Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Who Do You Spend Time with Everyday?

When I worked in retail, my early morning hours were spent walking the salesfloor with an Assistant Manager reviewing the previous nights work for execution, roadblocks and recognition for the team. I would spend a few minutes in each area reviewing and discussing what took place and what would be happening next including everyone who would be involved in the process. I found that this helped keep everyone on track and engaged. They would offer their opinions and experience and quickly we could make decisions that could drive our business forward. Sounds daunting right? Well, it only took about 45 minutes – and it set the tone for work for the next day or sometimes even week.
After we were operational for the day, I would spend my time with each Assistant Manager who operated an area of the salesfloor. Here we would review high performance, and low performance. We would try to learn from the high performing people and apply the information to the low performers to see if we could change the tide. In most cases this worked. But for the longest time, I neglected the mid-range, ‘always-good’ performers, the steady performers who always did a good job but stayed out of the radar.
I quickly learned that I needed to spend time here to understand what they knew, how they learned all they know and then share the information with the rest of the team. Spending this time with them built their confidence, provided much-needed recognition and even elevated some performance to a higher level. A straight-forward thank you would get rewarded by more performance. Imagine that!?

Critical lesson: everyone needs attention and recognition. The level of attention and type of recognition needs to be applied by the level of performance to continue to engage and develop that team member.

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