It’s that time of year where a good majority of our retail clients are renewing their subscriptions to our online training system; Graff Retail TV.  So, as part of our client success services, I spent some time this week reviewing training performance reports for many retailers.  The backend of our system can reveal a lot about who’s using the training to the max and the retailers who just dropped off and never really got their training off the ground. 

Since our online sales and management systems are award-winning and I know first-hand that the system works and gets impressive results, I have to ask “Why do some retailers sore like eagles when it comes to rolling out training in their stores and why do others, well … act like sleeping hound dogs?” 

Want to know the “not-so-secret” secret?  It all comes down to execution.  I know this because I saw it all unravel this past year with one of our retailers where the Canadian division had great success with their training, while their US counterparts failed and had less than stellar feedback from the frontline.  Same company.  Same vision and strategy.  Same training system.  Different execution of the plans under different leadership.  Totally different results!

It doesn’t matter what you are rolling out at store level.  It could be a new visual plan, introducing a new POS system, or mandating a change in dress code.  When you are trying to affect change and get everyone marching to the beat of the same drum, success comes down to 1% Vision & Strategy and 99% Execution. 

Here’s what 99% Execution requires:

1.  Senior Management Leadership

  • Who ‘owns’ the project at Head Office?  If someone senior doesn’t truly own it, it’s not going anywhere.

2.  Know it / Believe in it!

  • How are you supposed to get others to execute that same plan if you don’t know it inside and out and aren’t committed to it?

3.  Clearly Communicate Expectations

  • What can you do to relay the importance to the frontline of yet another new plan?

4.  Train The Skills Needed

  • How can we expect the staff to implement new, higher level activities in a store when they aren’t running the store properly in the first place?

5.  Support Where Needed

  • You don’t have superheroes running your stores (even though they often perform that way). What support will they need to make the program fly?

6.  Make it Worthwhile

  • What’s in it for them to execute yet another program?

7.  Instill Accountability Clearly

  • Staff has a lot of ways in which they can spend their time.  How will you ensure this project gets done?

8.  Measure Results and Debrief Constantly

  • Do you have metrics in place that align with the project’s objectives?  If you’re not measuring it properly, how will you know if it’s working?

From client to client, we see those that get the 8 points above right and execute our programs flawlessly.  They get what it takes to achieve retail success. 

And now, you do too!

Mary Gordon and Kim McCutcheon have been supporting retail front lines for as long as they can remember. A dynamic duo, Mary and Kim understand what it takes to make training work at store level and know how to inspire, coach and support retail teams in all of their training endeavours.

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