Retail business is not always effective, dynamically developing and growing. One of the reasons is the inefficient management of the company. Owners and hired managers are often dominated by stereotypes and delusions that impede development and growth. Expert SR, business coach Yevgeny Danchev called 10 common leadership mistakes that could lead the company into a dead end and make the business unprofitable. In this issue, we talk about five ineffective strategies in personnel policy and the personnel motivation system; in the next read about five ineffective strategies for developing the retail business and sales channels.
director of WConsulting, coach, retail consultant.
1. "We need to hire staff" preferably with experience. "
The roots of this proprietary strategy come from their 90s, when the labor market was the "employer market." There were more applicants for each vacancy than there were employers in the market, and companies could choose their employees. Now the situation on the labor market is completely different. Rather, employees already choose their company, and even if the employer offers a job, they usually take a break to choose from the available offers. I constantly hear complaints from owners of the retail business that it is very difficult to find in the market not only qualified personnel, but even without an employee’s experience it’s not easy to attract. Seven to ten years ago, it was possible to select an employee with experience in the company and get the result from him in the very first month. And now the situation in the shoe market has changed a lot, it has become more competitive, less marginal, more dependent on seasonal factors and price wars. And it turns out that even experienced employees do not always give quick results in such conditions, and what can we say about employees without work experience ... What to do in a situation where it is difficult to find at least some kind of working unit in the market?
Employee experience is both a plus and a minus. An experienced employee will never be so loyal to the company as less experienced as the latter is strongly interested in gaining new knowledge, experience, and he will be dominated by the desire to stay in the company for as long as possible. Moreover, the employee’s previous work experience can even interfere with the company, since its use often leads to redoing, restructuring by the employee “for himself” of many work processes, which destabilizes the work of the company as a whole. And in the process of changes, which was started by a new and experienced employee, he will surely encounter the resistance of other sellers and will not receive a positive result, but a negative one, because he will be “put sticks in wheels”. Therefore, the most optimal solution today is to hire new employees without special knowledge, and train them, rather than trying to retrain experienced ones. People rarely change their beliefs and values with age, “you can make a horse come to a well, but you cannot make it drink when it does not want to.” It’s easier to train from scratch than to retrain.
2. “No need to train staff. Why prepare personnel for competitors? ”
If we summarize the results of the work of the companies with which we had to collaborate in terms of developing their business, we can draw the following conclusion: with the departure of one or several key employees, a decline in sales always started. For some, it was sharp and rapid, for others it was smoother and more gradual, but the result is always the same - a decline in sales, a decrease in profits or a loss. And only after that the business owners thought about attracting a consultant to solve problems. But there is another situation - when a company develops, its turnover grows, and this is always a consequence of the fact that the owner or top managers received knowledge and technologies that they did not have before.
If employees are not trained, not developed, then there will be no results in the company, and if trained, then they can go to competitors. It turns out a vicious circle. To teach is bad, not to teach is also bad.
There is only one way out - to standardize the work of employees as much as possible with the help of the regulations described on paper of successful managerial actions, strategies for achieving the result. As a rule, in a company all successful actions and strategies are in the "heads" of individual employees who do not share them with their colleagues just because they are afraid of losing their significance, uniqueness, and competitive advantage. Employees argue as follows: “Why should I share my knowledge with someone if the company can achieve results tomorrow and without me? I’d better not tell anyone, share anything, I’ll work in the company longer, and much will depend on me. ” Problems begin when such a unique employee leaves, and with his departure, the results decrease. To prevent this from happening, a Portfolio should be developed for each significant position in the company. The starting point should not be a person and his uniqueness, but the position he occupies.
What is included in the concept of portfolio:
If there is an understanding of the employee’s activities and responsibilities in companies, then there is no understanding of managerial strategies at all. For example, if we take the position of director of a retail shoe store, then he should have at least the following basic strategies:
Transfer the successful experience of employees to paper and then, with the advent of a new specialist, you will not need to rely only on his experience and competencies. It will be possible to provide him with a set of internal documents on the basis of which he should build his activities, and the results of his work will be evaluated according to the criteria specified in these documents. Thus, a company can hire specialists with minimal experience and, by providing them with ready-made solutions, ask for the result as experienced specialists after a trial period.
3. “I pay employees wages, they are professionals, and therefore it’s enough for me to set a task for them and ask for the result. And how to do it is their job. They did it - well done, no - it means they worked poorly. "
To understand who a professional is, you need to understand the concept of “delegation”.
The leader must be clearly aware to whom it is possible to delegate a certain task, and to whom not. Delegation is possible only if there are three conditions:
If at least one of the conditions is absent, then the manager himself must compensate him for the employee, and such control is called point (manual). For example, if an employee is poorly motivated, then the manager needs to periodically motivate him in the process of work. If there are not enough skills and competencies, then the leader should prompt or show by personal example how to perform this or that work. If there are no resources, then provide them. Yes, manual control is resource-intensive for the manager and inherently inefficient, but the boss must, before setting the task to his subordinate, make sure that it will be completed correctly, on time, and that the employee understands how and how to complete it .
