Of course the answer is yes, in this highly competitive market any increase in profitability would be well received. So how do you turbo charge you profitability? The answer is recruiting and retaining your best leaders. A recent survey from Gallup found that highly talented leaders achieve the following:
- 48% higher profitability
- 22% higher productivity
- 17% higher employee engagement
- 5% higher customer engagement
- 19% less turnover
These are incredible statistics and reinforces the need for every business to ensure they recruit the right people into a leadership role as well as find ways to motivate and therefore retain them. I have been in a number of high performing stores and the main reason is the store manager is a high performer. I have seen situations where a lower performing store manager is replaced by a high achiever and the KPI results immediately start to improve.
Why is it then that businesses choose the wrong leader 82% of the time (Gallup)? Another alarming statistic I would suggest. This could be for a number of reasons, often it’s because the team member has performed well in their current role and is promoted because of their existing knowledge and length of service. This just sets people up to fail. Gallup found the following five traits were the keys to being a successful leader:
1) The ability to motivate every employee with a compelling mission and vision. First your business needs to have a mission and vision, then it’s about getting your entire team on board. Team members need to buy in, so asking them how they can bring the vision alive with customers is a great question to ask. Rewarding team members for living the vision is another great way to reinforce that this is important.
2) Asserting themselves to overcome adversity and resistance. This shows great character, to be able to respond positively when things aren’t going well. Being a great role model always is so critical.
3) Creating a culture of clear accountability. This is setting clear expectations for the team, getting their buy in and following up to ensure they put these behaviours in place. It also means having the conversation that you need to have when it’s required and not leaving it to later.
4) Builds relationships that create trust, open dialogue and full transparency. A leader has to walk the talk and do what they say they are going to do. Being open and engaging your team by asking questions are critical steps to creating trust.
5) Making decisions based on productivity, not politics. Team members want a leader who is consistent and fair, no matter the circumstances or the person. They don’t play favourites and team members know clearly where they stand and how they are performing.
Unfortunately these traits don’t come naturally and then to only around 10% of people. Work needs to be done to recognise in your potential leaders which of these traits they have and which ones they need coaching on. Sure this takes some work, but the results will be extremely worthwhile.
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.