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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HARDWARE RETAILING | June 2018 42 What Motivates a Generation Motivation can be a moving target for retailers. Encouraging employees requires delving into the personal ambitions and attitudes of individuals and finding the areas that can best move that person toward both their and the business's goals. Different generations respond to motivational techniques in different ways, requiring a sometimes tailor-made program to push employees toward good work habits. Donna Minnick, as part of the silent generation, represents a still-vital part of the retail hardware workforce. Employees who were born and lived through the turbulent 1940s are still looking to work and be valued in the public arena, Minnick says, especially in an area that allows them to interact with people from all generations. A big motivator for Minnick is a desire to continue working in an environment that can accommodate the needs of older employees while utilizing their skills. Minnick, who has worked at Akard True Value for three years, has worked out a schedule that allows her to make doctor appointments and other standing obligations while still getting the positive boost she feels from contributing to the team environment in the store. That team atmosphere is extended to working with younger employees, Minnick says. Often the youngest generation at Akard True Value is high school students working part time before moving on with their career plans or possibly enrolling in higher education. While these employees might not be interested in retail hardware as a career, their presence inspires Minnick, as do the stories she hears from young people who return years after they worked at the store in their teens. "When you get a bit older, you seek ways to contribute to your community. For me that's working and helping people in the store," Gwen Maffei has worked in retail hardware for 22 years, starting at an independent retail business in New York. She often looks to convey her years of product knowledge and experience to younger employees who are interested in developing their retail skills.

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