Are your expectations for your children low or high? You’re probably thinking to yourself, what kind of stupid question is that! Of course, I have high expectations for my children. I want to see them grow up to lead happy, successful lives.
If that’s the case, you no doubt are doing everything within your power to help them achieve those expectations that you’ve set for them - right? After all, it would be somewhat immoral, don’t you think, to establish high expectations and then not provide the education, advice, guidance and encouragement to help our children meet those expectations – right? By now you’re probably thinking, I know where you’re going with this. Yeah, you’re right!
So let’s shift gears, shall we. Do you have low or high job performance expectations for your store employees? For the most part, it seems the top three job performance expectations for c-store employees are: 1) show up, 2) be in proper uniform, and 3) don’t steal. Sound about right? Common, be honest!
Many store operators are even afraid to raise the already low job performance expectations for fear of employees quitting. Funny thing about expectations, we always see to get what we expect. So where have you set the job performance expectations bar for your store employees?
Low Expectations = Low Engagement
The Gallup Organization estimates that the cost of disengaged employees is costing American businesses $420 billion annually. A few years ago, the consulting firm Towers-Watson (then Towers-Perrins), surveyed over 86 thousand U.S. employees, and found that 14 percent were highly engaged in their jobs; 24 percent disengaged; and 62 percent somewhere in the middle. Eighty-six percent of employees are giving less of themselves than they could.
This is a scandalous waste of human capability, and helps explain why so many organizations are less capable than the people who work there. Millions of c-store employees show up for work every day, and way too many of them are sleepwalking. The result? C-stores are systematically underperforming their potential.
Need some evidence? A 2009 convenience industry survey revealed that 79 percent of customers are leaving a c-store without anyone in the store (employee or operator) mentioning either the monthly promotion, or suggesting a related tie-in sale that would complement their purchase. That’s a lot of potential sales walking out the door every day. And why’s that? Because having employees opening their months to suggestive sell, and/or try to get to know their customers, is not one of their job “expectations.”
Sadly, store employees are seen more as cash register-ringers than profit centers. Imagine the potential increase in sales if the paradigm for store employees was to shift from expensive cash register ringers to profit centers. Think about it. On average, 31 and a half cents for every sales dollar goes towards, payroll, payroll taxes, workers compensation and benefits. What’s your ROI on that 31 and a half cents - show up for work? It’s time to raise the bar!
Condition of Employment
Store employees are given pay raises not on performance, but on endurance. A new hire consistently shows up for work for their first 90-days, and bam, they receive a 25 cent an hour pay raise. I know one company who incentivize their employees with $25 gift cards to control drive-offs. Excuse me? Isn’t controlling drive-offs a key job responsibility, and therefore a condition of employment? What’s next, gift cards for doing a good job cleaning the restrooms or restocking the coolers?
Raise your job expectations and then hardwire them into your company’s DNA, by incorporating them into your job descriptions, performance evaluations and interview process. Provide the required training, skill development, coaching and recognition for your employees to achieve your new job performance expectations, and then watch them soar.
Store employees are capable of achieving so much more than we give them credit for. Raise the bar; help them to clear it; then celebrate their success. You’ll soon be celebrating your own success as your stores jump to the next level.