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Close on Weekends, Dry is Better Than Too Cold, and More Summery Tips For July

When things are slow, give your staff little things they can check off to feel productive.

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MANAGEMENTGo for Small Wins

The organizational theorist Karl Weick showed in his classic article, “Small Wins,” that when an obstacle is framed as too big or too complex, people get overwhelmed and freeze in their tracks. Yet when the same challenge is broken down into less daunting components, people proceed with confidence to overcome it. As you lead your team through a stressful period, aim to give them a flurry of little things they can check off as they make their way through their work. It dramatically lowers people’s anxiety, enhances their collective energy, and gives them confidence that the hard tasks, too, can be handled.

MANAGEMENTShow Compassion

Jerald Greenberg, a management professor at Ohio State University, found fascinating effects on employee theft rates at plants when it came to announcing pay cuts during the last recession. At a plant where a curt explanation was given, the rate rose to more than 9 percent. But at another plant, where management’s explanation was detailed and compassionate, it rose to only 6 percent. (At a third plant, where no pay cuts were made, the rate held steady at 4 percent.) Greenberg’s interpretation is that employees stole more at the two plants where cuts were made to “get even” with their bosses, and stole the most at the plant where managers exhibited a lack of compassion because they had more to get even for. This suggests that compassion from a boss adds corporate value—in good times and in bad. What’s more, it’s free.

MARKETINGLap Pool Dogs

Nothing makes threshold resistance collapse quite like catering to someone’s beloved pet. Rees Jewelry in Nacogdoches, TX, found that out when they exhibited at a local festival and sponsored a “dog cooling station.” It was hugely popular with festival goers, as was the photo posted on their social media channels.

MARKETINGStrike When It’s Hot

Many jewelers take their foot off the pedal when summer arrives. But jewelry retailer Denise Oros says it can be a great marketing op if you play this period right. “We love vacation season, because everyone wants to look great before they leave or they need everything cleaned when they get back (because of sunscreen and sun-tanning lotion). We take advantage of those opportunities to showcase new merchandise or perform jewelry inspections, citing work needed or just adding to wish lists,” Oros explains.

IN-STOREDon’t Freeze Out Your Customers

Cooler is not always better when it comes to running air-conditioning in summer. “People are dressed for the warmer weather and won’t browse long if it’s uncomfortably chilly,” notes James Doggett, owner of Doggett Jewelry in Kingston, NH. “So turn down the air-conditioning and turn up the dehumidifier. Dry is better than too cold.”

OPERATIONSGo to the Beach

Mark Young, owner of Mark A. Young Jewelers in Oxford, MI, says he’s closed on weekends in August for 10 years and it has “worked beautifully.” “Everybody is trying to cram in summer on those weekends,” he notes, which makes the shop/store busier during weekdays.

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