12 Tips To Keep Staff Happy

In a recent seminar at the JCK Show in Phoenix, David Richardson, CEO of Richardson Resource Group, Scottsdale, Ariz., offered 12 tips for retaining happy and productive staff.

  1. Conduct performance reviews. “Be sure you’ve got an annual performance evaluation system in place,” says Richardson. And make sure it’s more than just an informal “You’re doing great!” while strolling from one end of the office to the other.

  2. Let employees lead sales meetings. Encourage staffers to share their experiences and foster a dialog. “Don’t lecture to them during meetings,” he advises.

  3. Give recognition and feedback. “Discuss strategies with employees so they feel ‘in’ on the business,” says Richardson.

  4. Ask for employees’ ideas. Failure to get employees’ input can result in missed opportunities. After all, the people who do the work every day are the real experts.

  5. Have fun—laugh! Don’t be too serious. “Let [employees] know you’re a real person,” says Richardson.

  6. Create an enjoyable work atmosphere. For example, “Make your bathroom nice,” he suggests. Don’t use the restroom as another place for storage.

  7. Create meaningful incentives. Richardson suggests using some non-cash prizes—including jewelry—for bonuses and commissions, so the prize will be remembered.

  8. Conduct a store strategy session. Consider where the business is now, and “ask staff what they think the goals for the year should be,” he says.

  9. “Orchid” letters. Keep letters of commendation and awards, so staff can feel recognized and valued all the time.

  10. Trade shows, conventions. Richardson recommends involving employees in these affairs. “Make the experiences memorable, perhaps giving them a certain amount of money to spend on inventory.”

  11. Build better value-driven relationships. One way to accomplish strong professional relationships is to praise staffers immediately and specifically—for example, “I really liked the way you displayed those watches.” Avoid de-motivators, “the buts and ifs” that detract from jobs well done, advises Richardson. “Those [de-motivators] are all employees will remember,” he says.

  12. Help employees create the magic moment for customers. Employees can—and should, with the storeowner’s help—suggest ways for clients to propose marriage. “And good salespeople want to,” says Richardson. Once salespersons have offered suggestions to create that magic moment, “clients have a hard time buying the ring elsewhere, because anywhere else the ring is just stone and metal,” says Richardson. For inspiration, Richardson offers a book entitled “Twenty Ways to Pop the Question: Present Jewelry for All Occasions with Romantic Imagination.”