What if I told you that Area Leaders could reclaim one day per week?
A whole day that is used for planning, people development and goal setting. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And it’s possible by ditching the work habits that don’t serve you or contribute to performance.
Daily calls to stores are an established retail management practice that has been done for decades.
We keep doing it because ‘we’ve always done it that way’. Forbes calls that ‘the most dangerous phrase in business’. The Muse calls it the most expensive. Past success is no guarantee of future success – and certainly not in an era of constant change.
A culture that resists new ideas and ways of doing things is a frustrating one to be part of and is the opposite of the growth environment we need to retain our best people.
Why do we do morning calls to stores?
Many Area Leaders will start their day by calling each of their stores. These calls are designed to remind store managers to hit their target that day. If an Area Leader calls their stores each day, assuming they have eight stores, spending 10 minutes on each call, that is an hour and a half every day which adds up to a full day each week. There is no evidence that this investment of time impacts the results of the stores.
My research across State Managers, Area Leaders and Store Managers shows that:
- No one enjoys them
- There is no evidence that they positively impact results
- Store Managers feel demotivated, micro-managed and disempowered
- They become a box-ticking exercise.
So, what can you do instead?
1. Set the expectation that stores should achieve their budget each day and empower your store managers to work on strategies to achieve their daily budget.
2. Flip the notion of the morning call on its head by assuring the store managers you are available if they need you for advice, strategies or support. By making this the store manager’s responsibility, you empower them and build trust while still keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening.
3. Use your store visits to work on strategy with your store managers. This takes some planning, but the investment and effort are well worth it. That’s what your reclaimed day is for!
4. Set the expectation that stores that haven’t hit their budget and are unsure of what they can do to turn results around should call their Area Leader to ask for some advice or support. Yes, Store Managers call their Area Leaders (not the other way around).
5. Call your stores that have exceeded their budget for the previous day. Acknowledge their achievement and thank them and their team for a great job.
Area Leaders are there to set expectations but also to listen and support so that you can give store managers the help they need, not just a daily nudge in the right direction.
Empower your Store Managers to feel like true ‘Business Leaders’ and give them ownership and responsibility to achieve results.
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