with your employees to improve performance
likes a party, right? A party is a great way to relax, meet people,
and find areas of common interest. In retailing, you will find people
who work together taking the time after a week's work to spend a few hours together. In their effort to relax, these people
are actually working to create a corporate culture. Hopefully for
the manager or owner, the results are of a positive nature; for
if their informal discussion centers on the problems of the workplace,
odds are they will not be creating the solutions.
you ever been to one of these events? When the discussion of the
evening turns to work, someone brings up the subject of a current
project at work. If the staff does not understand, or fully buy
into the direction that management has decided to take, the negative
aspects of the project will surely be the focal point of discussion.
Not to say the discussion will cause the project to fail, but it
surely will not help.
the owner or manager, you can do something that will improve your
management skills. For, surely, part of your job description is
to create a team among those you employ. Regularly scheduled staff
meetings are a beginning, but creating your own get-togethers is
a great way to have all your employees buy into the team concept.
who work in your business spend many hours with one another. If
they are full-time employees, they are probably spending more hours
with their fellow workers than they are with their families.
employees may even see their fellow workers as their extended family.
The cost of hiring and training a new employee can run as much as
40 to 60 percent of the annual cost of the employee. This should
be incentive enough to want to retain the employees you now have-assuming
they are quality employees. Research in employee issues shows that
salary is not the primary issue with most workers. They are looking
for a sense of belonging and knowing their efforts have made a difference
in the success of the business.
the party issue. In an effort to foster the sense of belonging,
many successful businesses are spending more of their efforts to
address this issue. One successful technique is having parties.
One restaurateur closes his restaurant one evening each quarter.
Signs are posted on the doors of the restaurant a week before the
event telling customers the business will be closed at 5:00 p.m.
on the selected day so that the staff, managers, and owners can
enjoy an evening together with their families. Everyone is invited
to the owner's house for dinner. The owner gets the large grill
fired up, and he and his wife serve a steak dinner with all the
follows, with most of the children playing together in the yard
and the adults visiting in the den. There is no agenda for the evening.
The owner makes a point not to mention anything about work. If the
business has a bonus program, this is an excellent opportunity to
hand out bonuses as well as awards. (The only thing that beats giving
your employees recognition is to do so in front of their families
makes a tremendous statement about where the owner places his values
with regard to his employees. He has said the same with the sign
on the front door of the restaurant. It does not just say "we
are closed today."
says that the customer is valued, but the owner places a higher
value on his employees and their families. This demonstration of
concern probably explains why some of the employees have worked
in this same single location restaurant for the past 30 years. You
see, the owner and managers are able to get past the token, "How
is your family?" and generally express their concern for the
employees and their families.
business has employee parties for seasonally decorating their store.
Just like the restaurant owner, families are invited. When they
are decorating for Christmas, the party is held on an evening just
before Thanksgiving. Each employee is invited to bring a small tray
of snack food. Christmas music is played throughout the store; the
owner has Santa caps with each person's name embroidered on them.
There are gifts for the children of each employee, and a gift for
each employee. Then the party begins. Together they decorate the
store for the season. The owner reports they rarely get the entire
store decorated in the one evening. That is all right with them;
they finish the job the next day.
these employers worried about employee turnover? Probably not as
much as most other businesses; and yet, they report they are not
paying top dollar for their staff. They have found one of the secrets
of human need-and they love a good party!