In this episode, Alice and Brennan review the Harvard Business Review article "Does Your Team Have an Accountability Problem?" by Melissa Raffoni (published 2/10/2020).
Read the article for yourself using the link below and let us know what you think on Instagram or Linkedin @CrazyFinRetail .
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/crazyfinretail)
In this episode, Alice and Brennan review the Harvard Business Review article "Does Your Team Have an Accountability Problem?" by Melissa Raffoni (published 2/10/2020).
Read the article for yourself using the link below and let us know what you think on Instagram or Linkedin @CrazyFinRetail .
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/crazyfinretail)
Intro / Outro: 0:02
retail is crazy. Your leadership doesn't have to be. This'll is crazy. F in retail with Brennan and Alice. So
welcome to another episode of Crazy F in retail. The Podcast with Brennan and Alice. Tonight's article that we're going to review is, Does your team have an accountability problem by Melissa? Right? Phony. It's from the Harvard Business Review February 10th 2020 is when it came out. So it's a relatively new article, but a ton of gems. Um, you know, Alice, you want you want to kick this one off?
Sure. Um, when I think of accountability, I feel like I have the reputation amongst my peers amongst my team that I'm all about accountability. And, you know, a few episodes ago, I talked about coming back to the company about two and 1/2 years ago, and that was something that I wanted to really give back. Two. My team, Um, as I believe we had a huge opportunity with holding people accountable. Um, and in just a few things that we're going to really discuss, especially with this article we talk about, you know, setting expectations and ensuring we're following up. But I think the biggest problem that we have is the lack of self awareness that sometimes we have a hard time saying, you know what? I could have done better to make somebody better, or I set the clear expectations and a lot of retailers. We tend to be very results driven. And when our results aren't where it needs to be, we wantto automatically go and hold somebody accountable. So, Brennan, we're both in the retail business. I'm sure you've experienced this in the past as well. Oh,
my Yeah, of course. You know, I think I saw this article and I was like, Alice, we have to do this one because it's right up our alley. Like, yes, accountability is a must in in a in a leadership position. Um, especially anywhere you're trying to get movement. Um, in any any key area, right? There has to be expectations. And people there has to be accountability. I guess when people don't deliver, right, well, I think it's kind of overused, right? So I'm gonna I'm gonna go out there and go and say that accountability has become a buzzword in retail, right? When when we when something's not going the way that we wanted to go hold him accountable. How are you holding them accountable, right? I think we we do that as leaders. I know I do. I hear my leaders doing it, and we've both heard it before. So the question becomes is, you know, have we as leaders done everything that we need to do before we go in that direction. And then what is accountability? What? What? What is it? So I think that, you know, Melissa has a lot of great points in this article. I mean, my my entire article is practically highlighted, but, um, right on the very first page, she says lack of accountability is rarely intentional. I mean, that's that's it, right? So when you're telling people to hold people more accountable Well, it's not like they're not trying to, right? It's that maybe they haven't. Maybe have they haven't. Maybe they don't have clear rolls, right? Maybe they don't have another resource is right. Time people. Maybe they have a bad strategy. Maybe it right out the gates. Maybe their strategy was bad, and the result wasn't going to get achieved just due to the strategy and their execution or you know. I'm sure a lot of retail leaders canna agree with this one. Maybe it's an unrealistic goal, right? And so when we hit, when we we get on people when we say, What are you doing to hold your team accountable or what are you doing when I was a store manager, What are you doing? What were you doing during your shift toe? Hold him accountable. You know, when you come back from your day off and maybe the store isn't Maybe the results weren't where they needed to be. We're like, Well, who Who would you hold accountable for this? Let's hold him accountable. So I think that you hit the nail on the head about self awareness. Alice, Um, you know, there's so many managers and I know I wish I would've known this early on earlier on. Check in with yourself first. Alice. Do you wanna kind of dive into what check in with yourself first means
sure. You know, before I do that, I just want to say when I talk to store managers in the past about holding somebody cannibal, I feel like our store manager's gotta move automatically. Go Well, I told him to do it. They just chose not to do it. You know, I'm sure you've heard that many times. Oh, well, I wrote them up. I told them they're not doing what I wanted them to do. So I wrote them up. And I think where we fail is right here. You know, we talked about his check in with yourself first. So the first thing you want to ask yourself is Was I clear with my expectations that I tell them exactly what I wanted to see from them on the flip side is also what did I do to help them? Those are some things that you should really slow down and ask yourself. And on this article, it specifically states self awareness is a leadership superpower. You know, I I I hear a lot of people talk about Oh, yeah, I know how I am a leader. These are the things I need to work on, and we know we need to work on it. But I feel like when we try to hold somebody accountable, that first step goes out the window. We automatically point fingers and say, Well, I told him to do it I told him to go read that. I told him to do it the way he should already know what they're doing. But it all comes down to the fact that we did not give them just simple and very clear expectations every single day. Um, I think we also fall into a habit of saying, Well, Brennan, he's been a self associate here for all nine months. He should know what to d'oh. He should autumn o'clock in. He should look at his goal. She nobody needs to dio. He should know exactly what to do every single day without me having to tell them. But I think that's where we go wrong, don't you think? Brennan? We automatically assume Oh, well, they know what they're doing. But we as leaders, need to ensure that we're always setting expectations and making a very, very simple. So there's no confusion between myself and the employees.
