Resource planning 101: Part 3 – Staff

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Time to stir the grey matter with the third in our series of resource planning articles.

So far each part has looked at one of three scarce resources to any retail business –  Cash, Space and now we move on to consider staffing.

Remember the objective of these blogs are not to give you finite answers but to give you food for thought while the shop is less busy.

Now we turn to review the elements associated with human resources, commonly referred to as HR. I have started  with the basics and assumed that the first step for any business to take on staff is recruitment. In order to do this successfully you need to work out what type of employee you are looking for. Even if you already have staff you may find some of these following pointers useful to implement with your existing team.

Job description

The first step in the employment process is to decide what the job is and how it relates to others in the team. This is best established using a job description. Many will say that’s easy, I want an assistant who must be a good golfer but in today’s world there are many more tasks that need allocating to your team. Some assistants for example will also be particularly good at merchandising and display, selling, teaching, repairs, or may have an interest in computers and stock control. It’s important therefore, even if you only have one assistant, that you delegate some of your workload to give him or her direct responsibility or ownership of certain tasks. They then become more involved and motivated. Here is a basic example where the pro requires a good all-rounder but especially with well-developed computer and selling skills. The percentages show how the job breaks down time-wise. Useful for both interviewing and doing appraisals.

Job title

Name:
Reporting to:
Functions Time %
Manning the shop
–          Administering tee times 5
–          Customer service/selling 35
–          Displays and merchandising 10
–          Housekeeping 5
Process goods inward onto the computer, monitor stock levels for
 shortage and recommending orders 35
Teaching 0
Club repairs 5
Training 5
Total 100

Pay

Pay structure comes next. Remember if you pay peanuts you will get monkeys. Therefore it’s important to pay at least the going rate, even more if the business can afford it. In this way, you will recruit a better-quality person who will contribute much more to your businesses success. If retail is an important part of the business you may want to look at some sort of incentive or commission structure based on profit and results. There is no better way to get someone motivated to sell, than paying them.

Interviewing

Having a job description and a pay structure you’re in the position to advertise and interview. All too often the interviewer meets the potential employees without doing any ground work first. It can be very difficult to decide between candidates, so it’s important to have an assessment form. This could simply be a list of attributes drawn from the job description, each with a ranking and candidate score. The example below links with the job description above.

Attribute Ranking Score Candidates Score Comments
Personals appearance 7 7
Communication skills 10 9
General education 10 5
Golfing skills 15 8
Computer/stock control skills 15 14 Using Xpos our system
Display and merchandising skills 5 3
Selling skills 15 10
Teaching skills 0 0 Good but not required
Club repair skills 3 3
Previous experience 10 10 4 years’ experience
Fit to the team 10 7
Total 100 76 76%
Candidates
– Strengths
– Weaknesses

My experience shows that a minimum 70% score needs to be obtained for someone to be employed. It’s better not to employ anyone if they don’t come up to the mark, as they could become a drain on the business. So re-advertise and start again!

Targets, appraisals, and training

Now we have someone employed they need to set targets in each of the key areas of their job function. In our example these could include:

  • All goods inward processed on the day of arrival
  • Stock outs less than 10% of total lines at any time
  • 2 new customers per month
  • Sales of 90% of personal monthly targets

Once targets have been set it is important to have regular performance appraisal, at best once a quarter, at worst every six months. This is as important from the employee’s point of view as from the employer’s as everyone likes to know how they are getting on and be praised if they are doing a good job. Hopefully if the job description and interviewing were right this will be the case.

Where weaknesses appear, training can be put in place using various resources, including the PGA.

I hope these three articles have given you something to consider. They only offer a flavour of what we can offer. If you need more help with job descriptions or targeting, please let me know.

Not read the others? Click here to read Resource planning: Part 1 – Cash    Resource planning: Part 2 – Space

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