Happy Employee Means Happy Customer: Boosting Employee Morale

by Brandon Wright February 08, 2018
Boost employee morale

A recent Forbes article came out talking about the unhappiest jobs of 2017, and guess what job came in second place? Retail Cashiers.

If that doesn’t worry you, it should. After all, who creates the experience for your customer? Your employees, the sales associates, cashiers and everything in between. If they aren’t happy in their job, it will probably show in how they interact with the customer. It’s a vicious cycle, where the employee is unhappy, treats customer bad, sales decline, the employee gets lower commission check, the customer doesn’t return, and on and on.

We are still early enough in the new year to make some resolutions. How about making it a priority to ensure your employees are happy?


Happy Employee Happy Customer

Richard Branson has a great quote, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

Richard Branson runs his business off of this quote and it is changing the way others run theirs. It’s very easy to create a customer-centric approach and to neglect your employees. This is probably why retail has a very high turnover rate. But we can change that.

Focus on what you CAN change.


Money Talks

A common complaint of retail workers is pay. Are you paying your employees the bare minimum or are you looking for top-notch people who deserve higher pay? Do you motivate them by offering commissions? Do your sales associates have their own clientele? These are just a few questions/behaviors that you can control. Take a moment to look at your employees and reward the high performers and help the ones who need it.



As a store owner, you are probably passionate about what you have created. Sadly, your employees might not share that same passion. When you’re hiring new employees you can seek out people who have a passion that matches their job role but without going backward how do you help the employees you have?

Teach them. Train them. Help them. They might not be passionate about selling high-end purses but maybe their passion is managing and helping others. Put them on a track to be a store manager. Find out what they are passionate about and help them get there.



Every person is unique. They are motivated by different things. One might be motivated by money while another might be motivated by power. One deserves a raise and one should manage a team.

Motivate your team by having fun contests, store parties, celebrate wins (big and small). Employee perks really do make a difference. Ask your employees what perks they would be interested (within reason).

Burnout is real and in retail it is common. Make it a priority to motivate your team every day.



Again, focus on what you CAN change. You can’t change behaviors of customers, or the fact that your store randomly gets a flood of customers when you are understaffed. But you can change the way you treat your employees (pay, motivation, passion).

Don’t fall into the retail stereotype. When the 2018 Unhappiest Jobs post comes out let’s knock retail off of the list.

Take care of your employees first. Your sales will thank you.

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Brandon Wright

Brandon is the Founder and CEO of Clientbook (a clienteling tool for retailers that increases in-store foot traffic and sales).

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