Performance improvement plan


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A while back I was talking with an owner about one of his underperforming stores. He told me that the store manager had been put on a performance improvement plan. It was funny because he almost whispered “performance improvement plan.”

It was almost as if it was something evil had happened that he didn’t want anyone to know about. (Cue scary music in the background.) He went on to tell me that they were working with the store manager to improve both the manager’s and the store’s performance.

I thought for a minute and said, “Well, shouldn’t every store be on a performance improvement plan?” (Cue awkward silence.) Think about it, though. Shouldn’t every manager be trying to improve his/her employees? Shouldn’t every store team be trying to improve their performance and sales results?

I’m not forgetting about the need to hold underperforming stores and people accountable for improvement, but I am advocating that every store be on a performance improvement plan. How about your store? Why not work a performance improvement plan today?

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Identify your area of focus. It might be a product category, a particular product line, a key behavior that drives sales, an element of the customer experience, or one of your sales steps.

2. Set your daily goals. Obviously you want sales goals, but you possibly want to have other targets such as average sale, try-ons, capturing customer information, etc.

3. Identify any additional knowledge or skills you can provide or practice right now. Can you have the staff identify some product features, benefits, and ways to sell? What if you did some roleplaying with each employee?

4. Coach, coach, and coach some more. Spend time on the floor observing your team and giving feedback on their actions and results.

5. Report results and hopefully celebrate! Share with the team at the end of the day how the store did with their performance improvement plan, and possibly each individual’s results. Be sure and celebrate the wins and recognize the areas of improvements.

So let me ask, will you be working a performance improvement plan?

Note: In preparing for the holidays, I am offering my last Four Weeks to Becoming an Extraordinary Coach and Developing a Winning Retail Team program of the year. Don’t miss this opportunity to take your coaching and leadership skills to the next level before the holidays, when it counts most. Details are here. Due to my travel schedule there are limited spaces available.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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