Attitudes and behaviors are largely determined by how employees feel about the person they work for, and the employee training they've received from the company. If you treat employees like they’re disposable, they’re likely to return the favor.
If you invest the time and effort to treat each one like a valued team member, then they’ll feel empowered to invest the time and effort to build a career with your business.
Here are three do's and three don’ts for successfully dealing with your employees to empower them.
Do: Keep it Personal
Convey important information regarding their employment in person. This goes especially for the tough stuff like firing, transferring, demoting, or laying off an employee; have the guts to tell them to their face. This also goes for what should be the easy stuff like complimenting them on a great job, helping out with an order, or coming in on their day off.
Don’t: Phone it in
Employers have gotten lazy about communicating with employees. They rely on email, text messages, and phone calls to deliver news that really should be handled in person. Unless there are extreme circumstances (the employee is a perceived threat or harassment has been reported, they’ve created a workplace disruption, etc.) there’s no reason you can’t personally deliver the news—good or bad.
Do: Utilize their Potential
Keep your employees engaged and motivated by giving them more challenging tasks and greater responsibilities. An employee who feels like he’s wasting his time at your business is right—one way or the other. Boredom and laziness are contagious habits. If you allow them from just one of your employees, more are likely to follow.
Don’t: Expect the Impossible
If you’re doing your hiring and employee training correctly, you should have a good idea what new hires are capable of before they hit the floor. Don’t expect them to have skills and training that aren’t in their resume unless you’ve provided them with proper employee training.
Do: Communicate Clearly
Do you expect employees to be able to guess what you want? Instead, lay out your goals, and their responsibilities, clearly and frequently. Do you want them to be on time? What is your store's dress code? Do you promote a company culture? Your business is like a ship—it’s your job to set a heading and make course corrections as often as necessary.
Don’t: Pile it on
Don’t overwhelm your employees with constant changes to your standards and practices. New is fun for customers, not employees. Keep your course corrections small and manageable or make one dramatic change like adding the best retail sales training program. Otherwise, the constant rocking may knock valuable employees overboard.
The reason you want to empower your employees is simple, the more respected the employee feels, the more confident they feel about doing their jobs. That always translates into higher sales, lower turnover, and more profits.