Many retailers, such as Costco, provide a positive, reinforcing work environment for their employees. Many other retailers [we’ll leave these uncited] have allowed an environment to exist that leads to some disgruntled employees — who then may rub off on others. As a rule: Happy employees lead to happy customers, while disgruntled employees many inhibit the customers’ shopping experience.
In two articles, Doug Fleener (president and managing partner of Dynamic Experience Group, a retail consulting firm) discusses the effects of these opposing dynamics:
In his article about happier employees, Fleener says:
“Let me ask, have you ever received amazingly good service from an unhappy waitperson? Probably not. Ever been WOW’d by a bored salesperson? I doubt it. That’s why the environment you create for your employees directly impacts the customer experience, the employee experience and, ultimately, store results. You’re not going to have happy customers unless you first have happy employees.”
He provides six tips for gaining happier employees.
In his article about negative employees, Fleener says:
“I suspect we can all agree that positive people have a positive impact on customers and results. So why aren’t we also assuming that employees with a negative attitude will have a negative impact on customers and results? I have a client whose business was on a roll this summer, and then all of sudden took a dive. At first she thought it was traffic or the local economy, but as she poked around she discovered that one of her employees was very negative when the boss wasn’t in the store. The owner made a change, hiring a positive, upbeat person in place of the negative person. Sales went up over 30%. A negative employee was killing her business. Not hurting it. Killing it!”
He suggests how to handle negative employees.