The best way to create the last word store flooring staff

Why high stocks harm your company

Do not base your decisions on the mix of qualifications and management model on the gut feeling. Recognize opportunities and create insights based on activity measurement and creation of workload models.

Simon Hedaux

By Simon Hedaux, CEO of ReThink Productivity.

People are important in retail. The right team for your unique brand experience is just as important as good warehouse management and good POS systems.

Smart retailers measure how long it takes to complete all business tasks and combine the results with volume data so they can calculate the workload for each store in their estate by week or day. This is important because they can be sure that their salary budgets and number of colleagues on duty match the company's sales targets. Too many colleagues result in lower productivity, and too few mean less operation and less time for customers.

Activity measurement and workload model building are used by retailers to plan resources and what-if modeling for process changes and new initiatives.

Understanding how much work to do is the foundation for the right team. The next step is to decide which roles cover each task. Your team will likely be a mix of specialists and generalists. For example, in a pharmacy, there are tasks that only a pharmacist can do, and in a café, your barista should brew coffee instead of clearing tables.

Experience shows that in most companies with a diverse and flexible team you can offer an excellent customer experience. The workload calculation provides an evidence base to support your decisions as to whether a specialist role is required or not, and helps provide a mix of part-time and full-time roles for maximum flexibility.

The next important decision is the design of the management structure. Many factors should be considered when developing the optimal leadership model. How many heads can a manager lead? How do trading hours affect the need for management coverage? How do you get a cost-effective balance between the number of managers and colleagues and how do you have a structure that supports the development of colleagues?

Role studies that shade specific roles for an entire shift to get an idea of ​​how leaders spend their time provide important insights. There is no wrong or right answer. What matters is that the role works the way the organization designed it. We have seen examples where roles within a structure have not been optimized. For example, in a department store with multiple management team levels, it has been observed that managers spend less than 10 percent of their time on management tasks and fill shelves most of the time. It was recommended to reduce the management levels and to give a general assistant the opportunity to pay the storage fees for a more reasonable fee. Differences were also seen in how a well-designed role spends time in business. Observations from a hardware store study included managers who spent most of the day managing, and managers who spent a day rearranging the slabs in the garden center and had no time with their team. Since a clear job description and important accountability documents are available, the degree of variation indicates that a role needs to be clarified for consistency between the branches. Benchmarks of how team leaders, deputy managers, and business leaders spend their time also provide retailers with a broader context for review and decision-making.

It's so easy to make a mix of skills and leadership model based on gut instinct or the opinion of a single executive. Measuring time and movement work studies gives you the evidence base you need to review your business and put together your ultimate shop floor team.

About Simon Hedaux

Simon Hedaux is the founder and CEO of Rethink Productivity, a leading global productivity partner that helps companies increase efficiency, increase productivity and optimize budgets. For more information, go to

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