How To Motivate Your Employees

February 20, 2012

Finding good employees, and then keeping them motivated, is a huge challenge for retailers. But there is plenty you can do to help your employees thrive without breaking the budget.

As a retail business owner/manager, you have an advantage larger organisations don’t have: You know your employees. Chances are you work side by side with them on a regular basis. You’ve heard about their families and friends; you know their backgrounds and ambitions.

All of that is valuable information for an employer who wants to find effective ways to motivate their team but may lack the resources to offer generous pay raises or bonuses. Consider the following four ways you can turn the information you obtain from your familiarity with employees into a motivation strategy:

1. Ensure a Positive Work Environment.

If you’re hearing that there are internal conflicts or “office politics” that are creating an unpleasant work environment, you are the one who can fix it. The fact that you listened – and you acted – will be a sign that you care about creating a positive place to work.

2. Foster Teamwork.

Make sure you have a mission statement and that your employees understand why their role is important to the overall success of their business. In your conversations with employees, strengthen the notion that your business is a team and that when you win, they win too. Then follow through. Even if it’s a small gesture like ordering pizza after a big day, make sure they share in the successes.

3. Get Creative about Rewards and Incentives.

Money isn’t the only way to motivate employees to work harder or smarter. Perhaps you’ve got a young parent working for you who could benefit from flexible hours. Maybe your salesperson has demonstrated an exceptional act of customer service and would appreciate some extra time off . When you show you’re willing to be flexible to meet your employees’ needs you’ll likely discover your employees will reward you.

4. Set and Monitor Performance Objectives.

Once you determine strategies for motivating your employees, your next task is to decide what you want to motivate them to do. It may be as simple as sitting down and talking about what you hope they can achieve and what you can do to help them meet your expectations. But it may also make sense to get it down on paper so you both have a clear understanding of those expectations.

Keep in mind that employees may be intimidated at a term like ‘performance review’, which is used in many businesses. But even so, there are valid reasons to sit down with each employee once or twice a year to talk specifically about their job. This is a time to review accomplishments and set objectives. You might break the discussion into the following topic areas:

  • Performance goals and objectives
  • Skills and knowledge development
  • Processes and methods
  • Feedback

Every business is different, of course. But one thing retailers have in common is the ability to turn the close relationships they have with employees into a business advantage that lets everyone win.

What are you waiting for?

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished business coach and retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your free copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click:

You can contact Leon on +61 425 83 3344  or email:


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