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Employee Engagement

Why the world's leading CEOs prioritise staff motivation

Written by Tony Loxton
Aug 18

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the correlation between staff motivation and profitable operations. That said, many CEOs become so focused on macro level tasks that any efforts to facilitate staff motivation fall by the wayside. With myriad other day-to-day tasks demanding your attention, it’s easy to revert to the ‘A paycheck should be enough motivation’ train of thought.Unfortunately, today’s workforce value fulfillment and recognition almost as much as they do a regular income. And when these needs aren’t met, staff become demotivated, and operations suffer as a result.

One of the reasons why leading brands are so successful, then, is because the powers that be are advocates for staff motivation. Here’s why you should champion the cause:

Staff play a pivotal role in the purchasing decision process

The level of staff motivation can be the deciding factor between a sale and someone walking out the door. In fact, ConversionXL reports that “face-to-face conversation with a salesperson or other company representative” is one of the main ways that customers gather information about a brand or product. And if your staff aren’t relaying this information in a helpful way, prospective customers will find another retailer with staff who are.

Your staff are the face of your brand

In other words, your staff can either facilitate brand advocacy or a negative opinion of your brand. A staff member who’s sloppily dressed and has a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude is probably not going to inspire someone to invest in your brand. Your staff are are essentially the personification of your brand, which means that anything less than a ‘can do’ attitude and helpful demeanour is problematic. For example, I have a friend who refuses – on principle – to visit his nearest grocery store, due to the fact that one of the checkout staff made a lecherous comment about his wife’s derriere. This may be an extreme example, but it hammers the point home.

Motivated staff facilitate cognitive fluency

“Cognitive fluency is the human tendency to prefer things that are familiar and easy to understand” (as defined by ConversionXL.) In other words, we tend to shy away from things we don’t understand, and embrace the things we do. As such, cognitive fluency influences purchasing decisions too, which means that if you’re selling anything other than bread and milk, your staff’s ability to present your offer in a way that’s clear and easy-to-understand is crucial. Today’s consumers have neither the time, nor the inclination to sift through myriad options and weigh up the pros and cons of a two year warranty versus a one year warranty, for example. And staff who aren’t motivated to man the shop floor are highly unlikely to spend time explaining the fine print of your product or service.

Staff motivation is directly proportional to staff performance

It goes without saying that the more motivated your staff, the better they’ll perform. Incentive programs –  whether based around promotions or monetary reward –  are an effective means of encouraging optimal levels of staff motivation. On the flipside, having processes in place to ensure that underperforming staff (whether they’re consistently late or aren’t fulfilling their job roles) are penalised accordingly, is equally important. Few things are as demotivating as witnessing a co-worker getting away with murder (figuratively speaking, of course), while management remains blissfully unaware (leaving everyone else to pick up the slack without receiving any recognition for the fact).

Establishing whether or not your staff are motivated can be rather tricky. Unless someone is blatantly rude or obviously uninspired, determining whether or not your staff motivation levels require a boost requires the use of hard data. Making use of a foot traffic counter, for example, can gift you with invaluable insight into the number of people visiting your store, as well as how long they’re sticking around for. If you see that your foot traffic is substantial, but that the majority of shoppers tend to leave you store soon after entering, your staff, and their attitude, may be to blame.

Find out about Blix Traffic, our foot traffic counter software that enables leading retailers to optimise their operations thanks to accurate data delivered in real-time.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail

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