Yeah, and I think you know is accountability. Even the right word, right? If you just read the article, you to talk about these points Have I've been clear about my expectations? Have I asked what I can do to help? Have I taken the time to brand storm and review processes. Have I built a plan of action with my team member? You know a lot of that to me from like from a retail perspective. Sounds like coaching, right? And so I think, a lot of time to get it confused. And so you mentioned PC ends, you know, it always cracks me up. I remember I'll never forget. When I was new to my role, I went, I went somewhere and and this this person was so proud that they whipped out this this binder. It literally had a binder of PC ends that were like it was like a template where all they had to do was like Maybe, was I don't know. Let's just say attendance, for example, like Let's no, it was it was some K P. It was a key performance indicator, right? It was blank, blank place to write in their name a place to writing what they're what they're what they're KP I was that they actually hit and then another place to write in the goal. So this person had essentially template it out literally like 20 p CNN's performance correction notices right, and that you just You see that? And you're like, Oh, my God, pause like this is not how we're gonna lead the team. This is not what it's about if you have to, if you have to, in my perspective of you have to give a p c n for for something like ah, like an up sell, Right, Um, if you have to give a PC and for that you really need to reflect on what you did wrong as a leader and where your message is not getting received and that kind of goes back to all the check in with yourself stuff. But, um, I would I would tend to believe that leaders that have a high level of self awareness have very minimal documented, documented warnings or performance plans for their team, because I think that if you're hiring the right people, right, letting the light right people into your business and providing them with coaching and taking ownership of the issue as much as you possibly can, I think you're going to get the result. So the one piece that I love that I have, I have the self awareness of the leadership power. That's 100%. I agree with that. But I also have highlighted. And I wish I would've known this again as a young manager Because even as an assistant manager, um, when I was 18 years old, right, my approach was Why aren't they doing their part right? Instead of saying, Is there anything I can do to help you right? And so work to shift your mindset from a place of hostility to a place of curiosity with respect to how you can help? I mean, that shift in mindset right there, that's that's going to Dr really is gonna drive a better result because you're gonna provide better coaching. Your team member is going to want to be there, right? And then when they want to be there and they're fully engaged, they're going to have a positive attitude and want to achieve the result and want to help your business. So, um, you know, that's that's what I think. Did you read the part about the safe spaces? Alice, I know we've talked about safe spaces in the past. What you think about that?
Um, before we go into that, I had thio hold back laughter because you talked about an employee. The had documentation pre printed out. We're ready to go. All they have to do is add the name and let me tell you, I was that manager my rookie year. If you if you were to ask any of my peers my district manager at that time to this day they will call me the Queen of Performance. Corrective Notice. I am telling you I am. But but I was that leader, you know, um, you know, for all our listeners, it's okay if you're that person. But you also have to put yourself into your employees shoes. How do you think that employees felt right? That employ probably felt like you're trying to get rid of them and they just did it. Me, your expectation. But I'm telling you, I was that How was that manager? I wanted to get results instantly, and if they didn't greet a customer, I wrote them up. If they did not want to add on and sign them up for a loyalty program, I I wrote them up. But let me tell you, with every employee that came on, I said, clear expectation. I said, You know what I'm gonna show you how to do it. This is my expectation. This whole I need you to do it. But there was definitely a better way for me to approach that right. But I would have learned that and been the leader I am now if I didn't go through that. So, you know, I think for everyone listening like listen to this podcast is not about your doing it the wrong way, But we need to ensure that you're evolving into a different kind of leader. And this article is not about how to hold somebody accountable. We're not gonna educate on that it, but it's more so. How do we build a culture? So your team understands the expectations. So if you guys aren't on the same paste and you know, you called him accountable, But you know what? The next topic creating a safe environment for the other person. Um, during the last podcast, we talked about getting to know your employees, and we talked about you and us a leader. But I think many times we get into a mode where you want to hold somebody responsible for their mistakes and you're already upset and you want to come after an employee, and sometimes you might do it in front of everybody. And that could be extremely embarrassing for the person that's receiving that kind of feedback. So creating a safe environment where you could have a one on one, whether it's in the office. Or maybe you go grab a cup of coffee really quickly. Or maybe you just stand outside the store where you could have a one on one conversation with someone without anybody overhearing the conversation that's taking place in the retail environment, when sometimes is one part coverage or it's too busy. It's very difficult to do that. But sometimes you could just do it on the floor, and this is yourself from the rest of the team. But allow that employees, too feel safe with you and, you know, don't put them on blast. Don't put them on a pedestal. Say, Hey, well, this person not doing something, but really just giving them a moment to be vulnerable with you, whether it's in the office, like I said or outside the store or somewhere on the cell floor, where it's just you and that
