrinsic rewards are internal rewards that are feelings of achievement employees feel from completing their duties or projects successfully. These rewards are mainly psychological and are based on effort and personal ability.

    When employees are rewarded for their contributions, they take pride in their work and are willing to work harder on future projects. Additionally, recognition connects employees to the organization, enhances personal effort, and increases commitment. Employees Know they are Supported

    Ensure the Employees Know they are Supported. 

    “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” –Zig Ziglar.

    Supporting employees is critical to increasing morale, reducing turnover, and improving productivity. For example, employee support means offering quality employee benefits, healthcare providers, and competitive compensation packages in organizations. Furthermore, it is vital that employees and their families feel supported by their organization. 

    The following are ways management can support employees on the job:

    • Encourage employees to take their regular breaks and leave entitlement.
    • Create a culture where excessive hours are discouraged
    • Review work demands regularly.
    • Allow employees to take ownership of their duties
    • Develop and enforce health and safety policies

    A supportive work environment is one where job performance and emotional, physical, and mental well-being are valued.

    “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking.

    In conclusion, the retail and service industries profoundly impact our daily lives. Therefore, business owners or managers must understand how important it is to motivate their employees to ensure optimal performance. Whether through competitive salaries and bonuses, recognition awards, continuous training, social events with colleagues, or other creative ideas, there are hundreds of ways to inspire and engage your workers. By keeping these simple tips in mind, business leaders across all sectors can effectively motivate their employees for the long run and enjoy extensive success.

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