9.4 Staff management
While this may seem similar to the chapter before (sales and customer service), there is a slight difference. Both issues pertain the staff, but staff management is more on managing people.
Setting standard operating procedures (SOPs)
This is also often referred to as internal control. There are cases where own staff members steal, shoplift or tamper with the cash register. To avoid these problems from arising, SOPs are set.
An SOP includes:
- Ensuring each transaction is cross-checked, such as deposit slips for cash
- Only the supervisor is allowed to delete transactions, with proper reasoning and timestamping
- Different levels of employees must validate another’s work
- Streamline policies and procedures on loss prevention (clarify who is eligible to get a discount, for example)
- What to do when opening or closing a store
SOPs are essentially a form of guidelines, and there are usually checklists for each section (like the one above).
You should also detail the consequences of breaking SOPs, as well as outlining the disciplinary actions for not adhering to the SOPs.
Staff recruiting, coaching and performance review
In retail, there’s usually a high turnover rate due to the nature of the job. Regardless, that doesn’t mean anyone and everyone can be hired.
When recruiting, it’s important to manage expectations. Sales associates typically have long hours, short break times and have to be on their feet every day. From dealing with customers’ frustrations to conducting monotonous work of counting stocks, you must define the job scope clearly.
Once hired, the sales associate must be provided coaching and training – especially on product knowledge.
To ensure high staff motivation and retention, you need to conduct periodic staff performance review too.
Staff work shift planning
Depending on the size of the workforce, the operations manager can plan a work shift calendar. As mentioned above, sales associates have long hours, so it’s best to delegate the work.
Before the shift begins, it is best practice for you to conduct a daily briefing with the team at the start of a new work shift. This is to ensure that everyone is aligned with the goals of the day, such as:
- Sales target achieved
- Balance to achieve
- Stock processing activities
Some key components to factor in:
- Break times
- Availability of staff members
- Timesheet data
Here’s a 10-day example:
M – Morning shift, O – Offday, N – Noon shift, S – Sick, H – Holiday