No, I I agree and I think it talks a lot about, um, feeling emotionally safe. Right? But but back to what you were saying about that first, being the new manager right with your book of PC ends? Um, I don't I I still don't make that. I don't see that specifically. But tell me if I'm wrong. I usually see that the rookie managers and really in every position we're talking about, store managers were talking about, um, secondary leadership. We're talking about key holders. Whenever, when people are first promoted their first or leadership role, I usually find that they are on one. They're very rarely in the center of the spectrum, right and balanced in the middle. They're usually really far to the left where they're kind of afraid to hold people quote unquote accountable or having tough Tom conversations are kind of confronting, are embracing conflict. You know, those are the ones that come in and kind of seek approval. And you want to be the cool manager, right? And then I see the other side right where it sounds like you were, and I definitely know I was I am the boss. I have the keys. This is my store, right? You will do what I say, right? And then as they go, I think. And unfortunately, as you burned burned bridges, maybe you're get employee feedback, right? Or just grow. You kind of work yourself closer to the middle, whether you become balanced. Do you see that, Alice?
Definitely. It's definitely not in the middle of the spectrum, but is either the far left or the far right. So I definitely wish we have this article going into our very, very first role. Because how much would have this grounded us as a leader? How quickly could we have changed the culture of a store by, you know, not going attack mode and going do as I say, but really taking a chance on everybody on your team and giving them an opportunity? You know, that's all I could think of. And, you know, like I said, I was a queen, um, of PC ends. And I think that name still still ext. Still,
though, right where I think especially in retail. And I'm not just talking about our organization. I'm talking about retail as a whole. I hear it across the board. Accountability right is like a leadership a leadership strength, right? And then on the flip side, empathy kind of looks like a weakness is perceived as a weakness. And I think that that is the biggest misconception that is out there. I think that as a new manager, if out of I really wish, I would have learned And you know, some of this a lot of this. You can't learn it from a book. Most leadership, you can't learn from a book. I mean, I'm looking at this massive Peter Drucker, uh, management guide that I have over on my bookshelf. Massive. And, you know, I could read it. Right. But you're not gonna a lot of this. You gotta learn from experience. I think we talked about that last week. It doesn't matter how many podcasts or how many articles or books you read. A lot of this just has to be learned from experience, so I would just challenge everyone to say OK, Accountability is definitely part of the job, right? You have to have ah, quote unquote line in the sand with some things. Right. But don't be so quick to jump e. I shouldn't even say Don't be so quick. I should say, Don't make sure you catch yourself. Make sure you catch yourself when it becomes. Why aren't they doing their part? You know, one thing I learned last year, um, it's really cool is I was challenged to write a first person narrative of someone from someone's perspective that I disagreed with, Right. This could be outside of work. This could be at work. And so I just went through and I wrote a couple and I started thinking to myself, What if before, before we identified someone as an underperformer or before we wanted to go and quote unquote hold someone accountable? What if we wrote a first person narrative around why that person had that perspective? I'm not saying maybe I shouldn't say wrote, What if we thought through a first person account of why that person did that thing? So before we say, Oh, I'm gonna hold this person accountable, I think, Alice, I think you said for not greeting right. What if we said OK, let's look at it through their eyes and let's just talk through it as if we were them. Maybe I was too busy. Maybe I was too busy because I have all these tasks that I need to get done. And maybe I thought that that other person in the store was going to greet them. Maybe I thought that just because you're the store manager, you can you doesn't doesn't mean that you don't greet customers, and I'm over here forward in T shirts. So I thought you would greet the customers, right? So
what if that's
the problem, right? And then if we identify that piece and I think this article actually talks about it a little bit, then you kind of reframe it from their perspective. And you don't have to say that you agree with it, just that you understand it, and then you level set and re reset the expectation. Then you move forward and you make a game plan to move forward. So this article provides so much, so many gems. But the one thing that I would say it is before you practice accountability, practice, empathy. What are your thoughts, Alice?
