staff

Tools of the Trade

“Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them.”

Steve Jobs



While much of what we do involves “tools” in the narrow definition.  However if we take a broader view it’s so much more and personifies many intangibles that we might not consider to be tools in the narrow definition. In an era where employees are hard to come by due to a shrinking labor pool it is important to recognize the investment in your staff as simply a part of your toolbox!

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Customer service

Customer service is a soft skill that is hard to evaluate in an interview, but can return huge dividends when it comes to positive interactions with your customers.  Every time a staff member interacts with a customer it’s called a “Moment of Truth” it can be the single interaction that develops a lifelong relationship.

Professional Development

Providing training and professional development not only increases productivity of a staff member it also demonstrates that your store is committed to them and you are willing to invest in them.  It is a morale booster and it builds loyalty. 

Compassion

Employees tend to remain with a company until some force causes them to leave…..Don’t be that force!

Be willing to show compassion for those you work with.  Consider that most of us work full time which constitutes about a third of entire work week, which means we are spending a fair amount of time with our colleagues.  No one is a robot we all have good and bad days and it’s an important intangible to have support on those bad days from your colleagues.

Coaching and constructive criticism

A mentor once told me “The more you try and control the less control you have” Over time I’ve come to realize coaching and constructive criticism are very important tools for success.  Allowing staff members to make decisions even potentially wrong ones has value. Providing regular coaching is critical in the success of any business.

Effective Evaluations

Having a shared vision is an elementary business standard, and providing feedback on how everyone is proceeding with that shared vision should also be a standard.  Setting goals and celebrating when the goals are achieved should also be a standard as well as being accountable for underachieving.  All part of an effective tool for growth.

In closing,

Invest in your staff, give them tools to be successful both personally and professionally.  Guide and coach them to be better people and good community members. Seek outside assistance when necessary to achieve these goals. Be what you expect from your colleagues.


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