You’ve heard the phrase Pay it Forward. Someone does something nice for you, and instead of doing something nice back, you do something nice for someone else. I have several things I need to pay forward in my life, including one act of generosity that happened this fall.
I love the concept of Pay it Forward. I love the concept of generosity in the first place. Generosity leads to positive Word-of-Mouth.
One area of generosity I encourage my indie retailers is to Pay it Down. Be generous with those who work for you.
Be generous with granting them time off. This business is your every waking moment and your life. It isn’t theirs. They have more on their mind than just your business.
Be generous with your praise. This is a stressful time of year no matter how enjoyable it is supposed to be. Retail workers not only live that stress, they are on the receiving end of everyone else’s stress. Praise reduces stress.
Be generous with your time. Especially in these next few weeks. A little extra time listening to your staff may gain you some incredible insights for ways to improve your store. A little extra time showing you care about your employees will cause them to care more about you and your store.
Be generous with your giving. If you’re running your store right, your staff are making you money. Sure, you’re paying them to do that. At the same time, a little extra this time of year makes a world of difference. If you plan to give a gift instead of just money, make it personal and you’ll reap benefits fare beyond your imagination.
When you Pay it Down to your staff, you show them how much you appreciate them. We learned from Charles Dickens that’s the better way to act this time of year.
PS Little things mean a lot. Hire a masseuse for a day. Cater a big lunch on busy days. Bring in coffee. Give extended lunch hours. Give gift cards to local restaurants and shops (you can often get those businesses to trade gift certificates with you.) Share treats from sales reps with the team. Bake cookies and make a few extra for everyone to take home. Say thank you. A lot.
PPS Be amazingly grateful if someone pays it up. You owe them a lot more than they owe you. Without you, they don’t have a job. Without them, you don’t have a business.