In my last post I wrote that specialty retailers whose competitive advantage is their staff and the experience they deliver must have employees who Love their jobs.
The difference in the passion, energy and conviction of Love people compared to Like people impacts both the top and bottom lines.
How do you build a staff of people who Love their jobs? Consider these tips:
1. Be incredibly particular about why you hire someone. It starts right here. You can hire potentially good employees based on their past experience, or you can hire people who would truly Love to work for your company/store. You can teach product knowledge and selling skills, but you can’t teach the passion and desire to be associated with your store(s). While candidates obviously need to possess some skills and attitudes, I’d be concerned about any applicant who doesn’t convey their Love.
2. Show the Love to get the Love. I firmly believe that employees give their customers what they themselves receive from the company. One of my favorite sayings is, “You can’t expect your employees to give service with a smile unless you first give them something to smile about.” This is why employee recognition, appropriate rewards, a strong culture, and managers and owners simply saying thank you is so important.
3. Refuse to accept Unlike behavior. I think we can all agree that retail is not as easy as it may look to outsiders, and that it can be hard to be “on” every minute of the day. So while it’s only natural that some employees might have a bit of an off day, we can’t accept any employee demonstrating any behavior to customers or their peers that communicates they don’t like their job or the products.
Too many managers/owners look or explain away such behavior by saying, “Oh, he’s having a bad day.” Well, that employee bad day may have just cost you a sale and a customer. Directly address any employee who has an Unlike day, and either turn around or remove the frequent Unliker.
4. Mirror the Love. Employees follow their leader’s behavior. That’s why it’s called leading. If you want your staff to be Love people, not Like people, you must first demonstrate the Love. Do you engage customers with passion and energy? Do you unfailingly avoid any negative talk about customers and competitors? Do you demonstrate all the expected elements of the customer experience? Most important of all, do you Love what you do?
While I believe that a Like owner or manager can run a good store, I’m not sure that person can create a store staffed with employees who Love their jobs and deliver an experience customers Love, not just Like.
So let me ask, are you finding the Love people you need to be a wildly successful store?