Focus on Results

Focus on Results

Great results do not just happen. Highly Successful Retail Managers (HSRMs) know that there is a direct correlation between hard work and great results.

They understand that there is a need to work smart as well, but nothing replaces hard work.

And they know it is of the utmost importance that their employees realize the connection.  

Employees see the HSRM in action, working hard to make things happen and to get superior results in everything they do.

The HSRM takes every opportunity to lead by example in this regard and to teach subordinates that working hard is one of the keys to the success of the operation.

Of course, the HSRM expects that all company employees – both superiors and subordinates – will work hard to get results.

It does little good to tell people that they should work hard to get ahead. People have to see it happening.

They have to actually see that the person working hard is, in fact, getting results that are superior to those of the person who believes coasting on the job is acceptable.

Obviously there are times when an individual may produce great results with seemingly little or no effort.

Yes, it does happen but it doesn’t happen often and it cannot be sustained. Hard work can never be replaced.

What that hard work entails will differ in every store, every organization, every employee but you can be sure that it is a rare occurrence for anyone, or any business, to get and maintain great results without putting in a great effort.

There are times when the HSRM cannot get the point across because he is dealing with an individual that should not be there.

Take, for example, a cashier – the one person who is providing the final impression before the customer leaves the store – who is leaning on the counter, yawning and complaining that she stayed up too late the evening before.

Do you think she is producing good results? Could you possibly think this individual is capable of working hard?

Do you think an HSRM would tolerate that kind of behavior?

This is clearly a case where the HSRM would realize that his example has not had any effect on the employee and she would be given two choices: Get better or leave.

Back to making sure that all employees see it in action, there are different ways of creating awareness in this area.

First of all, the HSRM makes a point of posting, or otherwise communicating, sales and other important KPI results.

The top performers are generally recognized as hard working individuals.

Next, the HSRM ensures it is well known that there are rewards for great results.

Because hard work almost always equals great results, other employees will be able to make the connection.

HSRMs can often be found working long past their normal work hours. Sometimes they don’t even realize it.

They put in extra time to add value, not to prove something.

To be clear, HSRMs do not purposely add hours to their work day just for the sake of working longer hours and possibly accomplishing something; they work longer and harder when they feel that what they are doing is adding value to the employees, the customer, the organization, or himself.

STRIVES for both QUALITY and QUANTITY

This is not a discussion of product quality. In ‘22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers’, an assumption is made that the product being sold by the retailer is a good value for customers.

Here, we are addressing the quality and quantity of sales transactions and associate performance.

The HSRM has incredibly high standards for the quality and the quantity of sales made. No excuses are acceptable.

Once you start accepting excuses for lack of performance, you will lose business and you will lose respect of people working with you – both subordinates and superiors.

As discussed previously, the HSRM role models, and excels in, all areas particularly selling and delivering great customer service on the sales floor.

An associate must be able to sell an above average number of units to an above average number of people.

The average will depend on the particular business but let’s use an example just to illustrate.

The retailer, in this example, sells tools to people who want to fix or build things around their home.

Associate A is skilled at building rapport with customers and knows the product well. Unfortunately A tends to talk too much.

A does manage to sell an above average number of items to the customer but it takes far too long, which means A ignores many other customers and he does not end up with very many transactions.

The quality of his sales is good but quantity suffers.

Employee B is the type of associate who moves around the store greeting every customer and offering assistance.

B helps many customers find the one item they came into the store to buy.

So, B has an above average number of transactions but each one is not very high. The quantity of his sales is good but quality suffers.

What has to happen here is training and coaching; performance management.

Clearly, A and B need to work on different things.

A needs to speed up just enough that he is able to help and sell to more customers without rushing the customer, of course.

B needs to spend a bit more time with each customer and try to find out what else he might add on to the sale.

This is obviously over simplified but the point is the HSRM knows exactly which associate needs which type of training and coaching based solely on results and he is continuously working to ensure that they get what they need and that they improve.

The HSRM insists on quantity and quality and cannot accept just one of the two. Accepting either one means his sales associates’ productivity is not maximized.

There are other factors which will impact productivity of associates and the HSRM is on top of all of them.

Regardless of which KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is being looked at, the HSRM expects quality and quantity, however they relate to the KPI.

HSRM TAKES ACTION

The HSRM is a person of action. There is nothing to be gained by making plans without taking action.

Plans are necessary and they are meant to be the blueprint for action.

Plan your work and work your plan – that saying has been around for many, many years for good reason.

Only taking action can further the cause. And HSRM’s go further by saying they take fast action – they have a sense of urgency in everything they do.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do…        – Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

The HSRM volunteers his services to get right into any job where help is called for.

Put out the garbage, receive a shipment, stock the shelves, fix the printer, sweep the floor – nothing is out of the question for the HSRM.

It needs to be said, however, that the HSRM has many important things to do and we are not suggesting that managers wander around looking to help out with what could be considered menial tasks.

Of course, the HSRM should not be routinely performing tasks that are the responsibility of someone else, at a lower level on the wage scale and the hierarchy, but a willingness to help in extenuating circumstances– whatever is required – must be demonstrated.

That is what the employees see and learn from.

It’s a great way to lead by example.

When employees see that the Manager is willing to pitch in and help, it helps to grow the ‘whatever – it – takes’ culture among the store level associates.

It also makes employees realize that no job is too menial for the Manager to help with when it is required to help the business.

That, in turn, says that no job is menial because everything they do supports the cause.

All the best plans and intentions; all the most amazing ideas don’t amount to anything at all unless action is taken.

Even if the whole plan or idea can’t materialize – HSRMs don’t let what they cannot do stop them from doing what they can do.

The HSRM always takes action – not just when reacting, but in leading; in spearheading an initiative.

They believe in the ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ philosophy. And if mistakes are made, they take action to fix them fast.