Staff apathy sends jewellers to brain trainers

© Written by Rachael Taylor for The Financial Times

On a gloomy Wednesday morning in Staines, a town west of London, two women sit at a small table in the plush seating area of Swag jewellers having a congenial chat. They laugh and joke as if friends or close colleagues, which makes the nature of their relationship all the more surprising. Jo Henderson, who will submit an invoice after this and subsequent conversations, is a motivational coach brought in to enthuse Susanne Moschini and her colleagues at the jewellers — to deftly rein in the cocky, bolster the anxious and reflate the deflated.

Ms Henderson is not the only one making a living from motivating shop floor staff. She is part of a wave of trainers in the jewellery and watch industry eschewing flipcharts and sales transcripts in favour of a person-centric approach, and businesses from independent jewellers to international watch brands are paying for it.

This is becoming a more common scenario across the broader economy: staff need motivating as their wages lag. UK inflation outpaced wage growth between 2008 and 2014, and looks like it will do so again this year. The UK was also the only major advanced nation where wages fell — by 1 per cent a year — as its economy expanded between 2007 and 2015, according to the OECD…

This story was originally published in the June 1, 2017, edition of The Financial Times. Read the full story here. Main image: Jo Henderson of JHJC (© Jon Super for the FT).

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