By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor
During the Wednesday afternoon breakout sessions at the NACS State of The Industry (SOI) Summit, Linda McKenna-Welch, principal, Employee Performance Strategies, spoke with attendees about how to set goals for managing people, reducing turnover and hiring smarter.
“Do you know the cost of turnover in your organization, and does your store manager?” McKenna-Welch asked. She noted that 95% of store managers and 85% of district mangers or supervisors don’t know the cost of turnover. Every time someone leaves that’s costing between $2,000-$3,500, a figure she recommends sharing with managers and supervisors. “Then help your managers determine how many (candy) bars they would have to sell to make that up,” she said.
Determining why employees are leaving is crucial to your bottom line. Out of that turnover, for example, how much was voluntary separation compared to termination? That can help you pinpoint why people are leaving.
“When they turnover in the first seven days, that’s bad hiring 90% of the time. If the turnover occurs in the first 60 days, that is often an indicator of training, or not fitting in. Often people quit after first 60 days because they don’t feel they fit in—and it’s the managers job to help them fit in,” she noted.
Also look at shift tracking. If people are leaving from a particular shift, it might be a nasty dynamic or assistant manager that is the problem.
Know what type of people you are losing from your team. “What was this person’s rating? Am I losing my losers or winning my losers? Are your good people leaving? If they are all knuckleheads turning over then I should take my turnover up,” she said.
While Human Resources has the resources to gather the data, operations has to own it. “When operations drives it there is greater buy in and result,” McKenna-Welch said.
Managers should be taking more responsibility for recruiting, McKenna-Welch noted. They should be required to interview every two weeks. Get them to commit to a certain day to do it, she advised.
“When you are fully staffed and your existing staff sees people coming in for an interview it makes them get their act together. Require them to do it all the time. The ones you interview—face to face interview—that are qualified, put them in a green ‘go’ to folder. Those are the people that if someone quits tomorrow you are going to call,” she said. She recommends asking your managers on a regular basis how many people are in their “go” folder.
Mangers often think that if someone was looking for a job six months ago they probably found one now. But they might want to quit, or you might be able to convince them to join your team instead.
McKenna-Welch noted that the average length of an interview is 15 minutes in the industry. “We spend longer researching what kind of coffee maker to buy,” she said. A good interview should be 45 minutes for frontline employees. And be sure to ask how many people your managers interviewed before hiring the new person. “By tracking how many they interview before they hire someone, it tracks mentality of ‘they’ll do,’” she said.
Be aware of who is already internally working for you and what their goals might be for promotion. Some assistant managers may want to be managers, others don’t and still others are unsure. Find out how they feel.
If they want to be mangers, make sure they’re willing to move to a different store. For assistant managers who don’t want to be managers, consider changing their titles to something else or have two assistant managers so they’re not blocking your other frontline employees from moving up. If an employee doesn’t want to be manager, ask why. “One top reason is ‘my manager works too hard.’ It might be how the manager is working that needs to be looked at,” she advised.
Sales & Service
McKenna-Welch recommends motivating staff by posting everyone’s average ring. “If you know the average ring is usually $7 and you have a new guy at $5 and you have an inventory problem, well you just found it. Also list rings by shift because you want them to compete against the competition not against each other.”
Let everyone know they’re going to get mystery shopped and then do so on a regular basis and hold managers accountable for upselling customers.
Ask your employees if they would recommend your company to a friend as a place to work and why or why not, and whether or not they would recommend their manager as a manager to work for and why. “People join a company but quit a boss or a culture a boss allows to take place,” she said.