How to Conduct a Retail Employee Performance Review

Brian Harris
Published On:
Mar 2, 2020
Historically, the retail and convenience store industries have seen tremendously high turnover.  According to Doug Fleener, author of “The Profitable Retailer: 56 Surprisingly Simple and Effective Lessons to Boost Your Sales and Profits,” retail turnover rates come down to two issues:
  1. Bad retail management.
  2. The attitude that employees are expendable.

Reduce turnover by keeping your employees engaged

An employee review sends two important messages. First, it reminds your employees that they are critical to your mission of providing exceptional customer service. Secondly, it tells employees that management values their input and is also looking to improve. Do you remember that line from the cult-classic movie “Office Space”? It’s a scene that pokes fun at two efficiency evaluators, both named Bob. Don’t be “The Bobs.” An evaluation is not the time to get a clue about what your employees are doing. You should already know this information!

Quantify, Quantify, Quantify

Accountability is a two-way street. If you want employees to be responsible for their performance, you must also be responsible in how you quantify their performance. You must have a process. Optimize the return on your time by sticking to the facts. Evaluations take time and in business, time is your most valuable asset. Don’t ask your employee how she feels she performed, according to Jeff Haden, contributing editor at Instead, talk about performance examples, both recently and in past months.

Have data to back up everything you say. Having specific examples assumes you already conduct regular retail sales audits and property inspections. If there’s an ongoing problem at one of your retail locations, it should already be on the record.

Use visual examples. Words can be poignant but photos can be powerful. Imagine if you had the capability to call up a photo that proves your point about store cleanliness or retail execution. Capture data from your employee reviews. You won’t be the only person conducting employee reviews. By using a mobile solution, you can easily create new forms that employees can fill out via their smartphone or tablets. Store managers can evaluate store employees, regional managers can evaluate store managers, and so on, right up the chain. When everyone uses the same form, data is collected accurately for analysis. Stay positive. Remember to stay positive throughout the employee evaluation and be sure to point out what your employees did right along with areas in need of improvement. Don’t argue! If you need to criticize, do it constructively with factual support.

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