Is finding and developing the 'right' store staff such a big deal? Doesn't your format and merchandise do all the real selling, while employees are just there to receive your customer's cash? Before you get too far down this line of thinking, consider the following list of questions, designed to challenge your assumptions:

  • If three of your store managers suddenly quit today, do you have fully trained candidates ready to step in immediately?  What would be the impact on your business if you don't?
  • Will you be able to find your next District Manager from inside your stores?   What specifically are you doing to develop one?
  • If you had to rate your staff, how many would be A's? (A's are your star performers)
  • What are you doing today to keep the A's?
  • How many would be C's? (C's are the ones you'd like to replace!)
  • What are you doing today to develop the C's into A's?
  • If your C's were in fact A's (or even B's), how much more do you think you would be selling?  (Yes, it would be a lot more!)  Why are you subjecting your customers to these C performers?

Starting to think a little differently about staff performance in your stores? You should.

Despite the allure of your beautiful store and incredible merchandise, only the staff can nurture a relationship with your customer, understands her needs and provide the 'right solution'. Remember that shoppers develop a connection with people, not things. And it's that connection that keeps them coming back.

So what are you doing to develop your internal talent? Are you content to pass on huge growth opportunities because your employees aren't up for the challenge? Or would you rather leverage your huge investment in facilities and inventory by helping your staff become highly skilled and effective team players?

If you haven't developed and implemented a clear-cut plan to address these issues, you're probably in bigger trouble than you think. Staff / management development isn't just something that's nice to have ... they must have it! 

Remember ... to ensure your success tomorrow, you must take action today!

Kevin Graff is the main guy behind all things Graff Retail. A renowned retail expert, Kevin is recognized in the retail industry as a speaker, author and expert trainer. Kevin's main passion is to help retailers drive staff performance.

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