#Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team
On my list of Top 3 disheartening phrases I heard last week was “I just need to hire some bodies”. These words are the kiss of death for a store’s productivity and profitability.
I have previously referenced a quote by Eric Ryan that I think is fabulous “Mediocre hires are like empty calories. They make you bigger, but less healthy.” This is incredibly true of field teams and something that I am constantly managing with my Store Managers when I am in the field. I have implemented Stay Interviews in our business to be able to identify common areas of opportunity on teams through feedback and dialogue with each and every team member in each store. What this does is show where the breakdown in development is occurring and what possible complications this team/store is facing. But even before the Stay Interviews take place you can identify that a team is at risk by simply seeing their key performance indicators.
-Do they or do they not hit their daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annual goals?
If you are answering “they do not” more than “they do” that is a clear sign that the store is in distress. That the Store Manager is not leading an aligned or healthy team. And yes…unfortunately…there are retail Store Managers that are just hiring “bodies” to fill the schedule with or they are disengaged and they have ceased communicating and leading the team. Either way, the consequences of not building a team can be costly in many ways to a store/district/region/company.
Here are some additional signs that a store is filled with disengaged “bodies”:
A broken team – a team that doesn’t deliver results – a team that does not work within the Company Values and Culture expectations is the Store Manager’s (or Department Manager’s) issue to own.
When a team is effective and working together to the common goal of successful results you will see:
Just because the Store Manager does not possess the ability to build a team does not mean they are failures. They, likely, could use some support in this area.
Some things that may cause this area to be challenges are:
Here are some resources for building/rebuilding a team
From Rice: 12 Ways To Build An Effective Team
Some of my previous posts on team and what employees need from their leaders to be engaged and productive:
All of this being said – it is MUCH easier to build an effective team as you start your hiring process than it is to fix a team that is broken. But the only way you can achieve success it to build a cohesive, committed team who is dedicated to delivering great results and finding ways to do that, instead of finding excuses as to why they cannot. The challenge is to acknowledge the culture that actually exists and implement change to improve it. It’s difficult but it can be done.
If/when you hear anyone on your team speak about “bodies” you need to coach them. It is a waste of time and energy to hire bodies into your business. Bodies won’t deliver great customer experiences. Bodies won’t care if you make your day or not. Bodies won’t support a great workplace culture. Bodies won’t make the team better…just bigger.