Sustained Motivation Through Performance Discussions
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We know that many Retail Business Owners and Store Managers look for ways to motivate their employees. Rightfully, they believe that motivating their sales associates will increase business. Creating a motivational environment and culture, and maintaining the positive effects are not easy; but not impossible either.
There is one surefire way to motivate your employees. That is to provide feedback on their performance. Everyone wants to know how well they are doing, what they can do better, how they are perceived by management, etc. These things contribute to their well being, their security and peace of mind. No one wants to work in a tentative state.
Human beings want to be told these things face to face. Written congratulatory notes and praise on the bulletin boards are very nice and are encouraged but will not contribute to the sustained motivation of the individuals. They are current, in-the-now recognition. Again, it is great to be praised and recognized for current achievements and behaviors but it does not sustain.
The successful Retail Business Owner or Store Manager will use a series of discussions with the associate to convey the performance message. This series of discussions can be called an employee evaluation, or appraisal, but what it delivers is recognition, training and, most importantly, sustainable motivation.
Before further discussion it should be noted that some sales associates either will not or can not fulfill the requirements of the job. Those associates do not have a place in your organization if you plan to be successful in your retail business because, in the first case there is no desire and in the second there is no ability. For those individuals you must immediately embark upon a performance management process designed to let the employee know what s/he needs to do to improve enough to meet job requirements and, to be fair, you must help them to do that. If the employee has the desire and the ability to change their behaviors and achieve what is expected of them, there are ways to help them do that and you must put in the time and effort. And there are plenty of employee evaluation programs to help you do that. You will need patience and perseverance if you embark on a project like this because it is difficult to take non-performers to new heights. Difficult, but not impossible.
In contrast, if we focus our time and energy on motivating our “average to great” performers we’ll find that it is not difficult at all. It is these associates who will give you the biggest bang for your buck! Imagine what you could do for your business if you were able to take these employees to the next level of performance. The gains would be remarkable. And don’t stop there, do it again and again.
What is needed to motivate and sustain the motivation is on-going dialogue designed to help the associate get better and to reiterate expectations. You’ll praise them for their contribution, solicit their ideas on any number of topics and provide them with peace of mind and security by letting them know they are a valued member of your team.
Getting all this done does not need a long, drawn out, formal process. Getting all this done is quick and easy. Gather the relevant data, sit down with the associate and, above all, be genuine and talk straight. Do this regularly and you will create sustained motivation and you, and your employees, will reap the rewards.
For an example of how you can accomplish sustained motivation through performance discussions, check out: performanceevaluation