I suspect we can all agree that positive people have a positive impact on customers and results. So why aren’t we also assuming that employees with a negative attitude will have a negative impact on customers and results?
I have a client whose business was on a roll this summer, and then all of sudden took a dive. At first she thought it was traffic or the local economy, but as she poked around she discovered that one of her employees was very negative when the boss wasn’t in the store.
The owner made a change, hiring a positive, upbeat person in place of the negative person. Sales went up over 30%. A negative employee was killing her business. Not hurting it. Killing it!
Why are employees negative?
The number reason is because they’re allowed to be. We’re accepting the behavior. We don’t require them to stop acting the way they do.
Why do we accept negative behavior? There are a host of reasons. I’d say the number one reason is that an owner or manager hates confrontation. Who doesn’t? Okay, some people do, but most of us don’t.
Even if you’re someone who will go to great lengths to avoid confrontations, you have to ask yourself this: Which is worse, lost sales or a confrontation? As far as I’m concerned that’s a pretty easy question to answer. I wouldn’t let a negative person kill my sales.
Another reason we accept negativity is because we hate having to find, hire, and train new people. I totally get that. At the same time, though, you have to remember how much that negative person with the negative attitude is costing you in sales. The effort you put into replacing that negativity will easily pay for itself, and then some.
There are other reasons we accept people being negative and I’ve heard them all.
They’re good salespeople. Yes, but they would sell a lot more if they weren’t negative.
He’s a good person. I’m sure he is, but imagine how much better he’d be if he knocked off the negativity!
She has a lot of problems. Okay, but it still isn’t okay to create more problems at work.
I firmly believe that you must take hard and swift action with negative people. They either turn it around immediately or they’re gone. They don’t need weeks or months to change their behaviors and actions. They don’t need training. They need to quit acting they way they are currently acting. Period.
The good news is that most people will change when confronted. Some people will even be surprised they’re perceived as being negative.
Every now and then you get someone who either won’t or can’t change. Don’t wait them out. You give a final warning, and then they’re gone.
Retail is challenging enough without a negative person on the staff who is directly, and negatively, impacting business. You and the rest of your amazing team deserve better.
So let me ask, do you have a negative person that is hurting your business? If not, congratulations. I hope it stays that way. If you do, what actions will you take this week to turn them around or move them on?
Doug Fleener, a proven retail and customer experience expert and consultant, helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their sales results. Visit the Dynamic Experiences Group website, or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create extraordinary results.