In our four-part series that recaps our favorite 2018 ICCFA Convention workshops, one of the popular themes was building your business. From remaining relevant to your customers to showing your employees that you appreciate them, there are many valuable ideas.
We couldn’t fit everything we learned about this topic in the recaps, so we want to share some more information on the subject. By following these tips, your funeral home can continue to have a successful business and hardworking, happy staff.
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Don’t Just Think — Take Action
In the workshop Are You Standing in Your Way?, we learned that there’s often a disconnect between our beliefs and taking action. As a funeral director, you should establish yourself as an advocate for your families. Don’t just assume that they know what they want; as a funeral professional, you can inform them of all their options. But make sure you’re being conversational and not too salesy.
For example, you know the value of having a funeral and visitation. But many families may not understand this and just want to opt for direct cremation and be done with it. By having a conversation about the importance of the funeral experience with your families, you can turn this thought into an action. This way, families can understand the value and make an informed decision about their funeral arrangements.
Show Your Appreciation
In the workshop Building a Highly Engaged Workforce, we learned ideas for showing your employees that you appreciate them. Without your employees, your funeral home wouldn’t be the successful business it is today. So, it’s important that your employees feel appreciated for their work. Then, they can continue to be the hardworking and passionate employees that create meaningful funeral experiences for your families.
You can show your appreciation for your employees by using the Five Languages of Appreciation at Work presented in this workshop:
- Words of Affirmation — Just simply telling your employees that they’re doing a great job and that you appreciate them can go a long way.
- Acts of Service — This can be doing a small task for them to show your appreciation — such as making a phone call or entering in important data for them.
- Thoughtful Gift — We’re not suggesting that you can buy your employees’ appreciation. But thoughtful gestures like bringing them coffee or treats shows that you care for and appreciate them.
- Quality Time — Spend time with your employees outside of your funeral home. Whether you all volunteer at a community event or have a cookout together, this quality time helps build trusting relationships and shows you appreciate their hard work.
- Appropriate Physical Touch — Depending on the closeness of your relationship with the employee, touching their shoulder, shaking their hand, or giving them a hug can show that you appreciate them.
Take Care of Yourself
In the workshop Winners Always Quit, we learned that it takes more than just taking care of your funeral home and its staff — you need to take care of yourself too. It’s important to not overcommit yourself and give yourself some “me” time to prevent compassion fatigue, burnout, or possibly vicarious trauma. Check out our free Self-Care eBook for some ideas.
What other business tips does your funeral home have? Share your advice with us in the comments below!