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How to Deal With Staff Burnout and More of Your Questions Answered

Want to know how to sell more family jewelry and EAT your way to the top of Google’s rankings? Read on.




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My staff has been doing more with less since the lockdown. Now I fear they are showing signs of burning out: they are getting snippy and seem to be losing enthusiasm for their work. How can I restore their vim and vigor?

Given your staff likely went through a psychologically wrenching time during the lockdown — depending on where you are, some people spent almost a year holed up in their homes — followed by a surprisingly busy rebound in the economy, it’s not shocking your team is starting to fray around the edges. There are no easy answers — you need to find a way to give them a proper break. If you don’t, you can expect to see their productivity levels start to slide very soon if not already. Perhaps you can start by cutting store hours, at least during the summer months. Could you experiment with closing on Mondays, for example, without taking too much of a revenue hit? Keep in mind that burnout is not exclusively about the hours. Lack of autonomy, lack of recognition for work, lack of meaning in work, a cutthroat, results-oriented culture … can all make for an environment that pushes people beyond their capacity to function well.

Talk to your staff. Find out what the pressure points are in their lives. Consider offering mental-health days (and encouraging people to take them), paid leave, or other benefits that support a healthy work-life balance.
Review also your people and management skills. Can you be more generous with praise? Give people more control over their work? Bottom line, though, is that if the cumulative burden of the work is too great, they need to work less. You need to find a way to whittle down the load.

Do you have any tips on how to boost sales of personalized “family jewelry”?

This is an excellent segment to cultivate because there is a large number of self-purchasing mothers looking to buy jewelry that reminds them of their children or grandchildren that isn’t often deliberately targeted.

The marketing pros at Stuller recommend you do the following:

  • Allocate proper case space. You don’t need a lot to make a big impact. Mom will stop in her tracks when she sees on-trend personalization and family fashion jewelry in your showcases.
  • Hit every price point, so that you accommodate the style and desire of every mom out there — from metal initial necklaces to diamond-accented family rings.
  • Feature on-trend family fashion jewelry. Be sure your selections reflect what’s hot in jewelry right now, be it bar necklaces, interesting gemstones or exciting diamond shapes like baguettes and marquise.
  • Promote personalized fine jewelry. Be it traditional monogram necklaces to script nameplates, the more personal an item the better, especially for first-time mothers who are looking for a way to celebrate the birth of their newborn.
What to do with a top performer who is high maintenance but not an out-and-out jerk?

Show them the carrot. And don’t sweat the small stuff. As long as the person is not putting you in a position whereby you are transgressing your company’s core values, or making your life miserable, then consider it a case of individual man/woman management. Top salespeople respond to incentives, even seemingly crass extrinsic ones, and other staff will not object when someone is rewarded for being clearly good at something. Just make sure all your employees have an opportunity to show off their strengths, too.

There’s a lot of stuff online about how to boost your Google ranking. But in 2021, what should we focus on?

In the Google universe, you are what you “EAT,” says Andrea Hill of Hill Management Group. Google will determine where your website ranks by your online demonstrations of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (“EAT”). “So make sure you prove yourself on your website. Your policies, content and the quality of what you sell all count when it comes to your ranking,” says Hill. One simple way to begin demonstrating EAT while producing relevant content is with a question-and-answer page. Another page to check and update periodically is your About Us page (adding information about new staff members, for example). The second key thing is to be consistent with all your store information, like store name, address details and phone numbers — it needs to be exactly the same everywhere.




Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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