Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Customer Experience, a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping experience.
In his keynote presentation at this year's Fast Casual Executive Summit in New Orleans, Eric Chester, employee expert and author, discussed how more lenient approaches to parenting, as well as the current structure of the U.S. school system and standardized testing, has driven a sense of entitlement across what he defines as "Generation Why."
That sense of entitlement has led to a decreased work ethic, but Mr. Chester is confident employers can motivate their employees by following seven strategies:
1. Continuously canvas. Stores should be active in creating a pipeline of talent, as opposed to simply hoping for the right applications to land in their laps. Managers should be able to articulate their ideal employee profile, from lifestyle choices, activities, social circles and even career needs. An understanding of the market and various ways to identify and reach potential employees is required. The employee brand promise should be easily communicated. High-performing employees should be enticed to identify others similar to them and communicate the brand promise.
2. Go one-on-one. Understanding the employees' goals, aspirations, needs, home life, social circles and even hobbies can help managers find ways to relate on an individual level in a way that increases trust.
3. Establish a target. If your front-line employees cannot articulate the core values of the business, everything else falls apart. Core values should be brief, bulleted statements that define the values each employee must hold dear, rather than long, jargon-laden mission statements.
4. Make instruction clearly matter. Consistency in employee expectations is a key factor in successfully igniting the work ethic. Training programs designed around teaching these expectations, the organizational values and what happens when those expectations are not met are critical to success.
5. Make your success their success. Typically the people that matter the most are paid the least. Getting creative with public appreciation, incentives and perks and compensation that can be tied to shared goals can help employees develop a sense of achievement.
6. Listen, respond and engage. Continuously ask for employee feedback on what will help them deliver better results for the brand and customers. Following through and taking action on their requests.
7. Light the path. Your stores should not be seen as just a job, but also a place to have a career. Transparently communicate to front-line employees about the opportunities for growth within the brand and establish programs that guide high performers along a path that helps them to reach high status, responsibilities and compensation in the organization.
Which of the suggestions for motivating employees is most valuable?