Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

What are we teaching our young workers?

February 28, 2012
Young workers

Happy Workers?

My young friend of mine rang me last week all excited – she had been offered a full time job in a sports store in the city.

While she was thrilled she was a little bit upset because she would have to leave her current job, which was also in a sports store. She is a loyal creature, she liked working there, she had made good friends and it had been a real confidence booster for her.

Each week she was one of the best performers in the store, beating her weekly targets consistently and selling well above the other staff members.

So, why was she leaving ?

The store have one of these short sighted recession led policies of restricting  all staff members to just over 20 hours a week so that it would save money – I’m not sure if this was down to saving on breaks or savings due to PRSI class. Either way someone in the organisation set a policy of maximum hours per person to save money.

This money saving was deemed as being better for business than allowing your best people have the most hours – the difference in performance between the different sales staff was thousands of euros consistently each week. Who’s saving money?

Eventually my young friend was left quite demotivated, the penny dropped that no matter how well she performed it would make no difference to her hours or career prospects so she decided to shop for a better position.

Her very last experience with her existing employer was when she handed in her required two weeks notice. True to form she was punished and her hours were slashed in her last two weeks.

I have encouraged her to hold her head up high and to finish off her last days there professionally. Unfortunately she has been left a little disillusioned by one of her earliest work experiences in one of Ireland’s biggest retail chains. I know myself that all of these early experiences play a huge part in forming your attitude towards work and your employers.

What are we teaching our young workers?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion PR

(p.s. I have written to them out of curiosity to see what they have to say)


This post was actually about my daughter. She started her new job in another sports store and can’t believe the difference it is. They look after their staff really well and from the very first minute she was made feel really welcome and appreciated.  She is lucky to find such an employer and thankfully she is now learning more positive “work lessons”.

I was really annoyed about how she was treated by Lifestyle Sports so I wrote to them hoping for a response but also hoping that they might take the lesson on board. I never received a response to the email that I sent. Maybe this is a reflection of the culture that exists there or maybe it is just a coincidence?

Email to Lifestyle Sports: ( – see copy below:

Hi ,

I am writing to you to both thank you and express my disappointment with you as an employer.

My daughter has worked with you for nearly two years in a Cork store and despite being one of the top performers in her store with her targets etc she has been held back to the minimum amount of hours each week.

I understand this is a policy to minimise costs – this is a foolish policy when the net result is employees that perform well getting disenchanted as they lose out on hours to other staff. These are foolish savings that are costing your business money and are also demotivating to staff. Too many accountants (I started off life as one) getting their way!

Eventually she managed to secure a full time job with a competitor where she is starting off soon. I was thrilled for her when she was offered the post but she was upset as she had built up a loyalty to Lifestyle Sports.

The last bitter pill was when she handed in her required two weeks’ notice and her store manager “punished” her by slashing her hours..

What kind of spirit are you nurturing? Not only have you really upset her in her last two weeks but you have also upset her colleagues that she works with.

She will freak out when she knows I wrote this as she is frightened she won’t get a good reference.

I trust you will not let this email affect her reference.

As I said at the outset ….. thank you for employing her for the last two years but please, please review your internal policies. You are getting rid of and demotivating performers and undermining the excellent training you give them.

I would like a response to my email.


Greg Canty

Have a Positively Fabulous Easter!

April 14, 2011
Retail tips for Easter

Positivity? - Why Not !!

Budgets, bad weather, IMF bailouts, things are tough, sales are bad, wages are down, burn the bond holders, senior bond holders, junior bond holders, any bond holders – Oh my God, my head is bursting ! Enough is enough ..

In business all the marketers will tell you about the importance of having a Unique Selling Point, a USP. It is that element that is unique that makes your business special and makes you different to your competitors. In a busy marketplace that can be hard to achieve. In the current climate it can be even more difficult as everyone is afraid of mistakes so we end up playing it very safe, even boring at times.

Now go back to my first paragraph, read it again and then read further on and let’s discover a really simple way to make your business stand out this Easter.

Here goes..

This Easter draw a secret line around your business and make it a haven for all those who enter or deal with over the phone or on email – you are going to give them a gift, something that is quite unique, something that are not getting in most other places. When anyone crosses that secret line they are going to experience nothing but positivity – yep, that’s right simple positivity.

That’s all well and good but how do we do it? – Here is my 10 step plan!

1.       Yourself – You start! ( “Good morning, Greg”)

2.       Your Team – Tell them that negative talk is banned, you want them cheery and bright with customers – watch what happens (have a negative jar instead of a swear jar!)

3.       Bright – You want to see bright merchandise in the windows, bright visuals on your website, bright stock in the stock list, bright clothes on the staff. Buy flowers!

4.       Sales – Increase your sales targets. We all know it’s not easy but tell the team you are budgeting for an increase (let everyone else do the opposite, prepare for the negative it and it will definitely happen)

5.       How to? – Ok, while you are positive you are also realistic. You want positive plans from your team as to how the sales targets will be achieved

6.       Bonus – Promise bonuses for those who succeed, win/win if you make it

7.       What to do with that bonus? – Get everyone in the team to write on a piece of paper what they will do with their bonus (put their private responses in an envelope with their name on it – keep it for them)

8.       Drinks/dinner/chocolates/coffee – When the sales plans are done and the bonuses are decided on do something as a team. Bring chocolates or buns into work.

9.       Customers – treat them really nice, offer them coffee, offer them biscuits. Tell them about the secret line if you have to – they will think you are nuts but they will appreciate it

10.   The World – little enough that you can do about the other stuff, keep it outside the line!

Sorry I have one more tip – why stop at Easter?

Happy Easter!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion