As a leader, achieving a collaborative work environment, goes a long way in helping your team achieve your objectives. One key element is setting clear expectations, enabling team members to understand what constitutes a job well done and empowering them to meet those expectations. Unfortunately, many retailers overlook this critical step, leading to team members who are disconnected from the retailer’s overall vision and store objectives.
It is understandable that most people dislike being told what to do. However, when training both new and existing team members, it is crucial to provide clear guidance on job requirements. Without clarity, how can they be expected to perform their duties effectively?
Personally, I am deeply passionate about team members delivering exceptional customer service. Thus, it is vital that your team understands what this entails. I have had the privilege of assisting numerous retailers in developing service standards that prioritise delivering a positive experience for both customers and team members. The key lies in breaking down each step and, importantly, asking team members why each step is essential to the customer.
By placing team members in the customer’s shoes, they begin to think from a customer’s perspective. Asking them to articulate the significance of each step prompts them to reflect before responding. This approach generates greater buy-in and increases the likelihood that team members will remember and execute accordingly.
This example illustrates just one facet of the many expectations team members must grasp to perform their jobs effectively. As I mentioned, setting expectations involves helping team members understand why specific processes and key performance indicators (KPIs) are vital to the customer (and the store).
However, the process doesn’t end there. It is easy for team members, especially those in casual positions, to become complacent and merely go through the motions when they arrive at work. To combat this, a simple 2-3 minute one-on-one or group catch-up session is essential to ensure that your team remains focused on daily priorities. These brief conversations should cover results, budget targets for the day, key focus areas (such as KPIs and specific products), and any relevant news or updates.
Once these conversations have taken place, your team members are informed of their expectations. However, it is important to note that understanding expectations does not automatically guarantee compliance. This is where ongoing follow-up by the store manager becomes crucial, with a particular emphasis on recognising and reinforcing positive behaviours. Simultaneously, managers must support team members who may be struggling to meet expectations, particularly when it comes to interactions with customers on the sales floor.
By adopting this approach to aligning goals, you will empower your team members to perform at their best and achieve exceptional results. Remember, setting clear expectations is just the beginning—consistent follow-up and support are vital for long-term success
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.