You know, I I wish somebody said those words to me about 15 years ago. Um, you know, when? When I did strength finders for the very first time, about 56 years ago, my number one strength was a woo, um, where I'm very good at talking to people, getting to know people and win others over. But one thing that I lacked or I guess, is not a very good strength of mine is empathy. And I had to learn that through failures And, you know, for everybody listening, it's okay. You will learn it through your successes, and you're fit. Mostly failures. I think you learn that you learn things quicker when you fail, But having empathy and ensuring that you actually care about the people around you and you want to make them better is the unlock of helping your team find their potential. Um, I think when it comes accountability and, you know, documenting people we were already angry, and we feel like we want to get rid of this people, but that's not the case. You know, I think we need to comfort a genuine place and say, Hey, you know what? I'm gonna work my butt off with you hand in hand and I'm going to make you successful. We're gonna sweat, we're gonna bleed, we're gonna cry, we're gonna do everything, and I think that shows our team that you want them to be better, right? And I think, Well, you know, when you when we talk about building a culture and a great culture in a and an amazing team in an environment for your team, it's It comes with empathy. You know, um, that whole queen of BCN that like that was me. I was cutthroat. You're late. I'm like, a few minutes. I was such a stickler. And and to this day, I still am about making sure that everybody was on, like, very aligned with what the company expected. You know, there's policy, the procedures that I will always I will never bend. I will never bend if you do wrong than cool. But when it comes down to performance and ensuring that we want to make our people better, you have to have empathy. You actually have to care. And I think I said a few podcasts ago. The higher you get in your career, it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with your team. So ensuring that you I want the people you work with to do better. You can't just pen and paper here. I'm gonna document you. Here you go. You're not doing it already. Told you you're on your you're on your written. You're gonna be in your final soon. So either you get it or you get out like you can't be that kind of leader. You know, we need to ensure that deep down and sign, we have to care. We have to care about these people, cause at the end of the day, we hired them. We brought them onto our team for a reason. When you interviewed them, you like them, right? And if they're not performing, it comes down Thio what we didn't do to set the right expectations.
I love what you said, but I want to rewind a little bit. Also still, you know, there are some areas where accountability I mean, it's it's such a buzz word, and it's so overused. It's hard for me to say it, but, like Alice, one of the one of the hacks that you have that I've learned from you, um and it mentions actually on the last page of this article is the roles and responsibilities write ups, right? And just the paper that talks about their job description. I know that you've used that a lot. And you just make sure that everyone that you're working with her that works within your your area is very clear on what the roles and responsibilities of their job is. You know, that's one piece, right? And then I think for this the accountability that we're really talking about. Where you know, I think there's a better way. You know, a lot of that is performance performance driven accountability, right? I never want to hear I hate hearing about Well, 10 I'm gonna I'm gonna give this person a PC, end our performance correction. Corrective notice, right? For last night. Well, you worked with him. Did you tell him? I think a lot of I think in retail in retail. Especially if
you do. We just have
to make sure one of our primary function is to make sure that people know where they stand. So, you know, direct honest feedback. And I think that a lot of people I'm sorry. Ah, lot of times, PC ends. We see people hide behind a PC in. So instead of giving you direct and honest feedback in the moment. I'm gonna write you up two days. You know what? I'm not gonna give him feedback right now. All wait till next Monday and then when we review results, all right, I'm up for their results. Sometimes we sometimes as a new manager, we hide behind the PCM. I don't really see it from the experienced managers, but I know I know that when I was an assistant manager, I was PC unhappy, but I also But I wasn't just going around giving people direct, honest feedback. A lot of my challenges could have been resolved through through direct and honest feedback. But fast forward. And you know, now we've talked a little bit about what we talked a lot about the article and we've talked about Check in with yourself first, right. Making sure talking about self awareness is a leadership superpower which I endorse 100%. I love that statement creating a safe environment for the other person. Yeah, part of that is making sure that wherever you having your conversations is his confidence private and you know, you're not You're not holding people accountable publicly. We've all seen that we've all seen Maybe that secondary leader call out that associate for not greeting a customer right in front of the customer. Right? I'm sure we've seen that. But the next piece that I want to go into is ensuring that there is clarity and a mutual agreement on how to move forward. So that was Maybe you can walk us through those steps just from from our perspectives, as it may be an assistant manager when we were store managers or in a roll. Now, you know, after we've created a safe environment, we've given the feedback. What's next?
