Happy Workers Are Good for Business

How to drive employee engagement at your store.

With everything else that you have to cram into your day, making sure your employees are happy in their jobs can slip down on your to-do list. If this has happened to you, it may be time to reprioritize. According to the Human Capital Institute, companies with highly engaged employees enjoy profit growth three times the rate of their competitors. Increased engagement also reduces turnover — one of the largest hidden costs in business — by 87%. So taking a little extra time to get — and keep — your employees engaged with your business could generate a significant return.

Challenge Them
Some jobs may be mundane. (Taking inventory is nobody’s idea of a good time.) But they don’t have to be boring. Encourage workers to come up with better or more efficient ways to complete even routine tasks. And use cross-training to make sure team members appreciate how each job contributes to the success of the entire operation. Everyone will gain a better perspective of the business and their own place within it, and they are likely to be reenergized by their new knowledge.

Recognize Accomplishments
Recognition is often a much more powerful motivator than money is. Good employees can become foot-draggers if they don’t feel their efforts are being valued. You don’t need balloons or marching bands. A handwritten note of appreciation, or singling someone out at a staff meeting for going above and beyond with a customer can go a long way. Of course, if an employee comes up with a revenue-generating or cost-cutting idea, a spendable token of appreciation is in order.

Provide Advancement Opportunities
When employees can see a direct correlation between performance and career advancement, they are more motivated to take initiative and assume a sense of ownership in the organization. Every job should have a written description that includes specific goals or milestones that, when met, will result in quantifiable rewards, such as more hours, a bump in pay, more responsibility or the potential for a promotion when an appropriate opening occurs.

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