How to nurture your best and most motivated employees

July 28, 2017

Never let motivated employees forget how valuable they are

I just witnessed the best example of motivated employees I’ve ever seen. It’s birthday time at Traxia. Birthdays mean a big, fat bagel pack from Panera. This morning, when I picked up the bagels, the woman waiting on me turned to hug a young man she obviously really cared about. They hugged and talked about how they were going to miss each other and what a joy it had been to work together. I waited at the register until she turned back around. When she did, she was crying. I asked if she was alright. She said the young man had graduated from college and was moving on in life. As he turned to leave, everyone he passed appeared to know him. They shook his hand and chatted personally. At the door, he greeted an elderly couple with such warmth, they hugged him too. Panera should never let that young man go. They should make him a district GM, but they probably have no idea he even exists.

5 ways to nurture motivated employees

1.) Create a work schedule that brings out the best

I am not a morning person. Let me repeat that. The day does not begin for me before 10 am. Because Traxia understands that creativity is important for a marketing person and because they value me as a person, I don’t start my work day until 9:30 am. Of course, I typically don’t leave until 6 pm. If you have motivated employees, find out what time of day is best for them. Be flexible. Let employees tell you their peak work hours and see if you can honor that when scheduling them.

2.) Give them control

Everyone has gifts and talents in particular areas. If one of your employees has writing skills, make sure their tasks include social media posts. Do you have an employee who loves merchandising? Even if they aren’t skilled at it, teach them. Nurture their interest and encourage their involvement. Employee training should be more than just understanding how to use the register. Train your most motivated employees in the things they love and they’ll reward you with extra attention to details. As WhizBang! says, “sales training is not the same thing as product training.”

3.) Recognize there is emotion in sales

A sales associate that’s intuitive to others is usually more sensitive. Train your salespeople to recognize a customer’s body language. If they can pick up on certain cues, how the customer feels about themselves or even your merchandise, they’re more likely to begin building a relationship. They will also be more likely to make a sale. Being sensitive however, usually means that salesperson is more likely to get their feelings hurt when they don’t make the sale. Be their cheerleader. Sales role-playing is excellent to improve this skill.

4.) Right or wrong, let them know what you think

WhizBang! found in a recent workshop that on a scale of 1 to 10, most managers rated their staff as a “2.” Ouch! If your sales staff isn’t meeting your expectations, perhaps it’s because you haven’t made it clear what you expect. Have definite job descriptions in writing. Set goals for sales weekly and monthly. Hold your salespeople accountable to what they agreed to do for you. Publicly praise them when they perform their job properly. WhizBang! suggests giving a “Sale of the Week” award to “one employee who had created an exceptionally Perfect Purchase – regardless of the dollar amount of the sale.”

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5.) You hold the tool box

The bottom line…training. Give your sales team continuous, motivating sales training. Make sure their sales goals match their abilities. Provide the verbal praise, and perhaps monetary reward that keeps them encouraged. Keep your sales floor filled with the merchandise you know your customers are looking for.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.