I once attended a company's sales meeting that involved the GM tossing rolls of cash out to his sales force. It was a motivational technique. While I was in this meeting - not catching any of the cash, as I was a guest, not an employee - I noticed that everyone around me was very motivated. However, once the meeting was over, the motivation quickly dwindled.
There started to be complaints...
- last year they threw bundles of Twenties...not ones!
- last year there were so many more bundles, no one walked out empty handed
- last year they were throwing money at us from a resort, not a hotel lobby...
- Spend some personal time with your staff:
- Making yourself available to hear ideas, complaints, and general feedback will help your staff feel more welcome in the business. Employees who feel like they are an important part of a company will want to help build the reputation of your business.
- Take your employees out to lunch every now and then to listen to what they have to say, or simply schedule a meeting with a box of doughnuts and encourage open discussion.
- Activity: Many people spend just as much, if not more, time at work as they do at home. In order to have motivated employees, your staff should feel like their job is a welcome 2nd home. Set up a "Staff Recommendations" section in your store, and encourage your employees to add their favorite products to this area. Have "marketing sessions" with them where everyone creates a flyer, poster-board or other type of promotional piece explaining why they chose their products. Make sure YOU are doing this with your staff. Customers love to hear recommendations, but every customer doesn't always have the benefit of one-on-one contact, so this section will become a popular selling feature in your store. You will probably find that the products in this section will sell more, partly because of the "personal recommendation" and partly because your staff will now feel compelled to encourage sales in order to protect the status of their recommendation. Everyone wins!
- Reward good behavior, correct bad habits:
- If you notice someone doing a good job, thank them. You would be surprised how far simple complements can take you. If you notice someone preforming FANTASTICALLY, reward them. If you have a few extra dollars in your budget, create a trophy wall of fame and get a plaque created for them. This will motivate everyone - who doesn't want their name on a plaque on your wall!?
- You should also be on the lookout for less than ideal conduct. Instead of instituting a punishment policy, however, help the employee correct their mistakes. If you can diplomatically explain the reason the employee should change their ways, and provide them with an alternate solution, they will be glad to improve themselves...especially if they know great performance will bring rewards!
- Offer education, training and career advancing opportunities:
- If you don't have it in the budget to offer a big raise, try offering additional training instead. A workshop in public speaking looks great on a resume for future careers, but it can also help the confidence of your staff and make them more successful salespeople...win-win.
- Offering education that can help your employees advance themselves will show them that you really do care about them, and it will also have the added benefit of increasing the skill set within your company.
- Bargain with time off:
- Again, if you don't have the extra money in your coffers to hand out raises or bonuses, try bargaining with time off. The employee with the highest sales every week gets 2 hours off on Friday to enjoy their weekend...paid! You may have to pay an extra $30 each week, but your staff will be selling their best to get those precious hours to themselves!
- Join the "team":
- One of the biggest motivators for your team is going to be joining them. If your staff sees you "pulling your weight" and doing the same jobs as they are, they are going to realize you are devoted to the company, and not just some executive handing down orders. If you are willing to man the water test station, handle a few customers on cash, and greet people as they come in, you will be encouraging your staff to follow in your footsteps. It will give them something to emulate, and they will respect you more for helping with the grunt work.