Staffing issues are some of the biggest challenges in convenience store management. Even the most effective managers encounter stubborn personnel obstacles—ones that won’t go away, but continue to block the flow of business and give rise to staff-training issues. Many leave you feeling overwhelmed, wondering how tasks that are seemingly so simple sometimes feel impossible to overcome. Here are a few common examples, including solutions, that can help you turn these situations around.
Challenge #1: That’s not my job.
Have you ever watched a member of your staff step over debris in your entrance, not even bothering to pick it up?
- Are your employees regularly at odds with each other?
- Do you have to pull teeth to keep the store clean and tidy?
The solution: If the answer is yes to any of the previous questions, you need to improve teamwork in your c-store. Start by establishing incentives that reward employees for taking initiative. You be the judge. Award dollar bills or some other prize for cleaning something without being asked, pitching in to help someone else, going beyond the call of duty — anything worthy of recognition.
Challenge #2: I don’t know how.
How many times a week do you feel overwhelmed by this employee response? While it can be frustrating, try not to respond with something like “But I already told you how.” Down the road, the challenge will only evolve into “I don’t remember how.” One of the keys to successful convenience store management is to deal with small challenges while they’re still small.
The solution: Improve your convenience store training on multi-step tasks with a three-part approach:
- Tell the employee how to do it.
- Show the employee yourself how to do it.
- Then have the employee do it. Follow up regularly to make sure he or she remains on track.
Challenge #3: I misunderstood.
It’s frustrating and time consuming to give an employee an assignment, only to discover later that he or she wasn’t clear on what you wanted. Sometimes you might feel like you have to go as far as drawing the employee a picture. And maybe you do.
The solution: Provide employees with easy-to-read notes specific tasks, or be sure they take good notes when you make the assignment. Clarify their understanding by having them read the notes back to you. This way, both sides win. You can make sure that your instructions are complete and that your employees are clear on how to proceed.
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