Leaders should always be in control of their emotions and have a positive attitude. Even when you have to deliver poor reviews and consequences, it should not be done angrily or in a demeaning way. Your employees cannot be positive or productive if they are constantly worried that you may go off on them or react hysterically any time they have to come to you with a problem. In the service industry we are in the business of solving problems. If you can't help your team solve problems with a good attitude, how are they going to help your clients with a positive demeanor? They may plaster on a smile, but usually you can see tension in their most prevalent form of communication; body language. I actually have worked in dealerships that have codes to let everyone know if the boss is in a bad mood. This is ludicrous and dangerous in an industry where employees are known to change jobs in a heartbeat. Stress does not create a customer friendly environment.
How Do We Become a Coach?
We must set clear expectations for our team. Define your job descriptions, minimum standards, training requirements and goals in writing. Review them regularly with each individual and have them sign a copy. Monitor their progress and make sure they are aware of how they are doing daily. If they are failing, consider any additional tools or training you can provide to help them succeed. Training is an ongoing process that requires repetition and NEVER ends!
Set a clear consequence for not following all processes or meeting minimum standards. Minimum standards without repercussions are a waste of time and paper. If you do not hold people accountable they will lose respect for your authority. It has to be more than just a loss of pay and it should always be done in private. Public humiliation is not productive or necessary.
Acknowledge successes daily. Research shows that employees are more loyal to companies that show appreciation. Pats on the back and acknowledgements are emotionally more rewarding and motivating than money. Sometimes a more personal reward can be very effective. Take the time to learn what motivates each individual. I work with a manager that has been offering rewards such as a day of golf or tickets to a game, when exceptional performance is delivered. He brings it up daily in their kick off meeting and it always makes everyone start the day with a smile and a clear intention. It just doesn't get any better than that!
Create a fun upbeat environment. We spend a lot of time at work so we should make it enjoyable. Fun competitions and friendly banter should be the norm on your drive. We want your employees and your customers to enjoy coming in to your store. Research shows that we retain more information when some humor in interjected. Just think about your favorite line from a movie. See you remembered it right away! Find creative ways to make work a place your employees like to be! A happy employee is a productive employee!
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin." So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
Kindness, Gentleness and Persuasion succeed where force fails!