Tip # 5 - Clarify your expectations for each employee

The number one cause of failure in the workplace is unclear expectations. Each employee should know the company’s values and be able to articulate them. In addition, during the hiring process, each potential employee should receive a job description of the position being sought and specific job standards for that position.

A job description will describe roles and responsibilities of each employee. Company job descriptions are vital, but not enough. Having job standards is the key to success. Job standards tell employees when and how to do their jobs and will assure that employees know exactly what is expected of them. . I believe having clear job standards for every employee is the most powerful and effective way to achieve “operational excellence. “

For example, when you go to a fast food restaurant, how often do you hear the clerk ask, “Would you like fries with that?” or “Would you like to super size that?” Why do they ask that? They ask because it increases the size of the average ticket, a critical strategy in any business is to increase profitability. The real reason they ask is because it’s written in their job standard. They have been taught and trained exactly what to say, when to say it and why it’s important to do so.

Here are some examples of job standards for sales people in a retail store:

     1. Greet and acknowledge customers with a smile within 30 seconds of their entering the store.
     2. Ask customers, diplomatically, for their name and address.
     3. Complete orders and other documents fully – leaving no blanks that others have to fill in later, or have to guess at the answers.
     4. Every customer will be offered add-on products.
     5. Every customer will receive a thank you note for visiting the store whether they made a purchase or not. (If you would like a list of job standards for sales people, email me and I will send them to you.)

Here are some examples of job standards for a manager of the warehouse:

     1. Every item will be marked with its proper size and numbers.
     2. Nothing will leave the warehouse without a pick ticket or invoice.
     3. The warehouse will be swept daily.
     4. The location of every item in the warehouse will be documented in our inventory management system.

Here are some examples of job standards for a sales manager in a retail store:

     1. Each sales person will have personal sales goals or quotas for each month.
     2. The sales manager will meet with each sales person quarterly to discuss their performance and goals or quotas
     3. A sales meeting will be held weekly to discuss current sales items and promotions, and additional sales training will be conducted.
     4. The showroom schedule will be posted at least one week in advance.

Successful businesses run without the owner being there. Having clarified job standards for every employee will assure your people will do what you want them to do, especially when you are not there. . Job standards are essential in making your business systems operate effectively. Do you have written job standards for each position in your company? If not, do so as soon as possible is - the Tip of the Month!

Thanks for reading.

Sam Allman
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