Finding the right people to work in retail is an ongoing challenge, and is not getting any easier. I have spoken many times about the importance of having the right staff in store, team members who are passionate about providing the best experience every single time. Hard to find these days, yet so critical if retailers want to continually grow sales.
As every retailer knows, store managers rely on their staff, because they can’t run the store on their own. The higher up the tree you go, to regional managers, state managers, operations managers etc, this becomes even truer. We have some simple philosophies when it comes to leading a team, and a couple of these are:
- Leaders need their staff more than they need them
- Leaders get paid, not just for what they do, but what their staff does.
Trying to run a store without people is impossible, particularly when it gets busy. So if we need our staff so badly, shouldn’t we be doing all we can to retain the best ones? If we are lucky enough to have a great team, then we should be doing all we can to keep them. Here are five reasons why your top talent could be looking to exit your business:
Don’t reward your top performers with additional work (without WIFT). Its human nature to give jobs to the people who you know will do them well and without fuss. Top performers always do a great job, so the tendency is to load them up with more work. Nothing burns out great performers quite like overloading them. If you are going to load them up, make sure there are sufficient rewards for achieving these bigger goals so they know What’s in it For Them.
Not dealing with poor performers. Nothing makes a top performers blood boil than being loaded up with extra work and see their poorer performing colleagues, get away with slacking. If you don’t deal with the lower performers don’t expect your top performers to carry the load for too long.
Company policies that don’t make sense. Top performers will push the barriers, be creative and come up with ways to just get things done. It’s important they still stick to the rules, but if these rules are unclear, ambiguous and don’t make sense, then it stifles them. They need to feel heard as being able to voice their opinion is critical to their motivation. If their ideas are continually stifled then they will look to exit pretty quickly and find somewhere else where their input will be valued.
Lack of training. Top performers are always looking at ways to improve themselves to stay at the top of their game. They are usually the first ones who put their hands up for training. A Deloitte study found that 75% of employees believe offering development programs help achieve a sense of important purpose at a company. As I have mentioned before, training doesn’t always have to be job-related, finding out their personal interests and helping them to improve and grow in these areas is also a great motivator.
Micromanaging. Nothing destroys top performers motivation than being micromanaged. Top performers are at their best when being set a challenge, provided with some guidelines and set free to have a crack. They are certainly ok to be held accountable and in fact, want to know how their performance is measured, they don’t need a manager constantly checking up on them. Regular catch ups are great as long as it doesn’t keep them away from doing what they are good at.
Top performers are worth their weight in gold, so I hope the above helps you to keep them.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.