But That Isn’t What You Said!

Put It In Writing

You had a meeting planned for this morning to go over procedures for the day with your staff. But you got a call that a delivery was delayed and then two clerks called in sick on this bright sunny day – not to mention what the dog did to your carefully planned out agenda notes.

So you hurriedly give your managers instructions on what you want accomplished while dialing the delivery company and racking your brain to figure out who can be called in on such short notice. You’ve already dealt with the dog.

By late afternoon when things have settled, you take a look around the store. Where are the new sales signs you told the staff to put out? Why hasn’t that slow moving inventory been moved from its prime location at the front of the store to make room for that "delayed delivery" that arrived at lunchtime?

"You didn’t tell us it was urgent". "We’ve been busy since only one replacement showed up". Clearly there has been a failure in communication.

Resolution? Put It In Writing.

You can ask, request, demand and command, but until you write down exactly what you want your people to do, there’s a good chance it won’t get done. Prioritize the days activities – what MUST be done, what HAS to be done (only slightly less urgent than MUST), what you WANT to get done. Post it in the employee break room or whatever private place the public doesn’t access. Require that each employee reads and understands the priorities and knows that they are responsible to help make them happen.

This doesn’t have to be heavy-handed (and it shouldn’t be). After all, good employees want to be proud of their work environment. And when everyone works together, it can and will be a team building experience. And you, Mr/Ms Owner, don’t forget the pat on the back to your employees for a job well done.

You’ll give the dog a treat when you get home tonight!

Talk to you soon.  ~Norma

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