The clothing retail store’s sales associate must exhibit the perfect customer service qualities and that is being passionate about their work, helpful to customers and friendly to them. The sales associate is obligated to perform a number of functions among them running store operations, cashiering and customer service, merchandising and signing up new rewards members. The sales associate must comply with all the rules and regulations of the store which includes a 98% attendance rate.
Responsibilities of the Sales Associate
It is the sales associate’s responsibility to that all customers are engaged and also the store’s products are promoted in the process. He or she should greet all the customers in the store while monitoring the queues. The customer should always be considered more than even the task
The Sales Associate should observe the store’s money handling policies and help in registering procedures as he or she performs his cashiering function. This includes how the customers are called to be served in the store. It is also the responsibility of the sales associate to ensure that the store is clean and organized all the time. This includes picking up trash in aisles, returning merchandise to their designated areas according to the store’s policies and standards. He is also obligated to vacuum the store and also clean the break rooms meant for sales associates, store mirrors and even walkways around the store. The sales associate is also obligated to placing merchandise on the sales floor as per the store’s standards and policies. On top of that, he or she should complete markdowns that are by maintaining stock accessories and clearance areas.
- Must have good verbal communication skills
- Be able to operate a terminal keyboard
- Be able to read and interpret price ticket information
- Must have a minimum of high school diploma
- At least one year experience in the related field that is in cashiering, retail floor generalist etc.
- Must possess the Ten Key Skills
- Bachelors in marketing or sales is preferred
- A proven track in achieving sales quotas
Now that the job description is complete, we can now create an organizational modification plan that will enable the organization to be able to manage employee behavior that is the key determinant of the store’s performance. This plan applies a formal system of feedback and reinforcement. It will give out four key behaviors that are required for successful performance for our retail store. The key four areas are the ability to multitask, being proactive, innate friendship and articulate (Martin and Pear, 2015). The sales associates must be able to communicate professionally, work on floor designs, assist customers in a friendly manner and finally be proactive in taking care of both the customers and the store.
The organizational behavior modification plan will allow the manager and the store employers be able to select the most favorable behaviors among employees that will promote the success of the store. It will also give them a platform to reinforce those behaviors and finally make them a culture of the store. The plan will also provide the leaders of the store with the tools of giving back feedback to employees regarding their behaviors and the ways they can correct their behavior.
For maximum performance of employees, the Leaders of the store need observe the four components of the OBM plan. The four components include positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment and extinction (Martin and Pear, 2015). Depending on the behavior of the employees, one or a combination of more than two of the components can be used. Positive reinforcement is the most favorable way to encourage employees’ behavior as it entails recognizing an employee for doing something good for the store. This may be surpassing the sales quota. To make that employee struggle to again, he or she needs to be recognized and that behavior should be reinforced. This can be done by giving out commissions for good behavior thus motivating the employer and those who did not reach that point to start having a good behavior so that they can also earn a commission. It does not necessarily mean that every time an employee shows a good behavior you give him or her a commission, other encouragements like praising the employee in front of the staff, thanking the high sellers at the store meetings, through random office party and tell everyone that the specific employee made that happen and many other techniques.
When it comes to negative reinforcement the employer or leaders stop using negative consequences on employees after meeting a certain improvement. For instance, if an employee who has always not met the sales quota and for that his or her salary got cut off every month. If that employee hits the sales quota in a row, the punishment should be lifted and be paid like any other employee. Other techniques that the manager may use is to stop the daily meetings when the sale begins to increase since no one likes early morning pitch meetings, ceasing required overtime when employees hit the sales quota regularly and stop the practice of requiring employees to check in twice a day when their performance improves to the store standards. Easing up on employees who perform well reinforces their good behavior (Martin and Pear, 2015).
Punishment provides managers and leaders of the organization with a perfect tool to make employees understand their bad behavior. This can be done by suspensions of employees with bad behavior. Other actions like putting the employee on probation with an aim of changing his or her behavior. Additionally, the employee may lose overtime privileges and any consideration for raises until he or she proofs to have improved his or her behavior in the workplace.
Finally, extinction of the undesired behavior is another way of modifying an employees’ behavior in the organization. This is suitable for the most adverse behaviors that should stop immediately. Behaviors like smoking during work hours can attract severe punishment such as firing. The Manager should make sure that the consequences are clear so that other employees will not fall for the same since they know there is zero tolerance for such behaviors.
