( Culture – Standards – Accountability – Training – Retention & Recruiting )
Design, Engineer and Invest in the Success of your Group / Stores / Team
WOW! – We begin this decade with one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest consumer confidence rates in the past 50 years.
We stand at the dawn of some of the most innovative technological and development periods in the past 100 years with alternate power sources, driving options, ownership and shopping options – THESE ARE EXCITING TIMES!
With 2019 signed, sealed and delivered – Now one month of 2020 completed, and the avalanche of industry and economic predictions subsided, let’s take a few moments to identify areas in our operations where we can ( We must ) inspire and lead to success in 2020 to create momentum throughout this decade.
Let’s begin with the understanding that we are so fortunate to serve within one of the most exciting, engaging, passionate and competitive industries on earth. Each of Us, regardless of what it says on our business card, is an integral contributor within our Group(s) / Store(s) / Team(s) and that we hold a unique responsibility to serve, support, lead and inspire our colleagues and guests, each day.
In order for Us to honor our responsibilities and truly contribute to the best of our abilities, let’s engineer success in the following areas:
- Who and Why are you / we?
As a Group, As a Store, As a Team….
- What do you stand for?
- What is your why ( for being/serving)?
Rather than philosophical – this is a study, a series of questions from leadership with and in service to our associates, manufacturing partners, service and support agencies, customer guests and the communities We serve.
Assemble and challenge:
- Why are We: Different?
- How are We: Different?
- What makes Us: Unique? Special? Memorable?
- Who are We: As a team? Family?
- What aligns Us: Together?
Exploration of these answers ( as a Group ) will produce some unique findings and areas where we align, where we strive, where our ‘passion and purpose’ is revealed. It is when we find this common link, we can communicate this to our teams – we can align together – we can serve and honor together.
When I think of ( insert team, brand, name, school, company ) I think of _______, I aspire to be a part of that!
FACT: Teams / Companies, etc. who set superior standards and expectations, receive and achieve superior results.
- Are We an ‘easy’ place to work?
- Are We an ‘easy’ team to join?
- Do We want to be easier? – Or do We want to be better?
- Are We Amateur – OR – Professional?
Ask yourself: now that we have a culture of alignment and understanding in service to each other, our partners, our guests and our communities – what does it take to be a contributor? To be a branded member of our Company? / Team? etc.
This is not to be confused with ‘Human Resource requirements’, etc. – rather, what end result must be achieved each working day?
- If you are a: Sales Associate: 1 created appointment?
- Service Associate: # of ROs closed with ___ avg hours per?
- Manager ( Coach ): ____ as a cumulative for my dept?
And if we have these standards:
- Are they measured?
- Are they trained?
- Are they used to show and showcase areas of success, as well as areas of emphasis?
Do we share our performance measures with the entire team? – This month we set out to achieve ____ in Service and we did! Let’s recognize the entire team for their success!
Thoughts expand – Positive thoughts, negative thoughts and all variations therein… Teams want to know if / how they are performing and as a whole. Set your standards, showcase them, raise them high, align to them and share the results often and with appreciation for the efforts of the team.
As with Standards, we need to know what we need to achieve ( individually, team, Group as a whole ) in support of our mission – see: Culture.
Accountabilities allow us to see where we are successful and where we need to improve – accountabilities allow us a blue-print to be successful and the measure and guide to achieve.
In many ways, training is the most spoken and least supported element in high-transaction retail.
We know we need to train, provide training, support training, etc. – and yet:
- Where to find the time?
- Who will do it?
- How much is it going to cost?
- What do / should we train on?
All great questions, yet to try and eat the elephant in one bite will only ensure training gets moved to the next quarter. Let’s start with ONE….one thing, one interaction, one engagement, one skill….
What one thing ( in Service, Sales, for example ) if we do this well if we master this, if we are truly professional at ____, will we honor our Culture, our Standards and our Accountabilities?
Find ONE thing, set a goal to introduce, support, train, and master this goal in one month. Note: it takes 28 days to form a habit.
All Leaders – All Managers – All Associates – As either a whole or by department, commit to the goal that has been set for that month.
Acknowledge, share the results, champion the efforts and when mastered within the period identified, share the NEXT ONE THING we are going to introduce, support, train, and master.
RETENTION ‘and’ RECRUITING
Culture – Standards – Accountability – Training … The building blocks of any high performing, successful and enjoyable team, company or provided experience.
People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their Company, their Manager, their Culture. If we are successful in investing the time and talents it takes to build Culture, Standards, Accountability, and training then we should be equally successful in retaining professional associates who truly want to be members of our family/team / company.
Look at retention #s, often! – like it or not, this is just as much a grade/scorecard for us as is our financial statement:
Are we successful in retaining and recruiting great talent?
- If so, where?
- Which team?
- Which manager?
Identify the answers to these questions and replicate them as a Standard within the entire group.
Birds of a feather? Success attracts success! When we are fortunate with servant-leaders ( managers = Coaches ) and caring associates, our culture extends far beyond our reach. “You should go to _____, they are great! They treat me like Family! This evolves to “You should go apply to work at _____!”
Within our industry there are myriad of recruiting partners, options and science which provide a great benefit to us and assistance with our recruiting needs. In addition to these options, the option I would ask that you consider is YOU – YOUR COACHES – YOUR TEAM:
- Who better to find like-minded associates?
- Who better to communicate our Culture – Standards – Accountability – Training?
- Do we share our total hiring needs with the entire team / store?
- Do we talk about who?, how?, when? for each department and how we all ( the entire team ) can help?
Simple as it may be ( as most of the best solutions are ):
- Create a board, chart, etc with each department listed and the # of positions needed for each.
- Place this where ALL can see it in a common associate area / areas.
- Update this regularly.
- Set an accountability for each Manager ( aka Coach ) to provide one new candidate per week for our Human Resources team to reach out and speak with.
- Think of it this way, if I am to provide one candidate for consideration each week, I will always be looking for someone who displays the service characteristics of one of our associates regardless of the department.
- Announce new members – champion the changing of the board or chart – welcome the new members to each department – this is how family teams are born.
If it was easy, everyone would do it! – or would they?
Above and herein we have shared a few items which may appear daunting, above or below your paygrade, in or out of alignment with who or why you are. Can we answer them with clarity?
- Are we Professionals or Amateurs?
- Do we perform at the levels we are built for?
These are the questions we should ask of ourselves often and within our Group / Store / Team – these are the elements that when we answer, when we commit, when we achieve – will provide us with unfair advantages to further honor our associates and our customer guests we are blessed to serve.
Let’s greet this amazing new decade with a plan to serve, a plan to lead, a plan to inspire – and let’s share this with our teams to share with all our guests – together.