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Companies can take motivational cues from retailers

Customer service is key to success and improving the bottom line, making the retention of high performing employees critical.

Customer service is key to success and improving the bottom line, making the retention of high performing employees critical. Within customer service-focused positions, high turnover can be the norm, presenting companies with the challenge of promoting engagement and job satisfaction – something employee rewards programs can help to accomplish.

Take cues from another sector
The retail industry is particularly accustomed to experiencing and handling this issue, and it can offer businesses in other sectors with ideas about how to better promote retention. A recent article by Retail Digital suggested that organizations should approach the problem by focusing on training, empowerment and recognition

Creating a service culture begins when on-boarding new workers. During the training process, businesses will want to give employees the tools to be decision-makers, as well as improve efficiency and efficacy in resolving problems and disputes by reducing micro-management.

"Whether it is being able to issue a refund or offer a POS discount, even simple steps can motivate employees, instilling a sense of pride and responsibility and help them to make the best customer service decisions quickly and professionally," the news source explained.

And when workers feel empowered and trusted, they are more likely to go the extra mile – not just in producing high sales but also in enhancing the overall customer service experience. This should not go overlooked by organizations. While it's typical for sales teams and other departments to receive rewards and recognition based on their amount of sales, revenue or new clients they bring in, Retail Digital underscored the importance of also offering incentives based on service. The news source wrote that by switching the focus to service, employees will place greater emphasis on the means and not just the ends.

A little competition never hurt anyone
However, Retail Digital did point out that there's no reason why businesses can not make incentive initiatives fun and competitive. Gamification is a recent trend promoting healthy competition and teamwork, which can ultimately create a greater sense of fulfillment with positions for employees. Furthermore, the rewards do not need to even be material. The initiative can be a long-term, points-based scheme that in the end offers extra vacation days or the like.

The importance of employee engagement within businesses is only continuing to grow. A recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management found employee engagement to be the "most important challenge facing HR organizations," making employee rewards and incentives programs a critical factor in achieving success.

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