Monday, 10 November 2014

Don't manage by pieces of paper - look at your customers

I know it can sometimes be difficult to let go of measures and just spend time in your retail establishment with customers and colleagues, but this is probably where your best results will come from. I know of many retail chains that look heavily at results, KPI's, scorecards or whatever they classify them, but solely managing by this method is dangerous and does NOT guarantee the best results.

Take a national retail company that I have worked for, as usual they will reman nameless.  Their focus and passion on the measures mean that their store management teams are rarely in the shop floor, and as a consequence, rarely spend time with customers and colleagues.

They are pressured from above to control costs (result is no toilet rolls in the staff toilets.)

They are pressured from above to control staffing costs (result is jobs are left undone and staff morale is through the floor.). 

They are pressured from above to hit certain sales targets in certain categories (result is other areas are completely ignored.)

They are pressured from above to get a certain number of customer feedback forms (result is that many are forged.)

They are pressured from above to respond to Head Office requests (result is that the management tam fear being away from their emails for too long.)

The end result is that there is a huge disjoint between management and the team (even more profound in stores with an experienced team.)

Consider the opposite - a manager or management team that spend their time on the shop floor, that are empowered to see what is important to their customers and colleagues and where the whole team feel as though they are pulling in the same direction.

Now how refreshing will that be?

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