When thinking back to our school years, there was never a day quite as important than the day when report cards were distributed. A good student was happy, the lazy one started getting creative and prepared their explanation for their parents. It was the parent who had to sign the card. It was ultimately their responsibility to either praise the child or coach them to do better in the next semester, so that by year end, they could pass to the next grade. This quarterly or six week routine trained the student to be responsible on their own. It wasn’t until college that we were reported our grades without parental involvement and hopefully we were incented to improve when seeing the result without their involvement. We were conditioned by the academic culture. These same principles are brought to the corporate environment by annual or quarterly reviews. However, when performance correlates to revenue, one needs to ask, “Is that often enough?”.
If you are a Supervisor, you can probably look at your desk and see a stack or at least one report that shows the result of a person or department on some key performance indicator. Have you looked at it today? If there is a deficiency causing revenue loss, how much money will your company lose if you wait until the weekend or next week to review it? C-stores have a lot of transactions made each and every day. Each presents the opportunity to gain more revenue than the customer intended to spend, but they also present the possibility of error, where that customer will not pay fully for what they purchased due to sticker errors, entry errors at the register, and even inventory and/or money being stolen just because it could. A company with an average of only 300 transactions a day can lose some serious money between now and next week. By the time you have a moment to review and study the report, people tend to forget why what happened did happen, and it all gets get sloughed off as part of the business. This is because no one has time to monitor each and every statistic where money can leak. Business Intelligence Tools have become an important part of the business in this industry for that reason. They do monitor everything and good ones will notify you when there is a revenue leak. A better one will inform the Store Manager and their Supervisor so that action can immediately be taken to prevent the revenue loss when it begins, where it begins. This can be done through a daily scorecard or, corporate report card if you will. Sending the Store Manager a daily notification of where they are in KPI standing, will allow them to correct errors, coach their team or, put more secure measures in place to stop the problems and drive the store to better performance before month end totals get tallied.
Benefits of the Scorecard reach beyond financial gain for the company. Performance reviews will be better, so increase in pay is possible for the employee because, they are reaching their goals and/or being more proactive when managing their stores. They also gain a clear understanding of expectations which Dr. Jan West, PHD, of the National Business Research Group touts as being one of the biggest flaws of employers. This is also a much better medium for them to find out they are not performing well than a surprise call by your manager who is asking a lot of questions for which they are not prepared to answer. BandyWorks Quik Data Business Intelligence software can even be configured to require a response to the Supervisor so they can get their answers,, where accountability is intact. However, it also allows the Store Manager to work through and think about the root causes of their issues and how to overcome them before responding.
THE WIN/WIN OF WELL ROUNDED SUCCESS
When problem identification and correction becomes part of daily process it all becomes conditioned and routine, which leads to better, well rounded success. So take Dr. West’s management practice advice and, provide the feedback your employees want and need to do their very best, and give them their daily report cards. You may very soon find yourself running out of gold star stickers.