A Little Shout Out Goes a Long Way
The number one reason why showroom employees seek greener pastures is a perceived lack of appreciation by ownership for their contributions to the business. Many owners recognize and appreciate the contributions that team members make, but they don’t necessarily know how to communicate their appreciation effectively. Some find it difficult, and others erroneously assume that their team knows how the owners feel about them. Others believe offering praise too often marginalizes the effectiveness of acknowledging truly noteworthy contributions.
There's lots of data that shows when team members feel appreciated, they are happier, more productive and more loyal. Three Babson University professors researched how employees perceived organizational efforts to offer recognition and appreciation. The professors suggest the following actions to better recognize and communicate appreciation to team members:
- Take time out of each day to simply ask your team how they are doing. This provides opportunities for team members to let you know how they feel, problems they may be experiencing in the office or at home and share information about current projects.
- Don’t mix the good with the bad. When praising employees for a job well done, don't mention problems or performance shortcomings. What’s important is to recognize superior performance in one conversation. If there are opportunities for improvement, mention those in a separate discussion. If you only give negative feedback, your team member is likely to believe that they can't do anything correctly, and they will likely give up. Most employees want to know how they can perform better. Constructively tell them.
- Provide your team with opportunities to grow. If you have a great team member that you want to keep for the long term, give them more challenging assignments that stretch their skill sets. Doing so is a statement of trust and admiration. Similarly, providing more flexible work schedules also makes the statement that you trust that the team member will work as hard from home as they do in the showroom.
Consistency is key. Spend the first 10 to 15 minutes of your day walking your showroom or writing personal thank you notes to your team for jobs well done. Give shout outs for outstanding performance at staff meetings. Everyone wants recognition for a great effort.