08 Mar 2018By John Gatimu
In the densely populated craft market it’s vitally important to set yourself apart from your competitors and what better way to this than through the people interacting with your customers. Your staff can be a real differentiator for you, and if they are happy in their work and can build rapport with your customers they’ll become part of the reason your visitors return time and time again
Your staff are the backbone of your business. They’re who your customers see on a day-today basis and, if they love being in your store your customers will too. If you can get the most out of your staff then they can help you to drive the business forward so, it’s important that they’re totally bought in to your company and your brand. So, how can you improve morale across your employees and build a culture that they’ll love being part of?
First off, make sure you reward your staff for good work and let them know you recognise their efforts. It pays to do this in a structured way as it can help to foster a culture which encourages quality work, so think about introducing a regular ‘award’ day or have a ‘team member of the month’ system to give your staff company-wide recognition as well as a pat on the back. You could even think about introducing a Christmas bonus scheme linked to this.
Give your staff discount on your products. Not only will this be an added bonus for them, but it will encourage them to try out your wares themselves and, if they know the products they can sell them better. They will have a greater understanding of what you stock and will be able to offer better customer service as a result.
Linked to this, organise for regular staff training sessions to introduce new products. Run workshops on how to use new tools and give your staff the chance to try out new products for themselves. This will hopefully instil some enthusiasm across staff for your products and create a real buzz around new launches.
Be as flexible as you can. Understanding that your staff have a life outside of work is so important for ensuring you have a good relationship with them. Meet your staff in the middle and they’ll feel valued which will help to ensure you have the right sort of culture in place. This will also mean that they’ll be inclined to be more flexible to cater for the needs of the business as well.
Organise regular staff socials to encourage staff to spend time together outside of work, such as team nights out and lunches.
This helps to foster a sense of community, strengthens team bonds and can be worked into the rewarding philosophy too.
Finally, it’s so important to make sure staff feel like they can come to you with concerns and ideas on how to improve things, so make sure you operate an open-door policy and that staff feel like they’re being taken seriously. And remember, it’s important to hear the bad as well as the good. Speak to them about what they want from their career and give them any opportunities you can to develop. If you can ensure job satisfaction in the long run, then you will get the most out of your staff.
So, there you have it, my top tips to getting the most out of your staff and help you to build a culture that will encourage hard work and ensure your staff feel valued and looked after. And remember, happy staff make for a successful business