Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Retail staff hiring advice: only hire and keep happy people

Mark Fletcher
December 19th, 2013 · 7 Comments

In a newsagency recently I heard a staff member complaining to a colleague behind the counter about the roster, the weather someone at home. I was several metres from the counter. Shoppers in the newsagency could hear too.

Unhappy staff are a turn off for shoppers and for the leaders of the business keen to create a happy place where people enjoy themselves.

We need to hire happy people and train them in their tasks rather than hire skilled people and hope to train them to be happy – if that is a choice you face.

Being happy in a newsagency can be a challenge some days with customers complaining about the smallest thing, some suppliers treating you appallingly, you discovering how much theft has cost you recently, your bank rejecting you banking a fake $50 note … and so on. Yes, there are many opportunities for us to be unhappy. This is another reason we need to surround ourselves with cheerful / happy people.

But there is plenty we see and hear in our newsagencies that makes us happy – if we look for it. If our natural disposition (as the owner and leader) is to be unhappy, we need to push back on that urge, we need to choose to be happy. Surrounding yourself with happy people is key to this.

We need to show unhappy people the door and encourage them to go work somewhere else.


Category: Customer Service · Customers · Fun · Happy products · Hiring employees · Management tip · marketing · marketing tip · Newsagency challenges · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carol // Dec 19, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Most of the time our shop is happy with lots of chatter and banter with customers. I suppose we have our bad days too. I have experienced the same as you at the checkout in the supermarket too.


  • 2 Brendan // Dec 19, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Our store is always full of humour and laughter……….I only wish it wasn’t aimed at me, cheeky staff……


  • 3 Jarryd Moore // Dec 19, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Couldn’t agree more – “We need to choose to be happy”. Even if it isn’t real, learn how to fake a big smile and pretend.

    We actually picked up a number of customers from our competitor across town because people people didn’t want to be served by “My Grumpy”. You’d be lucky if you got a grunt as your morning greeting from him. Some people should just not work in retail.


  • 4 Brett // Dec 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    We have a good time every day.

    Had a test of our goodwill today however.

    Had a customer tell me that because we made an error, then correct it in front of him, that he will not shop here again.

    Apparently we are too honest?


  • 5 jenny // Dec 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    If one more customer phones my shop to ask where the 2nd half of the SMH is today I shall SNAP.
    These customers have been subscribers for decades, and the SMH has been in one section every year for decades.
    I thought smart people read the SMH but I’m starting to think they’re idiots!
    Thank you, will now go back to being happy!


  • 6 allan wickham // Dec 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    We are sad to announce that we are about to lose one of the most amazing juniors we have ever had. Grace has just finished year 12 and is off to the big smoke of Brisbane. This post is about hiring “happy people”, Grace is one of the happiest we have ever had. If anybody in Brisbane is looking to hire a uni student then (preferrably in the Indooripilly are or close by) then please give me a call and I can pass on her details too you. Grace is happy, honest, punctual and a very diligent worker (as is evident in her year 12 school of an OP 2, yes the girl is very clever indeed!). Grace will be very sadly missed here in my store but would make a tremendous asset to any great Newsagency.




  • 7 allan wickham // Dec 21, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Sorry, that should read year 12 “score” of OP 2.

    And my details are 0741940788 or 0419940788


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