You know, a few years ago when I was working at a different retailer. I love their format of aligning with an employee at what they're good at what their opportunities were and what their next steps were. So I kind of want to go over that with you. So what I would say is like, Hey, Brennan, you know, he worked today from 10 to 2, and I know in the beginning of the shift I gave you a goal of staying in. Let's say, um, the men's wall, your your job today will stay in the men's well, you're supposed to do $500 in sales. You're here for about four hours. And you know, I wanted you just sell some clothes and some accessories today. Your goal with accessories. About $50 throughout your shift. I know. Let's just talk about some good things that you did today. Looking at yourselves. Results You actually surpassed her goal with $1000 in sales today. And with accessories, You did really, really good, too. With about $45 you didn't hit your goal. But you were very close, and I kind of wanted to call out where I feel like you have some opportunity throughout your shift. I had you working on the shoe walls, or I, um and I wanted to make sure that you were releasing the shoes and redoing this true forms. I noticed that when customers were walking in today that I had to tap you a few times to ensure that you help the customer. You got really task focused today, and here's what I need you to do going forward next time, I need you to have your back to the shoe. Oh, so you're always looking at the front of the store where the entrance is where customers will be walking through. I think that's going to really help you the next time you work. Another thing I think I want you to do is when you hear that alarm go off when the customers walking in automatically, look up. Okay, Nothing I want you to do is when you see a customer immediately put your task down and the walk street to the customer. Is that something you think you could dio on your next shift? So if you hear how I went through, I went through those three step process is right. So I called out what was great and what Brennan was doing well. But we also talked about where his opportunities lied. So it's always really good to start up with positives. Then really fall up would say, Hey, you know what? Here's some opportunities, and I hear some things I want. You just get better at, and then at the end, we fall it up with or I spoke on. Here's some great tips on what I want you to do to really get better at the things you weren't really good at. So it's really it's a different way of coaching and having a conversation with an employee that we're not used to go. I think too many times we always just call, allow what the employees are terrible at. So the employee gets upset and walks away, not feeling good about the work they did today. Have you seen that before, Brennan, Or I'm sure you've seen that multiple times?
No, absolutely. And acts actually highlight what? What you're doing in a You know, I think it's great. I think that that format of providing feedback is incredible. What I would say, though, is that's everything that's wrong with with with our feedback, because I think that Alice, you and I could just think about when we were store managers. We would. You know, every time I saw Associate is coming in, we're gonna have that that that coaching session with um, where we planned out the day talk about what needs to be done, set goals right. But then maybe 50% of the time they go home without getting any feedback. And that's what you're saying is that those feedback sessions without which I love, but what's missing? What's missing is, is that when you saw me on the wall and you said, Hey, heads up on that customer. If you really wanted to drive the results, you would Yes, definitely. Heads up. Check out that customer, but then walk over there. And this is what I want to draw home. T Everyone is listening. Is walk over there after the first time. It doesn't happen and give that feedback. Hey, Brennan. You know, I saw you missed that customer, right? Good thing. You know, I called you out. Great. Great job following up after I called you out. But, you know, I noticed that you got a lot. We both We all have a lot of tasks to do today, right? So one of things is gonna be a challenge is keeping our heads up on the sale source. So you hear that alarm up? Top that little beat beat when a customer walks in, make sure your head is up, right. Make sure that while you're working on your task, you know, one of the tricks that I do is I keep my back to the shoe. Oh, I keep my back to the walls and so I'm always facing the front of the store, so make sure that you do that moving forward. Does that make sense? Okay, Cool. All right. And then step back. Right. And then watch it again. Okay. Next customer is gonna be great, all right? It's never They never fall off after that first customer, right? And then you wait maybe 30 minutes later, back to old habits. Hey, Brennan, you know you missed another customer. How do I help you? Make sure you're keeping your head up, right? I think. I mean, how often? Let's be honest, Alice, how often do you see if people give feedback or did you, as a manager, give feedback at the beginning, the middle and the end of the shifter? When is the feedback usually happen? And do you think that's also a problem? Is that maybe we're waiting too long to actually give the feedback?
Gosh, I'm gonna sound so arrogant if I said well, I did that all the time. I always watched my employees, and I always called it out. I could stay here and say that, and it sounds so like arrogant. But there's always gonna be times when you don't right, and usually those times that you don't is when you're overwhelmed with all these tasks that are going on, whether their shipment in the stock room where you know our visuals don't look great or there's 10 15 pages of markdowns to do or there's a big project going on, But that's the reality. But, Brennan, you're right. We don't give feedback in the moment throughout their shift multiple times during shift. And you're right. We shouldn't wait just till the end of their shift. And you know what, Brennan? Even now, we probably don't even do the end of shift feedback. But we're definitely not doing it in the middle of their shift. And I think that's where the breakdown is is Wouldn't we see it? Don't tell yourself. Well, you know what? You know I got to get this thing done right away. I'll do it later. Because if you do it, if you say you're gonna do it later, you're gonna forget. So ensuring that you do it right then and there and giving them that be back multiple times a day. The moment you see it happen is going to change their course of the performance.
