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Change Management

Working with top C-Store operators provides a lot of great insights into management. C-Store operators have to deal with heavy competition, long hours, and weekend work. This environment often leads to high turnover. In order to run well you have to have staff that can get things done as you need.  If your store performance is suffering from an employee who is a weak link, it may be time to either mentor them for change or replace them with a stronger link.  While it may seem tough, I hear the same message in different ways, you either have to get non-performers to change or change who is in that position. One way to say – To keep your C-Store running smoothly you have to change the people or change the people   If  you have too much turn-over you will spend too much time and/or money training as well as risk bad performance. If you do not turn-over when needed the situation may be worse. You may be let go.  Of course, the best way is to build a process and culture that people want to join. Executing well means you pick the right people and provide the opportunity for success. Of course, even the best operators know they are no one is perfect and sometimes changing means letting people go. While it may be impossible to ever enjoy termination – for the cost to both sides is very high – there are times when it is truly good for both.

Assuming you have done a great job setting job requirements and have a good place to work, if someone is not succeeding it may be that they are in the wrong job.  If they are not performing well, it is likely they are not happy there either.  There are so many jobs out there, that everyone should be able to find one that they enjoy and have the ability to do well. Letting one go is never easy for the person who is being fired or the one who is firing them.  However, if your ultimate role is ensuring store performance and you are not getting the job done and, the reason points to an individual’s unwillingness to improve, the choice becomes obvious.  You mustn’t feel guilt for doing your job.

No matter what happens, be fair, honest and helpful. Explain why they are being let go so they can learn from it.  Point out their positive traits to damper the blow to their self-esteem, Finally, offer suggestions for other possibilities for them to let them know they do have value. If it going to be hard on everyone, at least make it beneficial.  It is not unheard of for them to  even call to thank you one day. One of the best rewards is having someone contact you down the road and thank you for helping find the job they love.

Now, if you fire a lot and nothing get better. Maybe it’s time to look inside.