I was at a Westfield Mall this weekend and talking to one of the concierges ( I spent more than the minimum amount to receive free parking and was getting my ticket validated – a nice perk).
The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive. A guy [who wasn’t helping me] had his red shirt, black pants and tie uniform on but I noticed a bit of a blue t-shirt sticking out that wasn’t tucked in. Not a big deal at all but I noticed it.
In the middle of all of this, his supervisor came by and was talking to him and then he said, “Hey man, a bit of your t-shirt is sticking out, can you tuck it in?” The guy took note, tucked in his t-shirt and they both went on their way.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Hold your employees accountable by managing them on every aspect of their job.
The thing I like about the manager’s approach at Westfield was that it was a simple statement to let the guy know. It wasn’t that he was picking on him, micromanaging him or anything of the sort.
That’s a good manager.
In the retail concepts I worked in, we used to give employees the benefit of the doubt but repeat offenders of not wearing the appropriate uniform were sent home to change. It’s okay to point things out to employees to make them better employees. It’s not okay to point things out to employees that are meaningless and serve as an outlet for your pet peeves.
Every employee, believe it or not, wants to be held accountable. It gives them a reason step up and to perform.
Point out a better way to sell, show them that it’s not okay to have all those merchandise boxes behind the cash wrap, remind them to prop open the front door to welcome guests, show them that folded clothes look better because they are more visually appealing.
All of these things are about having your best foot forward as a retail concept. And every employee has a hand in that. Your job is to orchestrate it and ensure that you’re approaching it as a leader and not as a mother hen pecking away at every little thing. See the difference?
How are you holding employees accountable?