Yeah, I think if you think about like the basketball court, you're gonna wait for someone to put up to Miss Miss the past and not passing the ball. One, you're open and take a bad shot. You know, wait 10 times until you say Hey, do pass me the rock. I'm open. Right, you're not. So why would it be any different in the store? Right. There's so many different overlaps there. And then another piece that we forget, right? As managers work, we're working five days a week, probably 42 44 hours a week. Well, how many hours is that part timer that you have that you're teaching? How to greet? How many hours of that person work. So if you wait into the end of your shift to give some to the end of that person shift to give them feedback, you think they're going to remember it three days later after everything else that goes on in their personal life, school life, everything else they got going on Do you think they're going to remember that for the for the 72 hours before between their shifts? Of course not. So that in the moment feedback is the most important in my perspective, I think Absolutely. You got to give him a road map. They got to know what they got to do that day and then. But throughout the day, they're gonna wave her off the road off the path. So your job is to keep him on the path from the start of their shift to the end of the shift and then talking about that mutual agreement piece. I love this. This sentence in the article, it's vital to make sure that you both understand what the issue is, how to address it, what success looks like, what needs to be done by who and when to achieve it. Just think about that as a manager. Think about how many conversations you could have. Where I mean, let's be real. Maybe you don't illustrate what success even looks like. Maybe you don't. You just hold him accountable for not doing it. You don't even tell him. Shown what it looks like to do it and be successful. I mean, hopefully we're talking about what the issue is, but I think again, illustrating what success looks like and then walking them through success. You know, I know role plays. A corny but roll place can be highly effective, especially when you're giving feedback and trying to align someone with an expectation. I know. Next piece it goes. It goes down to commit to setting those you work with up for success. But one last sentence, though, And it's actually the last sentence of that last section in all cases seek to Dennett demonstrate empathy and work towards a mutual commitment around a goal, right? So try to understand that it's simple, understand the other person's perspective and point of view, and then a line and work towards whatever, whatever, whatever meat, you will go. Yes, Alice, you want to kind of hit committing to setting those up. You setting those you work for up for success?
Sure, this kind of ties and everything we've been talking about right commit to setting those you work with up for success, have empathy. Want to make everybody around you better. There's a sentence here where it says instead, with the mindset of success, breeds success, focus on getting them what they need to be ableto better position the product. So I took that more so of you know what this'll Ein hit home for me because I've always heard success breeds success, meaning if we promote the next person to the next leadership role that everyone's gonna want to perform better because they want that position. But not everybody wants that position, right? So how do you get each individual to be better with what they are within what they want? I think too many times as leaders, we fall into a very result driven place where, you know, what if I tell him to do this and they'll just get better and will make me look better, but really just being genuine and ensuring that we really look at every individual and find out what their biggest opportunities are and give them tips and pointers and action steps to make them better? In their designator, Rule is going to help them be successful. What do you think, Brennan? I
think we both read that line a little differently because I hired I highlighted that also, um, and I took it more. As you know, success breeds success just like you said. But for my example or the earlier that you gave about the 10% it sound like a 10% excess accessory goal rights. You gave me a goal of Let's say my sales goal was 500. You told me to sell 50 bucks in accessories. That's 10%. To me. It sounded more like, Let's help this. Help this person just succeed, right? Maybe today it's Brennan's first week. Maybe he doesn't need to hit 10%. Maybe success for Brennan looks like that first time he does the behavior and it and it pans out and they make the purchase. Maybe maybe we celebrate a $5 accessory just as much as we celebrate, hitting 10% of the goal at the end of it. It's as often baby steps lead to walking, then to running. So when we're talking about performance, right, obviously you wanna have consistent expectations. But if you're practicing, practicing empathy and understanding where someone is coming from, you know, a lot of a lot of retail just comes back to confidence. I think we've seen it time and time again. That top, that top associate in the store is the one that goes up to the customer and nose and goes in there, and she knows she's gonna make the sale. She has that level of confidence because, you know, I've shopped him the buckle with my wife quite a few times. And if they get her in the fitting room right, it's gonna be a big ticket because they approach and they know that she's not. They know that she's gonna buy three or four pairs of jeans. To me, that's what it's about is about, you know, helping them build that confidence level up. Because again, we're not selling. We're not saving lives, right? We're selling the product, build the confidence level up around that product, and then you'll see those goals just get blown out of the water. What, your thoughts there?
Definitely with that line. I think we both to get a different way, but I think what you say definitely hits it on the head. Um, looking at the goal and making sure, you know, we provide them the training as to where they are. So the next shift that they have, they get better. And all I could think of was like, Man, why did I take it like that? Right. So I think that's what I love of this podcast. I you and I both have a different way of thinking things. So I kind of wanted to go into the next bullet point of this, uh, podcast, cause this one is very, very dear and important to me, especially with how are REITs are retail. World has evolved with our consumer with technology, and we're very fast paced. Right. Um, the next bull put on this article talks about regularly track and measure progress. And I believe this is a big missing piece in our world today with what payroll might look like with the workload might look like or how many people you work with. I think a lot of managers and a lot of leaders forget what they challenged their employees with. It talks about right here. You've heard of the importance of leaving a paper trail while we dip. Don't use paper much these days. The lesson is the same. Something that I've been really challenging my leaders with is, why not have a paper trail? Meaning, Why can't you have a little no pad or a piece of paper or a daily love or a free however phone, maybe a notes and write down. You know what today. I talked about making sure that when Brennan is on the sales floor in a customer walks in, he puts his thing down immediately, his task down immediately and goes and helps a customer. I had a conversation with him today. So next time when you work with them today or not today, work with him next. You remember. Hey, during the last shift, Bread and I talked about making sure his backs to the wall. And when there's a customer, he immediately puts his tasks on and walks over to the customer. You know, I really challenge a lot of my managers and say, Why not write these things down? Because if you were to ask me what I ate for lunch yesterday, I won't even tell you. I won't even remember, right? I don't even know what I eat for dinner yesterday. So how are you gonna remember these conversations you have with your employees if you don't write them down? I know a lot of different companies talk about like Performance Act. That was It is a performance activity report or a success diary or Opportunities diary for their team, where they just jot it down when they have the time or on the sales floor. If you're the manager on duty, why can't you observe the team's behaviors and correct them on the spot, but also jot them down so you can remember these conversations and help your team get better? Have you ever utilized those kind of tools in in your past? Brennan.
