museums&MORE Spring 2016
Rock Star Employees

Motivate and mix it up to get the most out of your team

As the new year is under way, the challenge of managing employees still lingers. All too often, retail employees lack motivation and desire to deliver the type of work performance most managers crave. The good news, however, is that with some TLC and some dedication, creating even the laziest of employees to rock star coworkers is possible. Help your store shine this year and gain stronger store success — and sales — with a commitment to manage your employees to become the best they can be at working in your store.

Evaluating current employeesThe first step in identifying any problem is to evaluate it. This is no different in identifying employee work performance. To begin, evaluate a collective store experience of overall working behavior. Are you satisfied with team morale? Are there some employees who stand out — either good or bad — among others? Does your management have a positive or negative influence on your overall employee performance?

Next, you need to analyze each employee’s skill set, task list and their overall execution of responsibilities. From customer service to store operations to reaching sales goals, evaluate each of the responsibilities your associates have. To help, create an evaluation checklist consistent per each employee, as well, only adding additional tasks for review if they are unique to that specific person. Once this is created, complete this unique evaluation per each employee.

Once your evaluations are done, it’s vital to have a one on one meeting with each employee to deliver your findings. During this time, you want to offer both a review of their strengths and weaknesses as well as communicate store goals, expectations, employee responsibilities and more during these reviews. Keeping the tone positive yet motivating is important, helping to set the standard of your store expectations.

To best support these evaluations, be sure to schedule a one on one meeting with each respective employee so that they know what to expect. If you don’t already have these on your annual schedule, add this to your immediate to-do list. Better yet, add biannual reviews to your to-do list since two times a year is better than one. For those looking to strengthen their employees even more, consider how quarterly reviews can help elevate their performances and your overall store success, as well. At the very least, however, twice a year is a must.

Delivering reviews, mixing up routines

Employee reviews can help employees better understand their performance while also better understanding your expectations of them. Without them, employees are often left to wonder how their doing in terms of work performance — and too often, managers fail to share their specific employee expectations when there are not clear, defined standards set with review opportunities throughout the year.

Expanding on this, reviews offer the opportunity for employees to change their routines. If someone has become too comfortable in bad habits — such as standing behind the counter when customers are in the store or lacking to greet customers upon their arrival — reviews offer the chance for change. This helps kick start new routines among employees, which can help create stronger overall work performance. Reminders never hurt anyone, after all, likely including you every now and again.

Setting short-term goals

Reviews and routines are one thing, but daily goals are another. To help achieve stronger reviews and create stronger routines, setting daily goals for your employees is a great way to lead them in the right direction of employee success. To help, set specific goals that you aim for them to achieve. Beyond actual sales numbers, a goal can be to remerchandise a display, enter customer contact information into a tracking system or organize the stock area. It’s a good idea to balance daily goals with both customer-oriented results as well as operational results. Combined, it makes for a productive day.

Expanding beyond daily goals, weekly goals should offer a broader range of responsibilities to be completed. Since many tasks can’t take place in one day or need multiple hands tending to them, it makes sense to have some goals identified with a seven-day stretch to complete.

Of course, the reality is some goals may not be met. But having them identified, written out and available for daily review allows you to easily hold employees responsible for what was not completed. Routine failure to finish goals also gives you grounds for termination — which is likely not the goal of any employee — as well as offers you some firm examples to review during your employee evaluations. Goals help create change, which is a good goal to have for 2016 when it comes to strengthening employee success.

A final thought

Management sets the mood of a store, including the moods of employees. With this in mind, aim to set the right mood for 2016 in order to see your employees have their best year yet. As a result, you store will as well.

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