When I speak to business owners and management teams, one of the most common problems (or complaints) I hear is staff-related, usually relating to under-performing employees who make mistakes or just ‘aren’t doing their jobs’.

My answer is always simple and straightforward: Do you assess performance and reward great service?

And it’s amazing how few businesses really support great work, expecting it to just happen without the leadership team putting the right foundations and culture in place to drive passionate service.

What you can learn from Sorbet’s Millionaires Club

It is my fervent belief that money is not the purpose of work. Instead, money is the reward of good service. It follows that if the business does well when exceptional customer service is delivered, then when someone has performed well, they should be properly recognized as well.

At Sorbet, we celebrated the Millionaires Club each year, a group of employees who had brought in over R1 million in income to their salons.

Here’s what’s really interesting about the Millionaires Club: These high-performing individuals were mostly not financially driven. Instead, they loved their guests. They had a passion for people and wanted to give them the best service they could.

And the result was increased sales, increased profits for the business and increased incomes for these top performers.

How to build a business that employees want to excel in

There are four things that Culture-Driven Leaders must do in order to maximise the financial growth of their people:

  • Pay people properly and on time
  • Support each individual in their attempt to fulfill their potential
  • Make sure everyone knows what to do with their rewards (personal finance and budgeting).
  • Create a working environment that inspires people to motivate themselves.

We found that employees work well when you have created an environment conducive to them working well. It sounds so glaringly obvious, and yet many businesses are the exact opposite. Employees are expected to perform without fair remuneration, incentives that reward great service, training or the tools they need to serve their (ie your) customers properly.

In order to create a conducive working environment, a good Culture-Driven Leader needs to:

  • Pay remuneration package that rewards great service
  • Train and develop employees to enhance skills and knowledge
  • Ensure that employees have all the stock and equipment they need to serve their customers properly
  • Support and encourage people to break through the glass ceilings that are stopping their personal and professional growth, and to stretch themselves beyond what they thought they could do
  • Respect and tolerate the diversity of your community and treat people with respect and dignity
  • Help financially wherever possible.

To tip: Every single business has the means and opportunity to build an environment that assesses performance, rewards great service and gives employees the support they need to fulfil their roles. The great news is that this investment will repay the business tenfold in repeat customer sales and customer loyalty.

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