No matter how motivated a professional in his field, if he does not have the resources, he will not be able to achieve the desired result. But often the subordinates from the owners when setting the task have to hear: "I want you to do this for me ...." The owners somehow forget about how much employees have the special knowledge and resources for "this", and with motivation, everything is not always transparent. “Do it, and then we'll talk about what it will be for you” - most often a person is told just that. It is clear that the results after such parting words will be corresponding.
There is only one recipe - to negotiate on the beach. It is necessary to clearly pronounce everything and get feedback from employees regarding whether they understand how they accomplish the task, what additional resources they need, how often they need to meet with the leader in the work process and report on intermediate results. If this is not done, then either the task will not be completed on time, or completed, but not in the way the manager wanted. And then the standard feedback from the leader is included: "I am the boss - you are a fool." To avoid this, one must even delegate certain tasks, set control points in order to make it important to understand whether we are going in the right direction or gone astray in order to make adjustments in time. An effective leader should remember that it is only possible to set a task and ask for results only with simple and short-term tasks, but the more difficult they are and the longer they are completed in time, the more often you need to maintain employee motivation at the proper level and evaluate the intermediate results of work.
4. “If an employee copes well with the duty of an executor (for example, knows how to sell well), then he can be entrusted with the role of a leader.”
One of the most common misconceptions among leaders. Yes, sometimes such cause-and-effect relationships work, because some performers really have the makings of a manager. But in practice, not always the performer becomes a good leader. The reasons for this are quite deep and, unfortunately, are not visible to many top managers. The problem is that a simple logical chain is built up in the heads of managers: if a person performs one job best of all, then why can't he control the same work, only a few employees, even if not immediately, but over time ?! This is the misconception of managers who believe that when changing an activity profile an employee will need the same skills as before, and the novelty will only be that he will have to transfer these skills to his subordinates and control their work. In fact, this is not so. Yes, of course, you need to transfer your skills and competencies, only for this a person should be able to do this. Leader is a completely different profession, for which a specialist needs two basic skills:
Many times he witnessed how an ordinary specialist who did not have such skills was promoted to the role of leader, and after two or three months he quit the company because he could not cope with the new role, and pride did not allow him to return to the old position, or she already I was busy. The company was losing a good employee due to the fact that it had unjustified expectations and misconceptions about how to move the new leader along the career ladder.
Unlike the executor, the leader must be able to correctly convey his demands to subordinates, motivate, have the skill to transfer new knowledge to employees, be able to correctly set tasks, give feedback, and make difficult and unpopular decisions in the team. Not every specialist has such a large set of special knowledge in the field of management. This knowledge is difficult and long to gain in practice. Knowledge can be obtained at seminars, trainings, from special books. Leaders are not born, they become.
Ask your supervisor how much he has read professional books over the past year. If the answer is 1-2 books or not a single one at all, then I would have big doubts about how effectively such a leader works in the company.
5. “We must proceed from the capabilities and competencies of the employee and give him such work that he can do best.”
On the one hand, such a conclusion is correct, and on the other, it implies that we adjust the position or responsibilities for a person. As a rule, companies rely on specific people (strong personalities), transferring them many functions that actually belong to different positions. As a result, it turns out that two or even three employees are responsible for one business process, duplicating each other's work. When you start unwinding this tangle of difficult relationships, it turns out that once one employee left the company and his work was temporarily transferred to another, or it was distributed among several employees, because the owner decided to reduce the position. Or just one of the employees suggested: “Come on, I will carry out this work for an additional fee”.
And the owner is only happy with this turn of events, because you need to pay 30-50% of the salary, and the functionality goes to 100% for the new employee. It seems to be like saving ... ..
Only all of these “crooked schemes” quickly lead to inefficient company operations and lost profits.
There is an important rule in business. A person is taken to the position, and not vice versa, when the position is attracted to a person. Based on this rule, it is necessary to create positions in the company, functional duties for them, and only then select the appropriate employee. Working with one shoe company, I was faced with the fact that the following functions were assigned to one employee:
Yes, the employee was really competent in all these areas, and he had subordinates, but his work efficiency was low, because he tried to deal simultaneously with all business processes. He did not allow subordinates to take the initiative and make decisions without his approval, since he personally controlled everything and did not trust anyone. And since his working time was limited to an 8-hour working day, naturally, he did not have time to do everything at the same time, and many important decisions were made with long delays. The company worked extremely inefficiently, only because it tailored its business to a specific person. After functions were delegated to other specialists in the company, the speed of decision-making increased sharply, and the financial results of the company improved.
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