The time and effort spent in making the employment experience an enjoyable one will repay itself many times over. Fair pay, recognition, support, communication are all important – but does your staff enjoy working for you? Do they brag about their job?
Make sure you have their back if you want them to have yours. If an employee comes in late, the “book” says to dock them the time and “counsel” them. How about a simple. “I saw you weren’t able to come in on time. I’m sure you had a good reason. Let’s not make a habit of this…” And then end this impromptu counseling session with a friendly, “By the way, you owe me 15 minutes, I may need to cash it in when we’re short staffed…Is that okay?” You didn’t treat the employee as a child, you didn’t put them on the defensive – you’ve gained their respect – and now they have your back. I'm sure similar examples abound.
There is nothing more important than employee morale. Lack of it is poison to the operation and ultimately will have a negative effect on the customer experience.