I recently spoke with a retailer who is disappointed with the performance of one of her key employees. When I asked how she is handling the situation she replied, "I haven't really said much. I don't want to rock the boat this close to Christmas."
I hope your reaction is the same as mine. Rock the boat!
Here's why. A mentor of mine recently explained that people and organizations have a finite amount of energy and focus at their disposal. This energy and focus is used both externally in creating sales and building your community, and internally in dealing with organizational problems, challenges and opportunities.
What he said next really stood out for me: Any additional energy and focus that's required internally is taken away from the external customer side. We may fear rocking the boat during the holidays, but not quickly resolving issues during the holidays will cost you a lot more money than will rocking the boat.
Here's my advice for that retailer and any other owner/manager in the same position. If an employee is falling short of your expectations, address it now. As I've said many times, most employees want to do a good job. They can't improve if you don't let them know what to work on.
Nine times out of ten these conversations go better than we expect. Remember, keep the focus on future behaviors and don't dwell too much on past actions. Keep it positive. Express your support of the employee and be done with it. Take the internal distraction, fix it, and get the energy and focus back on the customer.
Also, don’t forget to praise and thank all of your employees at the end of each day. It’s Showtime!
So let me ask, do you need to rock any boats?
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit our website or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create extraordinary results.