Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Measuring People

"What gets measured gets done." Frances Schagen

This is not a post about Financials. You can read more about financials here.

This is not a post about Inventory or Open-to-Buy. You can read more about those topics here.

Numbers are important. Very. Important. But at the end of the day it is people who create those numbers. If you are measuring your numbers, you also need to be measuring your people. Here are some ways to measure your greatest assets.

Observation

Do you regularly observe your staff? Do you stand back and watch them interact with customers? Without their knowledge that you are watching? One way to do that is rearrange a display within earshot but not directly facing the employee. Get busy with your work. But keep an open ear for the conversations they have with customers. Another way is to grab a clipboard and start counting something.

Seem sneaky? Sure. Here is what makes it worthwhile... When you catch them doing something well and praise them immediately after it happens, two majorly good things happen:

  1. You reinforce that behavior and get it far more often.
  2. You make them more comfortable having you on the floor with them.

Interviews

Have you ever sat down with an employee and interviewed them again? You would be amazed at the different answers they will give you than when you first interviewed them for a job, especially when you ask such questions like, "tell me a time when you went above and beyond the required work just to help a customer out."

We hire a lot of seasonal staff that I have to train in a short window of time. I make it a point to meet with them from time to time and let them talk. I also make it a point to interview them at the end of the season. The Exit Interview can be a valuable tool because people on the way out the door are often more willing to share the negatives.

Goals

Do you set goals? Number of interactions they should make per hour? Sales goals per day? or even a checklist of daily duties? Goals are great, but often goal-setters forget two very important elements.

After you set a goal you need to come up with tasks to meet that goal. Tasks are simply the activities used to reach the goal. For instance, if my goal is to sell 25 yo-yos by the end of the day, my task is to play with yo-yos all day until I can learn three new tricks, and also to teach at least half of the kids who come through the door how to do one trick on a yo-yo.

At the end of the day you have to be accountable to the goal. Did you reach it? Yes? Good job. No? Why not? What can you do differently next time?

For goals to be successful, you need to assign tasks and evaluate progress.

Measure your people and your numbers will be even more fun to measure.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS You might be asking yourself when will you find time to do all this measuring. Here is sometimes the hardest lesson to learn. The more often you measure, the more time you will have because your employee productivity will skyrocket.

PPS Want to learn new and better ways to measure your people? Join Tim Miles and me at Wizard Academy for our two-day workshop on Shareworthy Customer Service.

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