When we met Jacque she was a newly promoted multi-unit manager. After 30 years working for this food and beverage retailer, Jacque already had a deep knowledge of the business as she took charge of 14 units located in seven towns across Scotland.
The aim was to support Jacque’s development as she built on what was already proving to be a successful business. From experience, Jacque already had strong ideas on what needed to be done. But she soon recognised she needed a more structured approach to getting things done consistently through her team of managers.
Because her teams are spread across a large territory, Jacque had been visiting every unit with the same frequency each month, often trying to cover every issue, which had led to her adopting a checklist approach.
- Knowing where to focus – Following a guided analysis of her units’ performance, she began to prioritise the ones with the greatest challenges or opportunities. She did this by reviewing financial performance and assessing her managers’ needs. Jacque scheduled visits according to these priorities and planned the topics to be explored with each manager in their meeting.
- Prioritising and resolving challenges – Working with her managers, they focused on relevant aspects of the Business Trading Plan and specific ‘“Big Rock” action plans to resolve the most pressing challenges. Jacque appreciated how simple behaviours discussed in the programme – such as asking a manager at the end of a meeting to recap the agreed action points – led to greater clarity and delivery of the steps needed to boost performance.
- Developing staff – Jacque and her managers identified on-the-job learning opportunities to develop staff. She took this further by encouraging managers to become subject matter experts in areas such as customer service, inventory control and labour scheduling – and buddy up with other managers to share this expertise. Jacque also brought her managers together for regular sales meetings where each contributed two ideas to drive sales. Managers were required to monitor the impact and report back at the subsequent meeting. This initiative was credited with increasing customers’ average spend.
- Maximising existing tools – Jacque learned to make best use of her organisation’s, until now, under-utilised online collaboration/intranet tool to share trading and action plans – along with comments and updates – and to announce the month’s top-performing manager and teams.
- As Jacque took control of her diary, she could see how her management style had changed from auditor to commercially minded manager focused on driving profitable sales and maximising her people’s capabilities.
- Her team of managers responded, taking greater responsibility for their units’ commercial performance and then, action to drive sales.
- Average spend per customer grew by 6.5% in the 12 months following the programme.
- Turnover increased by almost 35% and profits rose by more than 28% over the same period.