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Five Ways to Avoid Uninspiring Your Staff

Posted by Dean Asher on 11/18/14 10:00 PM
Topics: retail management, student employees

As you're surely well aware, busy times are right around the corner for you and your staff. Now may be more important than ever to have an inspired, motivated staff. Doug Fleener over at has given some ways store leaders can avoid inadvertently doing the opposite and creating uninspired staffers. We pulled the top five, but you can visit this post to see all eight.


1. Not recognizing extra effort. I once had an associate tell me he only did the bare minimum of what was expected. After I got over my initial shock at his bluntness and asked why, he said it was because the manager never said a word when he did go above and beyond. She never thanked anyone. She never said a word. This person finally decided if that if his manager didn't care, neither did he. I knew this manager well, and she did care. She just didn't take the time to say it. She fixed that pretty quickly and the store was once again humming along.

2. Not addressing poor performance or unacceptable behavior. Nothing is more uninspiring to a motivated staff than knowing not only that someone else on the team isn't pulling her/his weight, but that the manager isn't doing anything about it. I've seen this ruin a store's holiday. Don't let that happen to you.

3. Posting negative memos and signs in the backroom. I visited a store where the manager had posted a sign in the break room that read, "QUIT BEING SLOBS. I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER. PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF!!!!"

Yep, there's how you inspire people ... call them slobs, "shout" by using all capital letters, and finish with four exclamation marks. Not surprisingly, it wasn't an especially happy environment for either the staff or the customers. A sign reading, "Please keep this area clean" or "Please pick-up after yourself" would have been a much better approach.

4. Dwelling on the negative. A manager I once worked for invariably highlighted the store falling $300 short of goal instead of recognizing the $4,700 in sales. Yes, of course we sometimes need to talk about difficult topics or discuss falling short. Do it, get it over with, and move on.

5. Over praising. It will eventually fall on deaf ears. People need and want a balanced viewpoint. I like to tell people what they're doing well and what they can improve.

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