How many of you believed (as I did when I was a toddler) that the Stork brought the new baby home? Conveniently, that fable left a lot of details out … and saved a lot of blushing!
So, what has the Stork brought to your store? You see, your new employees are much like new babies (hang in there with me if you’re a new employee … I’m not calling you a baby!)
With the new arrival, they need most things done for them. They only know so much. It takes a lot of time, caring and training to get them to ‘grow’. They sometimes whine, don’t always do what they’re supposed to do, and need their hand held a lot. You need to tell them most things many times before they get it. They can excite you and frustrate you within the same minute.
OK, read that paragraph above again and ask yourself if I’m talking about a new baby … or a new employee.
New employees certainly aren’t babies, but you need to care for them in many of the same ways. They only know what they know when they arrive. That may be a lot … and it may be a little. They may have good habits, bad habits or no habits.
The quality of your onboarding process is no less important than a parenting strategy. It’s the initial employment period (just like the formative childhood years) that often determines just exactly how ‘wonderful’ this new employee will be.
Survive the onboarding process, and accept the fact that you’ve got a ‘lifetime’ of coaching and training ahead of you with your staff … almost as if they were your toddlers who were growing into adulthood.
Often, it looks like some retailers believe in the nature over nurture argument, which says humans are more preordained to be who they are than molded by parenting. Their onboarding programs are scant, ongoing training doesn’t exist and coaching is a random event. These retailers are the ones frustrated by high staff turnover (runaway kids!) and poor results (police at the door!).
On the other hand, retailers who are committed to properly nurturing and growing their staff get in return loyalty (they visit you in the old age home!) and great results.
If you want better performance from your staff, invest in a better onboarding program and proper training systems.
Oh, and don’t forget to get some training for yourself on how to become a better manager and leader (we should have all taken a course on how to be a parent … right?)
It’s not easy being a parent, manager or Leader. After all, the Stork doesn’t deliver perfect babies … or employees.
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.