When faced with the need to improve, different companies take different approaches. Some dramatically increase advertising; others renovate or even relocate the store, while others focus on elevating the quality of the store staff and, in turn, their effectiveness with customers. If a store’s staff is not up to par, it is a tragedy for the company to spend lots of dollars attracting perspective customers to a newly renovated location in a great location with top of the line merchandise and then have the way the staff treats or persuades that prospective customer to rent to sour the experience. Once a customer has a negative experience, it will take a great deal more money and effort to get him or her back, if at all.
Statistics show the cost of staff in most stores is about the same as the rest of the store expense, including advertising, which is significant. Any other expense of their size would have a great deal more research and scrutiny before it is made. Making sure the monthly salaries and benefits of store staff are invested in those who can become top performers and deliver the results needed is wise business. The salary and benefits of a poor performer is typically about the same as a top performer. If pay is relatively the same for all, how do you ensure that what you invest in keeping the stores staffed is a good investment? The first, and most important, step is to begin with people that have the right attributes to be successful.
A great example of this approach was depicted it in the 2011 movie MoneyBall which showed how the 2002 Oakland Athletics, facing financial challenges changed their approach toward scouting and analyzing players to be able to select the right players at a lower cost to create a winning team. While they didn’t have the financial resources to buy big-name players, they used an innovative, “sabermetric” approach, instead of the relying on traditional stats, such as, batting average or traveling scouts to decide who to draft or acquire. This innovative approach took a team faced with possible extinction to a team that finished #1 in the American League West in the same year. Their reasoning was to focus on, even if it’s not obvious, what creates runs because runs win ballgames. A good measure of a player's worth to the team is his ability to help his team score more runs than the opposing team. They identified the attributes of players that helped teams score more runs and based their hiring of players on the individual’s level of those key attributes. What would be an approach like this do for your company?
This sabermetric approach in business works equally well. By identifying the key attributes of employees that differentiate your top performers, and using an objective measurement tool to determine the level of these attributes in those you consider hiring, you can maximize your chance of hiring more top performers. We have always focused on hiring hard-working and honest employees. With the changes in the RTO business, while those values are still absolutely essential, they are not enough for a person to be a top performer in today’s more challenging environment. If you know the way your top performers think, behave and what motivates them, in addition to having a high level of integrity and work ethic, you have a set of attributes that can predict future performance. If you have a way to accurately and objectively assess or measure the levels of these attributes, which predict future performance in applicants, you can dramatically increase the probability of selecting, with the appropriate training and development, one who will be your next top performer.
The quality of the employees in a store is probably the most significant factor in determining its results. Years ago, when discussing with a client why the performance of a store was poor, he would ask, “Is that the man or the land?” While there were many store managers who were women, the question was, “What was the real, or root, cause of the store’s poor performance level?” Is the problem with performance of the manager and staff or the location? Was it due to the store’s physical location, furnishings and condition, or was it the quality of the store manager? Almost always, the reasons for the performance could be traced back to a specific individual’s lack of performance. Top performers, no matter which store you put them in, soon had a high performing, profitable store. When poor performers were transferred to successful stores, before long, the store’s numbers began to slip and profits dropped. It’s smart to ensure every store is staffed with a top performing manager.
Understanding Job Fit
You may say…if this person was a top account manager and they will also be a top store manager. Not True!
A professional athlete isn’t good at all sports just like a candidate isn’t good at all positions. Michael Jordan was a great fit for basketball but not baseball. That’s where job fit comes in.
Job Fit Assessments have a number of uses, though-.
1. Screening: Good Pre-hire assessments provide a cost-effective, easy way to quickly screen out applicants who lack the fundamental qualifications and behaviors you need
2. Selecting: Used to evaluate prospective employees to identify high potential candidates, or current employees who are considered for promotion
3. On-boarding: Assessments provide insight into the capabilities and behaviors of the candidates and enable them to be productive faster
4. Promotion/Progression Planning: Customized Performance Models ensure promotions to other positions are successful
If you invest the time and effort to clearly define the performance attributes for each position it will enable better staffing decisions which will maximize your chance of hiring top performers. Knowing you can identify top talent, frees you to take action to replace not just poor performers, or those who leave, but also mediocre performers you may be hanging on to. These tools can give you the confidence to upgrade your staff to the level needed to excel in today’s competitive and challenging RTO business. Today it is a wise investment to ensure that you can hire a person with the attributes needed to be successful.
Hiring the right person for the right job (Job Fit) is one of the most important decisions you will make for your company. The right person will increase revenue; the wrong person will cost you- not just in the expense of hiring a replacement but in lost revenue.
For the copy of the “Your High Performer Attributes: Guide to Being Able to Identify and Measure the Attributes Needed for Success in Your Company”, email Wayne@outlawgroup.com
Look at what has been spent in salary and benefits so far this year. Don’t you want to be sure it is invested wisely for staff that can make the company successful.