Does Your Staff Communicate?
The Secret to Seamless Staff Communication
A Retail Management Tool That Works.
Did you ever play "Telephone" when you were a kid away at camp?
The counselor would whisper a sentence or super short story into someone's ear and then each person would whisper what they heard into the next person’s ear. By the time the story got passed around the campfire it would be entirely different than the story that was told in the beginning.
Of course, everyone would howl at how much the story changed and we’d all try to figure out where it got mixed up.
Unfortunately this is also frequently the way information gets passed around a business. And the results aren't quite so funny.
The owner or manager decides to put a new policy in place then tells whoever is on the floor at the time, and they tell the people who come in for the next shift, who tell the people who had that day off, and so on.
Or your staff writes lots of sticky notes to each other that get slapped on the register or the bulletin board in the stock room, and maybe they stick on for more than an hour and maybe everyone reads them, but maybe not.
Hit-or-miss, "he said/she said" poor retail staff communication usually leads to bad customer service and poor staff morale. Fortunately this problem is pretty easy to solve with this retail management tool.
The Secret Solution
Establish a notebook as your Staff Communications Log.
Now here's the trick that makes this idea a real winner and a super effective retail management tool.
Whenever someone reads a message that applies to them, they should initial it to show they have read and understood the message. This way the retail manager knows exactly who has received what information and that the information has been understood.
To make the system work efficiently, messages should always contain these five essential components:
- Date and (possibly) time.
- Who the message is to.
- Text of message.
- Who the message is from.
- Initials that the message was read and understood.
Voila! No more lost scraps of paper containing important customer phone numbers, no more excuses that no one told Johnny about the store meeting yesterday, and no more spending your whole day trying to track down everyone on the staff to deliver important information!
Two Key Concepts
This super simple solution to retail staff communication problems is based on two important business concepts.
The first is "if it ain’t written, it ain’t real." Having it down in black and white makes communication both permanent and consistent. It’s historical record, not hearsey. And everyone gets the same message delivered in exactly the same words. No more game of "Telephone."
The second is the concept of accountability. If someone initials a message, they can’t claim ignorance. You, as the owner or retail manager, know exactly who has received what information and that the information has been understood. There is no “wiggle room,” and you aren’t left trying to figure out who told who, what, and when!
Once using the Communications Book becomes a habit for everyone on your staff, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to live without it.
Want more retail management tools for getting the best performance from your staff? The Retail Mastery System is for you! It’s packed with practical, to-the-point information on finding, hiring, coaching, and disciplining your employees.
Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,