I’ve ranted and raved for years about the lack of compliance on standards at store level.  Retail’s inability to have the stores meet basic store standards costs the business sales, margin, customer loyalty and more.  Doesn’t it seem to be simple enough to get the staff to greet customers, maintain merchandising standards, dress properly, show up on time and sell properly?  Well, apparently not!

For years we’ve preached about the 5 things you need to do to get compliance on standards: 

Ensure your staff Understands the standards, has the Ability to meet them, are Engaged, Measure compliance rates continually and instill Accountability measures.   That’s still absolutely right and what’s required. 

However it’s not enough. Obviously.

Two essential elements are typically missing:  Personal Accountability and a Culture of Accountability.

You’ll never get your stores, or anyone, to be accountable unless you’re Personally Accountable.  Playing the ‘blame game’ is the norm, where everyone and everything else is to blame for everything that goes wrong.  Unless you begin with “What could I do to make this better?” you’ll never move forward.  Stop asking who’s to blame, why it happened and when it will be fixed.  Start asking how you can fix it and what you can do to make it better.

A Culture of Accountability is created when you move from a scenario where you hold your people to ‘account’, and they begin to feel ‘responsible’.  That’s a massive shift, and one that results in, finally, your stores running the right way.  What’s at the core of this Culture of Accountability?  Creating a relationship with your teams that is so strong that they would run through walls for you.  Not for the company.  For you.

So, ask yourself if you truly hold yourself Accountable, first.  Then, do some soul searching and ask yourself if your staff would run through a wall for you.

If you’re failing at achieving Accountability, then you’ll probably not like your answers to the questions above.

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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