Training, Motivational Speaker, Writing,
B K BHATIA
Director Of Company
Human Resources Professional
There are 2 parts to your query - the first relates to retaining staff and the second pertains to motivating them.
Let me begin with my comments on retaining staff and controlling the attrition rate. Being a retail outlet your challenge is even more magnified, since the employee profile that you would engage would largely display a tendency to change jobs whenever they get a slightly better salary. That apart, the stress of dealing with very demanding walk in clients takes a toll on them. Often they are also caught in the dilemma of being forced to maintain a pleasant, calm and helpful attitude to customers whilst their personal background and worries could be very challenging.
Whilst the above observations are merely to put your problem in perspective, the issue of attrition has always been the bugbear of all HR professionals. Broadly the reasons for attrition have by and large remained the same across industries, countries and cultures, with issues like low salaries, poor work conditions, lack of motivation, ineffective management, frustration with the job itself etc. taking center stage. Then there are other more personal reasons like growing ambition of the individual, a need to balance work and home, an urge to get away from stress and toil and live a more sedate life, work pressure, bad bosses etc.
However we cannot generalize these issues for the issues that actually trigger attrition vary from organization to organization, industry to industry and at a micro level from individual to individual. In a BPO for example, the employees are by and large very young and their motives for joining a BPO would drastically transform as they mature and their aspirations are higher. Similarly, the odd shift timings to suit overseas client requirements would at some stage not be viewed very kindly by those employees who believe they can find better alternatives. The point that I would like to emphasize is that you would have to study and analyze the reasons for attrition in your organization and then seek solutions to address those issues.
As a balm for your immediate relief, I am sharing a link sourced from this site, in which Amit Seth has given a host of suggestions to tackle attrition. You can access the same by clicking on this link https://www.citehr.com/51382-how-control-attrition.html
Now moving on to the second aspect of motivating the work force the key is in ensuring that the work environment is appealing and pleasant. This means you have to work on the following broad themes
- make the work place a fun place to be in. eg. Right from ensuring that the work place is well lit up, the decor is pleasant and at the same time there is laughter and good cheer that energizes the environment, ensuring that friction if any is nipped in the bud. Ideally have a theory Y style of leadership culture but in a retail set up, often it is Theory X that is practiced primarily due the profile of the employees who require close supervision, urgent relocation of personnel necessitated by absenteeism etc.
- ensure that there is professional work environment eg ensuring that there is proper systems and adequate support from floor in charge to reinforce confidence in the employees. Job rotation is a must to give the employees variety in work but this is rarely practiced since management would assume that the experienced and long serving employees can offer better customer service. What they fail to appreciate is the monotony that the employee experiences.
- while work remains the fulcrum of the office, there is a life beyond work that craves for attention. Make efforts to identify these and satisfy these needs eg. Know a little more about the personnelís passions, interests and hobbies and where possible give them an opportunity to share these.With a little creativity and daring this can be implemented in innovative ways.
- Every individual values his/ her individuality and self worth. Work on meeting these small necessities. E.g. Respect their right to have a different point of view, donít make a mountain out of a mole hill when mistakes are made, give feedback in appropriate setting etc.
Despite all this there is a psychological tendency to equate bigger brands with better job profile, greater job security, more growth opportunities, more valued work experience etc. Obviously the challenge for you then, is to come up with innovative strategies to positively reinforce your employees thought process and mindset and convince them of the benefits of a long term association with your set up. The personal touch is the key but the risk is they should not perceive you as being too nosey or interfering in day to day work.
You may also benefit from some contents of the following Inspirational and Motivational blogs in enhancing your own self belief and confidence as well as motivating your workforce
19th February 2013 From India, Mumbai
Being a responsible member of the forum, I understand, I am supposed only to appreciate the inputs if I agree to them, unless I have something to share. However, after spending time in understanding your views, I thought, I should express my heart full thanks.
Although, I work for a BPO, I am facing similar challenges as most of our employees are fresh graduates. Even, they are not matured enough in understanding the leave procedures, basic do's and don't's in office. (I am successful to some extent in helping them understand the things through regular informal chat and periodical training on communications, behavior and many more basics which is a different aspect)
Above mentioned points by you, would definitely help me in changing the atmosphere and ensuring the employee enjoys working with the organization.
Once again, thanks very much for the post and please do continue sharing your valuable comments.
19th February 2013 From India, Hyderabad
But one has to weigh out the cost of incorporating these suggestions at a 'Retail show room level'. If it were the total retail business with multiple show rooms at different locations, probably the Head HR could figure out which job positions are vital & for which arresting attrition is a must. For other job positions, he could have preferred maintaining a pipeline of candidates (found suitable) & churning this pipeline every 3 months (since some candidates in the pipeline may have opted for other organizations). This becomes a workable solution when requirements are large & a tie up with some staffing agency eases the problem.
In one of the retail Show rooms in the US, I had observed a new concept of motivation. The photograph, by rotation, of different sales persons & others was flashed at the four entry points with the caption 'Meet our employee of the day'. My discussions with the management revealed that some employees featured only twice a year, while the best performers could be seen once a week. Even those responsible for cleanliness of the stores could occasionally see their photographs. This was a low cost motivation initiative based, probably, on the assumption that every one likes to see one's own photograph at a public place.
20th February 2013 From India, Delhi
As far i know if a employee is getting good salary at par with same trade in market then of-course non-monetary motivation technique will work but if the employee is getting even little less the market, then eventually they will look for better opportunity outside. Monetary incentive in a systematic manner is best motivator.
It is you to see what is the market salary of particular employee group. Your is a retail showroom hence you can easily adopt the policy of incentive based on sale proceeds by individual employee. You can fix the slab of incentive percentage based on individual sale proceed so that the sales personnel are motivated to go for higher sale to earn better % of incentive. Don't give the full incentive in same month but keep on depositing in their respective accounts of employee. Out of these, invest some part of their incentive in their medi-claim policy covering their family members and PF scheme(if it is not there) or some form of RD. This way you have covered their medical emergencies and inculcate them the habit of saving. Don't forget to give the documents of these to employees as it build the feeling of security and confidence in them that the management do care about them. Paying salary and incentive at right time is one of the essential tool in motivating employees.
Do appreciate the employee in front of others but don't over-react. This way you can earn their loyalty and respect but never ever scold them in open. Call them in your chamber and explain and encourage them to improve and even then if the employee doesn't improve then take strict action. This way other employee gets the feeling that they have to perform well only then they get incentive.
You can call a general meeting of your employees at least once every quarter and just to know what are their priorities and how you can help them. Sometime a little gesture on your part can do wonders. e.g., using your contact help them in getting their ward admitted in school, getting them LPG connection, visiting their home in their happy and sad moments, getting their loan approval from bank are some of the field you can go for.
I don't know how many of you agree to my views but I have practically see this as effective tool in motivating and building confidence in employee.
20th February 2013 From India, Buldana
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31st January 2019 From India, Ahmedabad