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10 Ways to Boost Employee Morale

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Retailers everywhere continually express concerns about finding and retaining quality long-term employees. While there are definitely expectations that employees should meet, there are ways you as an employer can help bridge the gap between providing “just another job” and a path to a career. 

Helping your team enjoy their work can create a committed staff, but that doesn’t need to mean spending on costly perks. Review this list of inexpensive ways to boost morale in your operation so your employees know they are appreciated. 

1. Be specific when you say “thank you.”
Vague appreciation can sometimes seem as though it isn’t genuine. If the whole team works together to meet a sales goal, tell them how their achievement helped the business. When an associate leads a customer through an entire sale, explain how excellent service helps the operation compete in your market. 

2. Offer unique benefits.
Set your business apart by offering uncommon perks, such as paid birthdays off. Learn how you compare in compensation and benefits in the North American Retail Hardware Association’s 2017 Employee Compensation Report here.

Dawson’s True Value

3. Host employee appreciation events.
Regular employee appreciation events can make a difference in morale, especially during busy seasons. Host after-hours events in the store so you don’t need to spend money on renting a space. At these events, call attention to employees who have exceeded expectations throughout the year. 

4. Let the team create an employee recognition process.
Use a process to honor the standouts on your staff, whether it’s peer nominations for employee of the month or the staff voting on a list of possible rewards for high-performers. When you engage the group in recognition, it helps everyone feel like a closer team. 

5. Be consistent with employee reviews.
During the training process, explain each employee’s job responsibilities and show new associates how they will be evaluated when the time comes. Download the form to help you get started.

6. Praise them in public; correct them in private.
Whether it’s a shout out on the bulletin board or applause at the company meeting, public praise is important. The opposite is also true. Corrections should be made as soon as possible in one-on-one meetings with the appropriate supervisor.

7. Get the team involved in the business.
Share with the whole team how meeting everyday goals helps the business achieve larger milestones, and encourage them to offer suggestions for process improvements. 

8. Invest in training.
Consistency in performance will help your operation run smoothly no matter who is on shift. Investing in training doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. Click here to access dozens of free training resources to get your program up and running. 

9. Listen to concerns.
Employees want to know there is someone who is open to hearing concerns or suggestions. Be sure managers know what to do when an employee brings a concern to their attention. Make time during reviews for them to provide feedback on your performance and make an effort to address legitimate feedback.

HPM Building Supply

10. Utilize team-building exercises.
At the beginning of each day, bring the group together to remind them of the day’s tasks. Incorporate a team-building exercise, like everyone sharing one way they’re going to help contribute to the day’s goal. For inspiration, watch the video here.  

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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