The best ways that can be used to measure whether the employees exhibit the key behaviors required for the job is the graphic rating scale and Critical-incident method. The graphic rating scale measures the employees’ performance based on a list of behaviors or traits and provides a numerical value to every specific trait or behavior (Miner, 2015). Some of the behaviors or traits may be interpersonal skills, Quality performance, ability to work in a team, and the initiative to work. Then the employee would be rated on a scale ranging from 1-5. 1 Means that the employee behavior needs serious improvement and five means excellent performance
The critical incident method uses mixed approaches to study the behaviors that are critical to the success of the firm or organization. In this case, the manager of the store will be required to keep the names of all sales associates and their behaviors both negative and positive. Each incident then should reflect on either an effective behavior or ineffective behavior on the sales associate (Miner, 2015). This provides the manager with a platform to give feedback to the employees which will in turn help reinforce or correct employee’s behaviors.
Among the methods that can be used to inform employees of their performance can be in meetings or performance feedbacks through emails. Performance meetings can be done one on one with the employee and the manager should explain the methods that will be used to rate them and what is expected of them. Performance feedback emails, on the other hand, should contain actual documents explaining the performance measures (Aguinis, Gottfredson, and Joo, 2012). This could also explain what is expected of the employee, the performance standards and the procedure that will be used to rate them.
As an HR manager, I should first ensure that the feedback is provided to the employee in the most effective and favorable manner. This depends on the policy set by the HR department of the store. Performance feedbacks are not liked by many employees since they point out their flaws and thus they can be demoralizing in some cases. Managers also have to set out time from their tight schedule to assess the performance of employees. Therefore a balanced approach needs to be taken so as none of the parties involved feels demoralized and at the same time promote a business (Aguinis, Gottfredson, and Joo, 2012).
To make sure that the feedback is effective and meets the above intentions, I will first come up with a feedback policy on how employees should receive their performance feedback instead of merely praising or criticizing an employee. Secondly, I will ensure that a strategy is set out to orient feedback based on goals since information on performance means little when compared to ultimate goals. Therefore for an effective feedback system, the store should adopt an online review report every week instead of the frequent Friday meetings that most employees don’t like and they waste time. Secondly personal meetings with employees every month (Aguinis, Gottfredson, and Joo, 2012). The manager should give a detailed performance report and thus enables every employee to make efforts of improving the next month.
To reinforce positive behaviors, managers could come up with motivational tools to make the employee feel part of the organization and be ready to maintain his behavior. For instance, if a sale associate surpasses the sales quota, he or she can be given a slight commission on the percentage surpassed. This will motivate the employee to work more next time and thus maximize the store sales. Secondly, the manager can openly encourage desirable behaviors. This will not only make the employees continue with the spirit but also make the other employees also want to be commended by the manager of good organizational behavior.
The key legal and ethical issue that can impact an organization’s performance management system includes; insider trading, monitoring, and staffing measurements. Too much close supervision of employees could lead to privacy issues with the employees and this is not good news for any organization. Staffing measurements are used to conduct performance appraisals that in turn is used to determine the performance of each employee (Bello, 2012). Managers also use the performance appraisal to reward positive employees and suggest areas of improvement for the underperforming. In some cases, an employee may be promoted or demoted unfairly due to a biased performance appraisal. This could lead to a serious ethical issue and thus managers need to be careful in using the data from performance appraisals. This is because if a manager demotes an employee and later turns out that the employee was demoted unfairly, it will not look good for the management system and the business in general. Insider trading is itself an unethical issue in any organization. Therefore the managing system should, by all means, avoid being involved in acts that may be termed as insider trading. This may attract long investigations from the government and no one knows where such investigations end (Bello, 2012). Additionally, if the top official in any company is involved in insider trading, it could be a bad example to his or her juniors and thus low performance as they could not respect him or her. The junior employees must see their seniors be perfect before being perfect themselves.
Aguinis, H., Gottfredson, R. K., & Joo, H. (2012). Delivering effective performance feedback: The strengths-based approach. Business Horizons, 55(2), 105-111.
Bello, S. M. (2012). Impact of ethical leadership on employee job performance. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(11).
Martin, G., & Pear, J. J. (2015). Behavior modification: What it is and how to do it. Psychology Press.
Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational Behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge.