Above-store leaders aspire to spend quality time with their store teams; sharing best practices, giving tips on how to improve, providing encouragement for how to get through busy shifts. But with so many stores to oversee and limited time to spend with each one, these leaders instead often end up with a negative “policing” relationship with stores, where store visits almost exclusively include looking for violations or missed protocols that can be quickly jotted down on a notepad.
During Zenput’s recent inaugural user conference, a session titled “How to Create a Culture of Coaching Between Field & Stores” provided actionable guidance for ops leaders on how to use leadership and technology to improve collaboration between above- and in-store leaders. (You can also view that session on-demand here or at the bottom of this post)
John Pszeniczny, Director of Retail Operations for Nouria Energy, shared how there are four main components of a positive coaching environment:
- Growth Mindset
- Servant Leadership
Let’s explore the components - both individually and as a whole - to learn how they can impact operations and culture across your entire organization.
1. Growth Mindset | Having a growth mindset is all about keeping an open mind to personal growth. Coaches can help foster a growth mindset in their employees.
Creating a growth mindset with your team starts with having one yourself - and breaking free from a fixed mindset. Here are some examples of the differences between the two:
Fixed Mindset: “Failure is the limit of my abilities.” “I’m either good at it or I’m not.”
Growth Mindset: “Failure is an opportunity to grow.” “I can learn to do anything I want.”
Reframing your way of thinking to align with the growth mindset examples above is a great place to start. From there, coach your team to do the same. Employees pick up on both positive and negative energy, so the power of positivity can go a long way.
2. Servant Leadership | As described by Forbes, “Servant leadership occurs when the leader's main goal and responsibility is to provide service to their people…. the leader ensures that the followers are growing in all areas — their profession, knowledge, autonomy, and even their health and physical development.” – Forbes, 2020
To get respect, you must give respect. The same goes for earning your team’s right to be their coach, and servant leadership plays a role in earning that right. Though trust is built over time, every single conversation can contribute to its foundation. Show up for your team - one conversation at a time, whether in-store, via email, or through text messages.
3. The Power of Data | Data is everywhere. It’s a part of everything we do - in both our personal and professional lives. How that data is analyzed and used is what makes it powerful. Anyone can collect data, but when it’s used to identify trends and patterns, especially in operations, is when it gains real traction.
Data is unemotional and outcomes-based. As an ops leader, it can help you interpret performance, foster accountability, and find the best - the best stores, best employees, best products, best practices, and more.
4. Accountability | Since data helps foster accountability, it’s a coach’s job to see it through. Accountability starts at the top and trickles all the way down to executing the last mile of operations. From managers and leadership being accountable for making sure everyone knows what they need to do, and when they need to do it— to every employee knowing when, and why, each task needs to be performed.
To ensure quality work in every store, you must give your teams the tools and accountability needed to operate at a higher level. It’s imperative to create shared accountability, and improved morale, especially in chaotic work environments.
How Zenput Can Help | Multi-unit operators aim to standardize every task and procedure but have historically lacked the tools to keep track of what work is (or isn’t) being done and hold teams accountable for doing it the right way. Here are a few ways that operational leaders have said they use Zenput to ensure they have the right data to have the right conversations:
- Performance Recaps
- Daily task completion report
- Project completion for auditing and follow up
- Monitoring KPI Progress
- Finding the Wins!
- Comments on submissions/photos
- Announcements to reinforce positive behavior
In practice, there will always be times where above-store leaders need to point out violations or wrong-doings in their stores, but with the right approach and tools operators can create better relationships between stores and their field leaders.
If you missed this session or want to re-watch any of the sessions from the event, visit www.zenput.com/opsx21 to catch up on-demand.
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