No, I like where this conversation's going, though. So let me ask you this, then. So why do they write it down? What do they do with that information?
I think for me is we have quarterly reviews. We have annual reviews. We have merit increases. You want to be able to talk about those moments that somebody did. Well, like I said, if you have, I can't tell you what I ate for dinner yesterday, right so hard, you know, Remember when your employees did something really, really well, whether they murdered their sales goal or they were able to train their very first employee or, you know, on the flip side, maybe they weren't really good at something right? When we give feedback, which is so crucial to our employees, experience our success as a leader, the store success however, you gonna pinpoint all those successes and those opportunities if you don't write it down, I've been, you know, I've sat in a lot of evaluations or, you know, Mary conversations about Well, you know what? You did really, really good and sailed, but but up it up and it becomes very result driven. But in fact, it's our behaviors that we coach 24 7 that made them get those results, or maybe didn't get the results. Right. So each example each shift, each conversation should be written down. So when you sit down to evaluate your employees or your talking about he I'm gonna promote you to the next level. You could bring that back up and say, Hey, Brennan, when you and I have that conversation about making sure you had a you know, you stop doing your times and you go help that customer. I just want to say the moment I have that conversation. You didn't do that again. I love that. Thank you very much for taking that direction and getting better and improving. That's what I want to continue to see. Or on the flip side. Hey, Brennan. I had a conversation with you all day Yesterday I asked you to do this task. But you know, you have to ensure that you helped every customer. But, man, I have to ask you, like 56 times. That's not okay. Right? But making sure that you're identifying those moments those winds and those opportunities is crucial.
Nice. No, I think we're really going. I feel I feel like we're gonna get to something great here. I think that the I think the gift is a little bit further, though. So let me ask you another question. This is the store managers journal for them to kind of keep track of all the employee behaviors Is that what it is?
It is is mostly for the store managers, but it should be for any leader. I think it should be for all leaders, because there's only one store manager. And when I look at our retail in where we are, there's a store manager. There's an assistant. There might be one supervisor or there might be two, but there's always a leader on duty, right? It shouldn't just be the store manager, and I think our last podcast we talked about managing your time to ensure that we're continuously developing our people. It's not just you, not just a store manager, but your entire leadership team could be on board with us. Obviously, don't write petty things about all Well, this person wore this today. No, it's not about that. It's strictly behavioral based and jotting those things down, whether you know what right and did a great job here. But you know what? I think I need a challenge him more on this, but actively writing those things down to see if that performance is seen throughout your entire leadership team. That was a long winded answer, but it's, you know, it kind of hits it. It's not just a store manager, because it's not just the store managers. Responsibility, too. Track your team's progress is should be everybody.
So just to go a little bit deeper, you talked about you don't remember what you ate today, but neither do I, right. I think you know, he's really easy to forget what you had eight hours ago, right? Yeah. So I'm gonna just go a little bit further here. You know, I've tried toe worked on losing weight a few times, right? and the times that I've been really successful and made the most progress is when I'd have, like, a journal, right or a nap. I think the under armour has some my fitness power, some like that where you track all the food that you eat. When you have to log it, it becomes real right. But the most important thing is that I can look back in my log and see what I've eaten and see where I'm at. So to carry that over to our store perspective, it sounds like you're talking a lot about the leadership. The leaders of leaders, like a little journal for leaders to have to document may be the performance of document the behaviors, both positive and negative, to celebrate quarterly or once a year whenever we're doing these reviews or evaluations. But I would ask you, how do we make it even more powerful? Can we go one step deeper and think about you know, what's it for? If it's to really drive a behavior well, whose behavior are we trying to drive, and how do we really create something for that person to drive to help them improve? I mean, how do you think we go one step deeper? Alice,
I'm having an ah ha. Moment is probably letting them write their progress report, right? They could talk about where they did well, where they got stuck and what their next step will look like. So, you know, you talked about losing your weight, and it's great because you're motivated to track your progress and you want to see how you do well, so why not the leaders do it as well? But why not have our sales associates or stock associates really identify how they're doing, how they did during their shift and how they progress from shift to shift?
