Home improvement retailers know the people they employ are critical to the success of their business. However, it can be an ongoing challenge to hire and retain employees who share your vision, are consistently productive, and display a positive attitude. Yet, it’s possible. Some hardware stores experience little turnover and have maintained a top-notch staff for years. Although higher-paying jobs are usually available, factors unrelated to money can motivate employees to stay.
Help Team Achieve Work-life Balance
Juggling a job, kids, and other obligations can be stressful—especially during a pandemic. Instead of being rigid and forcing employees to make difficult choices, allow them greater flexibility and scheduling options. Perhaps the bookkeeper can work from home a few days a week, or the staff can rotate off days to accommodate doctor’s appointments or unscheduled events. Job sharing may also be an option for parents with young children. In commenting on work-life balance, David Ballard, assistant executive director for applied psychology at the American Psychological Association, says, “To engage the workforce and remain competitive, it’s no longer sufficient to focus solely on benefits. Top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization and have a positive work experience that’s part of a rich, fulfilling life.”
Recognize Individual Achievements
Has someone come up with an idea to improve customer service? Is one person in particular exceptional at creating eye-catching displays? Does a specific employee train recent hires and get them up to speed? One of the most significant complaints employees have about their bosses is a lack of recognition for their contributions to the organization. According to a Harris Poll, 63 percent of respondents felt the inability of their boss to acknowledge the person’s achievements was the primary communication issue that strained the relationship and prevented their boss from being an effective leader. Other barriers are:
- Staff is alienated by the way their superiors interact with them
- Bosses have little or no time to meet with staff
- Managers refuse to engage in conversations or explain critical issues
- Taking credit for someone else’s work
- Displayed lack of interest in person’s life outside of work
Offer Benefits with Something Extra
Sharing the costs employees pay for public transportation is just one-way businesses are assisting workers. Other companies are paying for gym memberships or bringing in for lunch for the team every Friday. Showing associates you care about their health, happiness, and well-being can have positive results.
Keep Staff Engaged by Being a Good Communicator
Improving morale begins by making your staff feel valued by publicly communicating what individuals have accomplished to their fellow employees. When people are motivated, it increases productivity and improves profits. Employees want to be heard and feel connected to others in the organization.
- Be specific when speaking about the person’s accomplishments
- Say “Thank you” in person, in public, and at staff meetings
- Ask for ideas, and allow people to express themselves
- Share information about upcoming changes as it becomes available
- Provide feedback consistently
- Own your mistakes and offer insights to build stronger connections
Create Opportunities for Career Development
People stay with organizations that support their future goals and objectives. Even in small and medium-sized organizations, employees must believe there are opportunities for training and development. In-home improvement centers, there are department managers and buyers who manage relationships with product vendors and wholesalers. Be transparent when jobs become available. Employees should be aware of career options and understand there are specific skills required to obtain each position. Give people exciting projects that are challenging and move them beyond their comfort zone.
Be an Example for Positivity
Frequent smiles from the boss can go a long way in setting the tone for a company’s culture. If the person in charge always looks miserable, how can anyone expect the employees to look happy? Positive energy can be contagious and motivate the entire team to pull together when the going gets tough. According to the Social Market Foundation’s happiness study, unhappy workers are less productive. While group one was given snacks and was allowed to watch 10 minutes of humorous videos, group two didn’t receive these rewards. The results showed group one was more engaged and was 12 percent more productive.
One of the easiest ways to find out what people want is to ask questions and be prepared to listen. Keeping an open mind and trying new ideas and suggestions made by employees make them feel that their opinions matter to the organization. People are unwilling to invest years in jobs where they are unhappy. Proactive employers can navigate the challenges unfolding in the workplace by focusing on the things that matter to employees.