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Amanda’s top ten – Motivating Your Staff

August 12, 2011  By Amanda Ryder

As the owner of your shop and leader of your employees, it’s up to you
to inspire staff to carry out their job to the best of their abilities.

As the owner of your shop and leader of your employees, it’s up to you to inspire staff to carry out their job to the best of their abilities. Here are some tips to help you motivate and encourage your team to deliver top-notch service.

  1. There are no bad ideas – Encourage employees to share any ideas they might have to help you sell more product or run the business more efficiently. Create an environment where they aren’t afraid to offer up suggestions. If they come up with a great idea that really pays off for you, don’t forget to reward their efforts.
  2. Hang a staff picture – Get your roster together for an employee photo and hang it somewhere where everyone can see it. This will let your customers know they can depend on a great team to take care of their needs and it will help remind employees that they are a strong team unit.
  3. Give on-the-spot praise – If you catch an employee doing a great job, let them know. Don’t wait until their annual review when they’ve long forgotten that particular task – congratulate them on the spot.
  4. Share your goals – Let your staff know the specific goals you’re looking to achieve in your centre this year. Doing so will let employees know that they play an important role in the success of the business.
  5. Shake things up – A slow sales week can make for a dull working environment. Mix things up by giving staff members new tasks or have people switch roles for a day. It will give everyone a newfound respect for their co-workers.
  6. Challenge your employees – Run a contest to see who can drum up the most sales, create the most unique container design or award the person who sets up the best display.
  7. Add little incentives they’ll appreciate – You can reward a job well done without dipping into the cash register. Send a staff member home an hour early, give them extra break time, a longer lunch or save them the best parking spot for a week.
  8. Take time to get your know your staff – Talk to your employees, find out about their interests, ask about their loved ones and remember special days like their birthday.
  9. Share the knowledge – If one of your staff members has great plant knowledge, ask them to host a training session for the rest of your team. Find out what each employee does well and utilize their talent to teach others. This will instil confidence in your staff and create well-rounded employees.
  10. Celebrate the highs and lows – Treat your employees to a post-work dinner after a long and weary spring weekend, a miserable rain day or a great sales week. It takes a team effort to get through these things so you should celebrate (or commiserate) as team too.


Amanda Ryder is editor of Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery and can be reached at

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