Man, wouldn't that be cool? Won't that be cool? I don't know What kind of weird, Just kind of brainstorming throwing ideas out there. Right. But won't that be cool to kind of have my little We talked about my fitness pal, my performance pal, right where you have your associates and ever every team member, you know, because we do our team members. If they're working 45678 hours with the team member with with someone, I would really hope that that associate is getting some quality, feedback around development and growing and improvement and what they're doing great and celebrating those winds. I would really hope that there's a lot of feedback there. I'm not saying 5 10 20 minute conversations. I'm just saying little micro wins. But how do we track those micro winds? I don't know what it looks like, but hearing you talk about your leadership journal makes me think, how cool would it be for the associates to have the access to that two for the I mean, if you remember back in the day when we were both I'm sure you were a store manager trainer. I was a store manager trainer. We had all that. We had all the big ass binders, right, Alice? Yeah, we definitely. But we love those fucking binders. I think I still have mine somewhere.
I actually have all my like my manager in training books, My district manager in training binders. I I still have all that. You know, there's some great information that goes into the
and there's some great memories and great, great experiences that we had. Maybe that's the key. What if instead of approaching it from like a documenting bullet point type angle. What if it was about just watching their journey as they grow through the brand? I mean, that sounds cool to me. What are your thoughts? What do you think?
We're gonna have to get off this podcast and they create this. That's all I'm think I'm like. Why haven't we done it yet? You know, um, you know, very interesting thing is not the company I'm with right now, but my prior company is They provided a little notebook for every sales associate and every employee. And at the end of the shift, they had to do that three step process I was talking about earlier. So within our company, we talk about the two minute drill. Did drill when they get in, and then we should be doing at the end of the shift, right, beginning and end. And we should always be giving feedback in the middle of the shift. We do that. But in the other company I did work for, they actually want that written down. It was a three step path. Um, not sure if I could say it, but I'm gonna say it. Um It was what we did well, where we got stuck and what our path Ford was. So each associate had to write it before they left. Yeah, but just think about
how big journaling is right now, right? I everywhere I literally a turn on my bookshelf right now have six high performance, high performance planners, right? I think they each go 90 days or 60 days, a morning journal, an evening journal, the top three goals and priorities for that day and the task that absolutely must be done right now, I know we have to make sure that that this fits within the model and that we have time right and that it's important. It's the most important thing for our team members to do with their time. But I just I just don't think. And I think you might be on to something else. I think that this journaling thing, it's about, especially with how hot journals are right now, I think could be recognizable. I think that a lot of people could relate to it. I would even say a lot of people already probably journal. I think I think you're on to some,
right, You know, I guess the question I have to say is, why do we have to make them? Or why do they have to be high potential? In order for us to do this, why can't we build more of that 1% superstar now? And you're right. I think this is it. And Oh, man, we gotta get off this call called Podcast and create something great. We gotta test this out to sea. Can we create rock stars superstars by providing a platform where they could track their progress and really challenge themselves to be better every single shift? I know that's something. You know, my my store managers and I do often where during our visit, we talk about, we talk about results. We talk about everything, but we talk about hate. This is what you've gotten really, really good at. And you gotta work on this, You know, um, you know, my my managers would always tell you that I'm always picking at something. It's never good enough or, you know, we always want to do something, but it's crucial for everyone's growth to be able to identify what they need to get better. You know, it's not always rainbows and unicorns and flowers, daisies and great days all the time. But identify what they need to work on is always great, right? You always want to be challenged. So you know, all I could think of it. Like, when can we do this? We need to start this now. You know, um, that's what I love about this podcast, you know, and for all our listeners, it's not about like Brennan and I are learning through these conversations, we're always learning. And, you know, you should always be in the learning mode about how, like, what can we do to be a better leader? And you and I'm are both, like, super excited because we're like, how do we do this kind of one of this right now?
Exactly. Exactly. So you know, I think we've shared a lot of gems with our listeners today. Like, I can't say enough. I know I said this almost every week, but this article is a must have. So, please, when you get off when you turn off this podcast goto hbr dot ord and search for Does your accountability Does your team have an accountability problem? And what I tell you is if you just type accountability in the search bar. It's gonna be one of the top results. This article has so many gems. Read it and let us know when the comments let us know. One on one of our social media platforms linked in our instagram. Let us know what we missed. Let's get some dialogue going back and forth, Anything you want to add hours before we hop off.
Now, that said, just ensure you read this article cause, you know, even with all the experience that Burt and I have, we took a lot away from it as well. So I hope you guys got a lot of tips during this podcast.
All right. Another great episode until next week. Crazy fucking retail. The podcast.
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