Why Checklists Create Great Stores

CHCKLSTThe advantage to creating opening, closing, weekly and monthly checklists is that you can use them as tools for helping you manage your staff well.  They become the basis of training.  You can “certify” employees on each step on the checklist as they move from part-time employees to full-time managers.  The steps in the checklist graduate in responsibility and become the basis to rationalize a variety of pay levels as employees gain mastery of each checklist component.

Similarly, checklists provide documentation for accountability.  It is easier to have performance discussions with employees when you can review accurate and timely checklist tasks completed.  Or, in the case of poor performance, when you can review missing checklist items.  As with all management tools, the key is to consistency and uniformly applying it with all employees.  Managers who use checklists in this manner will find it easier to communicate priorities and provide baselines for improvement.

Checklists can also help in creating store staff meetings.  You can choose to concentrate on key items or rotate through the items as you ensure that everyone is aware of management priorities and expectations.  Include sales goals and you quickly have your agenda for a staff meeting completed.

Every well-run store uses checklists to ensure consistency and smooth operations.  A store with a routine of checklists will have happier employees who understand what is expected of them and are well prepared for the day’s operations.  Poorly-run stores fatigue employees with constant fire drills that could have been prevented with proper preparation. Adhering to checklists keeps operational fire drills to a minimum.  Using a check list every day and every week keeps maintenance costs down, improves customer service levels and makes for a more enjoyable working and shopping environment. Just don’t forget the last step: SMILE.

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