This may seem too simple to even mention, but I’m going to say it anyway:
There may be industries out there where employee turnover isn’t a problem, but retailing certainly isn’t one of them. Finding, hiring and retaining good staff is one of the biggest challenges that retailers face, and many owners and managers get discouraged by how hard it is—regardless of the economy. One of the most frustrating situations is hiring a new staff person, only to have them quit a month or two later. At that point we’ve usually invested a lot in terms of training but haven’t really gotten much back in terms of productivity—certainly a negative bottom-line impact. Therefore, making improvements to our interviewing and hiring systems (and then making sure that our managers are trained in how to use those systems) is a very good bottom-line investment.
Topics: Organizational Systems
In the Servant Leadership workshops we teach, we often lead in to the content we’ve adapted from Robert Greenleaf by asking the group:
OK. How many of you are willing to admit that you’ve experienced this scenario: You needed someone to train a new hire, automatically chose the person who was the best performer in the job that needed to be trained—and then were disappointed with the results? Unfortunately, it's likely that we’ve all done that at one time or another.
Open Book Management was a brand-new concept to me just four months ago. I hopped on the ZingTrain in October 2018 as the next-generation ZingTrain Concierge, a position responsible for coordinating ZingTrain's public seminars and workshops here in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition to that, I report on, forecast and track ZingTrain’s public sales numbers at our weekly huddle. (What is a huddle?, you may ask. Learn all about huddles here!)
Topics: Open Book Management
How do you welcome new hires into your organization? Do you hand them a uniform and point them in the general direction of the front counter? Do you have them attend several days of classroom training before they ever talk to a customer? Do they learn about your organization’s history and vision from someone in leadership? Or do they get their information from the disgruntled employees out on the back dock?
Back in 2007, when Zingerman’s wrote Zingerman’s 2020 Vision describing what the business would look like in the year 2020, we wrote that “we [Zingerman’s] have successfully quantified fun, measured fun, and improved our fun factor by at least 380% since 2007. We actively teach people how to have fun at work. We have games to increase the volume of fun we experience and reward ourselves with added fun.”
We all know service is important—right? We’d be surprised if there were a company left in the US which hasn’t incorporated some version of “the customer is always right” into its employee handbook. Every politician and business leader can quote statistics about the pros and cons of the relentless move towards a “service economy.” And service is the topic most requested by clients who want ZingTrain to speak or work with their organization. On the other hand, many people feel that the level of customer service that they receive as customers is lower than ever.
What does a truly great customer experience look like? We spend a lot of time thinking about this at Zingerman’s. In fact, we actively measure the customer experience by way of the Zingerman’s Experience Indicator (ZXI), which is our adaptation of the more commonly known Net Promoter Score. As Ari explains in this article, “the ZXI has provided a measurement tool to help us track and stay more focused on how well we raise every customer’s experience to a level of greatness. Briefly, the measure tracks customer response to the one ultimate question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, (10 being high), would you recommend Zingerman’s to a friend?” Nines and 10's are considered promoters, 7's and 8's are neutrals, and anyone who scores 6 or below is deemed a detractor.”
Topics: Customer Service