June 3, 2014

This month, we wrote in the cover story about training and motivating your employees.

While the topic is a large one, and nearly impossible to fit into one magazine, there was an interesting article I read on a related topic that jumped out at me.

The Harvard Business Review had an interview with Dr. David Ballard, the head of The American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence, about employee-employer trust and how companies should tackle the issue of stress at an organization level.

The survey found that 32 percent of American workers feel that their boss or organization is “not always honest and truthful.”

In a press release, Ballard wrote, “This lack of trust should serve as a wake-up call for employers. Trust plays an important role in the workplace and affects employees’ well-being and job performance.”

We focused on training and motivating your employees largely because of that: affecting your employees’ well-being and job performance.

While you would like to do everything in your store, most of the time it’s not a viable option. You need to have workers you can trust, just as you need them to trust you, that what you’re doing is the right thing. Also, if your workers perform poorly, it will affect the end result of your product, your store and, furthermore, your bottom line.

So how do you gain trust of employees?

According to the study, there were three key things: employees; perception of the level of involvement they have in their organization, recognition provided by their organization, and how well the organization communicates.

If you don’t get that at first, it’s OK, we will break it down.

First is to involve your employees. Ballard said the first key predictor for a trustworthy company is how involved employees believe they are in that company. When you read the cover story, you will see that this is something that can be implemented very early on in the training process.

Second is employee recognition. It is always important for an employee to be recognized for the job they are doing, and it is always a great way to motivate your employee as well.

The final one is communication. Ballard states that is critical because it “bleeds into all other workplace practices.” Besides communicating well with your employees, you want your employees to communicate well with your store’s customers.

After I read this article and looked back at the cover story, I was blown away by the amount of ways a retailer can help their employees, gain trust from their employees, motivate their employees and make them happy and perform well, all in the early stages of training.

While every store runs differently, and some may not need to train their employees, it is definitely an option to consider, any route you may go.

– Craig Rexford

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