Hardware Retailing

JUN 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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June 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 39 What Attracts a Generation A retail business should be a welcoming place for customers and employees alike. Workplace satisfaction has to be a common topic for anyone owning or managing a business, as employee morale and attitude will inevitably affect customer satisfaction and business efficiency positively or negatively. So knowing how to attract and invigorate employees with wildly different backgrounds and motivators is key for any employer, particularly a retailer. For Michelle Ashley, employee morale strongly affects her work as office manager at Fishers Do it Center in Fishers, Indiana. Ashley, 50, falls under Generation X and has worked with co-workers across many other generations while managing human resources responsibilities as well as salesfloor duties. In Ashley's experience, the youngest and oldest employees in a store are actually similar in their desires from a position within retail. Both often place flexible schedules at a premium, even if it is for different reasons, and like to be praised for a job well done. That need for acknowledgment shows itself in different ways, however. "Young people do get their feelings hurt at times, which means you have to tone it down a bit when considering work reprimands and performance evaluations," Ashley says. "Older workers want respect for their knowledge and abilities, so that can be tricky as well. The older generations hold a lot of the industry knowledge, but transferring that knowledge to other generations can be difficult sometimes." That knowledge is often one of the greatest assets of older generations. Not only do older employees carry life experiences with them that can prove useful for customers and co-workers, they have had more opportunities to experience the hardware industry and its many demands. Zachary Badger works part time at Fusek's True Value in downtown Indianapolis while attending a local university. As one of the youngest employees at Fusek's, Badger has worked to grow his skills and experience while evading stereotypes associated with younger generations.

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