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3 Tips to Better Managers

02/2012
Are Good Managers Made or Born?
3 Tips to Better Managers

Good managers are made, not born.

 
Scene from We Card Manager Training Course

Have your store managers been trained to effectively manage their employees?

This is a great time of year to commit to review your store operations and increase employee satisfaction by improving your store managers' subject matter knowledge, coaching skills and coaching consistency, particularly now that FDA is doing compliance checks and sending retailers violation notices. See violations here.

Here are three tips to get you going.

Tip 1: Improve subject matter knowledge.

One of the most straightforward things you can do is have your managers learn as much as they can about everything they - and their employees - are expected to do. Product display, food safety, responsible retailing, you name it. The more they know, the better prepared they are to deal with the everyday challenges they'll face as a manager. Look into training programs that help improve manager knowledge. In the case of underage tobacco sales, The We Card Program recommends that all convenience store managers and assistant managers complete the Employee Training Course and the Manager Training Course to improve subject matter knowledge related to responsible retailing.

Tip 2: Improve management coaching skills.

There's a right way and wrong way to do things. Employees can learn the right way in new hire training and managers must reinforce these teachings as they transition to work behind the counter. Two of the most effective ways of reinforcing and correcting behavior is through the use of positive reinforcement and constructive feedback. It works something like this.

When you see your employee do something the right way, tell them so. For example, when you see an employee deny a tobacco sale because a customer appears to be under 27 and doesn't have ID, be sure to relate two critical things - what the employee did right and why doing the right thing is important. Not reinforcing the right way to do things particularly as it relates to the law can put your employee and your store in the unfortunate position of selling to someone underage.

And when an employee does something the wrong way, provide constructive feedback as follows: what the employee did wrong, what the employee should have done and the negative consequences that will arise if the employee continues to do the wrong thing. Not walking your employees through these steps can inadvertently reinforce the wrong behavior going forward.

Tip 3: Improve coaching consistency

Many managers and employees usually have the best intentions and are ready to improve their performance yet they very often fail to make an impact. Why? Because they don't practice consistency. In order to get your employees to do the right things - or stop doing the wrong things - you have to be consistent. Want a new hire to greet each customer who walks into the store with a "Hello"? Then model the behavior and make sure you provide constructive feedback when the employee doesn't demonstrate the correct greeting. More importantly, continue to provide constructive feedback every time you see employees demonstrating the wrong behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when you see things done the right way. Take a look at the We Card Manager Training Course which includes a 5 and 5 Coaching Form - a 5-minute coaching tool you can use to prepare for meetings with your employees and to schedule future coaching-related conversations.

Following these 3 easy Tips can ensure that you are the excellent manager you were born to be!

For more information on We Card Training Programs -- including front line employee, refresher and manager training -- visit www.wecard.org.

Doug Anderson
President
The We Card Program, Inc.

© Copyright - The We Card Program 2012, All Rights Reserved

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