Setting High-Impact Expectations

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Doug Fleener's Retail Performance Blog/Setting High-Impact Expectations

For a retail leader and coach to make a high impact, the path looks like this: You impact the staff to impact the customer’s experience and actions, impacting the store’s results/revenue.

You don’t make a higher impact by having the staff do what they already do. You make changes and improvements.

Most people way overcomplicate how to do that. It is pretty simple.

You either need your staff to do something better or different. That’s it. Everything falls into one of those two categories.

Those are unique for each store and even each employee. That’s why a one-size-fits-all training program for a seasoned staff isn’t necessary. It’s also why my Service and Revenue Accelerator program can quickly achieve fast revenue growth. (More details here.)

What isn’t unique is how you achieve those changes.

It all starts with setting new and usually higher expectations of those better or different employee actions.

Expectations are a manager's specific standards or objectives for an employee's performance (actions and behaviors), outcomes, and results.

Here are three ways to do that:

1. Have a weekly expectation. Remember, you are expecting something better or different. This could be the same for everyone on staff, or everyone can have their own. Meet with the employee at the start of their week to agree upon the week’s expectations and desired outcome. You can also roll the same expectation over to next week. But always have a weekly expectation.

2. Set a daily expectation of specific actions and results. Say, for example, you want the staff to increase the email capture rate of buyers. Each employee should have a target for the day and specific actions they will take to achieve it.

An employee might be expected to hit an 85% capture rate for the day, and they know exactly the new or different action they will practice and do to achieve that.

3. Set tracking and reporting expectations. This is the one expectation so many managers miss. This is the only way to ensure that better or different actions occur.

For example, we know that getting customers to engage with and try on products dramatically increases the likelihood of purchasing. The only way to know if that is happening is to have the employee track how many customers they do that with.

I’ve had many owners or managers tell me that’s not realistic. It is. I know because those leaders who make it happen are the same ones who consistently grow their staff and sales.

So, let me ask three questions:
1. If setting expectations were a TV show, would it be more like Survivor with different alliances, The Office with funny outcomes, or Master Chef with lots of screaming and crying?

2. What expectation would you set if your goal was to confuse, not clarify? (Mine would be to quote a former employee of mine when he told his district manager, “Focus on everything.”)

3. What would be the financial impact if you made higher expectations a regular part of your daily coaching and leadership?

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Blog by Doug Fleener

The Daily Performance Expert

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