I was looking for some PSL Almond milk coffee creamer and Richard suggested we pop into this one grocery store that I don’t particularly care for.

When we came out, he commented how sour-faced the staff all seemed to look. We did encounter two smiling, friendly employees but they both greeted us on our way out of the store.

For me, I don’t notice the sour faces of people I pick up on the vibes of a store or an environment that I’m in. I pick up on vibes of happiness, friendliness, and positive energy and I also pick up on vibes of unhappiness, negative energy, or overall lethargy.

People create a vibe in an environment. Good vibes are created physically in the body through the release of endorphins, which are emitted out of the body and out into the environment. There’s a lot more to this. I have taken a quantum physics course in manifestation and we learned all about this but I’m going to keep it simple for you here and let’s just talk in terms of vibes.

As we enter the holiday season and you get ready to decorate your stores and gear up for your holiday promotions, this is a great time to check in with the vibe of your staff and the vibe of your environment.



One store owner I talked with this week said her staff will do just about anything for free pizza but what doesn’t energize or motivate them is a cash bonus. So she’s going to offer pop-up pizza parties every week varying the days so she can be sure that the members of her team who only work a couple days each week will get in on the pizza party.

She’s also doing a pumpkin decorating contest between her in-take dept her sales dept and her admin team. Each department gets one pumpkin to decorate. They can carve it, paint it, dress it up. Totally up to them. The decorated pumpkins will be on display over the weekend and the in-store customers will vote for their favorite.



Maybe a pop-up pizza party wouldn’t work for your team but you could vary that by putting everyone’s name in a bowl and once or twice each week you draw from the bowl and the winner gets lunch of their choice that day. Keep drawing names until every name has been drawn. Then, start over again but instead of lunch you could do coffee or beverages or afternoon snacks. Maybe they get to pick the snack for the whole team.


Here are some more ways to freshen up your workplace vibe and boost morale or at least help prevent it from becoming stale.


Employee of the Month Or Employee of the Week

Have other staff members nominate one person each month (you as an owner or the store manager can make the final decision.) Be sure they are photographed and have that photo displayed somewhere prominent so customers can see it too. Also, include a little statement on why they were nominated; that’s important. Drop a little graphic into your SM for added kudos.



Daily or Weekly Mantra  

Having something positive to focus on increases the release of endorphins and trains the brain to think more positively. Also, a Daily or Weekly Mantra can inspire individuals on more levels than you may ever know. The world is filled with negativity so by putting out something positive to focus on you are providing your team with something to smile about, believe in, and strive for.  


Observe Work Anniversaries  

Recognizing longevity, growth, and accomplishments goes a long way to helping people feel like they are important and valued members of your team. 


Create a Wow Wall  

Share Reviews & comments from customers (even if they are overheard) and share grand gestures. Going above and beyond is not just good business, it’s great business and so few businesses practice it. Reinforce and encourage these behaviors by calling them out and celebrating them.  


Celebrate Milestones  

Similar to work anniversaries, celebrate milestones with your team. Your staff spends a tremendous amount of time in the workplace. They will spend Birthdays, Anniversaries, and other days of Celebration in the workplace. Help them feel special by recognizing their special days. Maybe someone went a whole week without forgetting to turn off a light or they sent out two emails every week for two months without a miss. Celebrate all the little and big things that matter.  



Company Swag

Brand- awareness and brand pride shine through when your team is using branded merch. From water bottles to coffee mugs, reusable shopping bags, and Friday T-Shirt or Sweatshirt Day, branded merch isn’t just for customers, it’s for your staff. Make your merch fun, fashionable, and functional. You might even splash out for the extra high-quality water bottles and key fobs for your team.



Company Bake-Off or Cook-Off

Got chefs and bakers amongst your in-take and sales teams? Spark some creative and friendly competition with chili cook-offs, Christmas cookie bake-offs, and who actually does make the ooey-ist, gooeyist chocolate brownies?


Invite Therapy Dogs to Stop By For a Weekly or Monthly Visit

This one is near and dear to my heart because my Mom worked with Therapy dogs for years. Most of our dogs were trained therapy dogs and my Mom well into her late 80’s took her dog to hospitals and hospices. Not only did she bring smiles and comfort to patients and their families she brought smiles to the staff, many of whom kept their own secret stashes of dog treats just for those Therapy Dog Visits.

You can find local Therapy Dogs through Google Searches. Invite them to your store on a regular basis.



Food Truck Fridays

This one might take a little coordination with your landlord and other stores, but coordinate with a good Truck one Friday per month. Food Trucks promote where they are going to be and are always looking for new locations to park and serve. By encouraging a Food Truck to pick your parking lot you can mix up the lunch menu offerings for your staff, your customers, and the other stores around you.


Organize a Monthly Pot Luck

Have staff members sign up for different dishes and one day per month enjoy a gathering of food. Food has been bringing people together for centuries.



Meditation Chair

If you’re lucky enough to have enough space for a large comfortable meditation chair, or bean bag chair definitely offer this option in your staff’s private area. Anyone in the mediation chair receives quiet, uninterrupted time to rejuvenate, refuel and re-center themselves. Meditation Chairs or spaces within the workplace are becoming more and more prevalent as this centuries-old practice is becoming more and more common in the workplace. In large offices where people sit in cubicles, they can put a sign that says “I’m meditating” and it has a little clock on it so peers know how long before they are back open for business.


Volunteer Together or Encourage Volunteering

Document your staff’s individual or collective volunteer efforts on SM and in emails to customers. There is a huge feel-good factor both in the act of giving and that your customers will receive when they read about the volunteer efforts of your staff members. Maybe volunteering isn’t everyone’s vibe or isn’t available for everyone, but that’s OK. But at least encourage it and ask for your staff to share their experiences and photos and encourage them to volunteer with each other to help encourage good staff relationships.


Race a 5K

There’s a good chance the 5K will be held while the store is open so find your team members who would love to run or walk for charity and offer to sponsor them and put up sponsorship forms in the store for customers to join in the sponsorship. It’s that feel-good factor again for your staff and your customers. You could end up inspiring an entire team comprised of store staff and customers who are all going to participate together in the 5K.


Store Book Club

Extend this one to your Customers. Staff members and customers can meet at your store once per month for Book Club. Broadening horizons, mixing with customers on a fun, relaxed, and non-customer level, and letting your staff be themselves. You’ll learn a lot about your team and your customers with the addition of a book club.



Ugly Sweater Saturday  

Pick a couple of Saturdays during the holiday season, when staff can wear their ugliest or funniest Holiday Sweaters.  


What things do you do at your store to boost morale and move the needle up on that fun-o-meter? Share your own ideas.  

I used to have an Accountability partner who owned a yoga studio. She and I met every week to go over our goals, talk about our work week, and be there for each other in all the ways an Accountability Partner is supposed to be there for one another.  

At one point we were both so goal-focused that we both kind of stopped having fun at work. So we invented our own Fun-O-Meters and started including that in our weekly get-togethers. It was really inspiring because there are always tasks that are not very much fun to do so we challenged ourselves to find ways to bring fun to those tasks and yes, sometimes we even decided to outsource those tasks which isn’t a bad idea either, but it really made a difference on our morale personally and the morale of our staff and her yoga studio.  

Have a great week and look forward to all your comments on how you keep the vibes high among your teams and at your stores.  

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