A brand new season is upon us and, naturally, most
retailers want to lift their performance up a notch compared to last year. How
big a jump that's going to be depends on the overall goals and objectives of the
business. Whatever the number is, reviewing the fundamentals of your retail
operation is in order.
At DMSRetail, when it comes to performance, we
place the highest degree of importance on people. When all things are equal,
people make a big difference. In fact people make a huge difference even when
everything else is not equal. We have seen stores out performing other stores
that are located in much larger market areas with higher average income levels
within the same retail chain.
Therefore our first recommendation is to take a close look at
the people oriented aspects of your operation. Here are some of them:
Hiring the right caliber of people is crucial to your success in retail
management, perhaps more so than in any other industry. Every single one of
your hiring decisions, as a Store Manager, District Manager or Regional Manager
or a Business Owner will speak volumes about your organization and your personal
values and abilities. In retail there is no such thing as hiding behind a desk
or a cubicle for any employee and, thus, for their Manager.
A simple but very effective way of hiring the
right people is modeling. Develop a sufficiently detailed profile of your most
successful person and look for and hire people who fit that profile as closely
as possible even if it means paying a few dollars more; you will be rewarded
multiple times over in terms of elevated performance and lack of headaches. Pure
Everybody seems to know how important training is, yet most retail managers give
it only lip service.
One of the major reasons for the high degree of
customer dissatisfaction and resulting lost sales in the retail industry is
poorly trained employees who do not have a clear understanding of what is
expected of them.
An important part of the training must be clear
communication of goals, objectives and expectations in full detail. Measurements
in terms of sales numbers, customer satisfaction index and other performance
indicators should be on paper and staff must be verbally quizzed regularly to
make sure they know all the expectations and their individual performance
against those expectations at any given time.
Evaluation: If you have installed the performance expectations
correctly, then evaluation of staff performance is a simple and straight forward
process. If your staff is performing above expectations, all you have to do is
stretch the expectations a little and support them with a pat on the back,
prizes and other monetary and non-monetary rewards to keep them going higher and
On the other hand, if they are not performing,
there are usually 2 fundamental reasons:
Lack of skills
Lack of right attitude
Lack of skills is fairly easy to deal with - it
means that they have to go back to training.
Dealing with a bad attitude can range from
difficult to very complex. If you followed our advice on hiring, you should not
be suffering from bad attitude disease.
In any case, here are possible dimensions of an
a) Management-induced dimensions: incompetent managers almost always
create an atmosphere where staff does not care anymore. If manager to staff
communication is poor and/or too seldom, the staff will feel neglected and if
the situation continues for any length of time, the feeling will turn into a bad
attitude. Another management- induced dimension occurs when the manager doesn't
know how to motivate or doesn't want to motivate, or both. This again, will
ultimately result in a bad attitude. The management-induced bad attitude list
can be a long one and will result in severe lack of performance of the store.
b) Lack of self motivation: Some people suffer from chronic lack of
self confidence, often as a result of poor upbringing and lack of education.
Unless you are a psychologist ( which you probably aren't) or have a ton of free
time on your hands (which you don't) this is a tough nut to crack. Your best bet
is probably to part ways.
c) Personal issues: these can be anywhere from physical convenience
issues like living far from the workplace and not having dependable
transportation to personal family dramas that may be affecting the individual's
focus, devotion and behavior resulting in lack of performance.
Your Ďall around high performers' are your most
valuable asset. They are your goodwill ambassadors, your spokespersons; they
create your image and your fine reputation. They build relationships with your
customers and they can turn them into customers for life. They sell your
products. Because of the impact they have, you owe it to yourself and your
business to hire, train and evaluate people with the utmost care and attention.
The bottom line is you have to be very aware of
people performance issues and you have to be equipped to deal with those issues
if you want to make this year your best year ever.
Here is a Retail Employee Evaluation
System You can Use to Improve Performance:
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Retail Management Training Programs
The Retail Operations Management Workshop
Highly rated 3-day Training Workshop for Senior Retail Managers and Retail Business Owners who are interested in cutting edge information and advanced concepts in Retail Management. Join us for 3 days of top retail management training and workshop to enlighten and energize yourself to perform at the leading edge of the profession. This is one of the best investments you can make in your business, professional and personal development. Click below for more information and registration:
Operations Management Workshop
Best Practices for Managing a Multi-Unit Retail Operation
If you own, or are in charge of, multiple stores this is the training program for you. You'll learn everything you need to know to make sure your stores are firing on all cylinders and achieving success levels you have not seen before.
Now you can get this quality training wherever you are!
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Best Practices for Managing a
Multi-Unit Retail Operation