employees to provide input to the
owner or manager
progressive retailers have an established procedure for the evaluation
of their employees. In many businesses, it will go something like this: a new hire is given an initial pay rate. He
or she is told that salary reviews are given every six or twelve months.
A job description details his or her responsibilities, and in many
cases there is also a job-specific list that details how to perform
of these businesses also utilize a policy and procedure manual that
outlines many items such as vacation, dress code, and other areas of concern to all employees. The next bit of information is
what few businesses have. That is a written explanation of how the
next salary review will be graded. It is a form that gives a logical
listing of the areas in which an employee is reviewed. No matter
how many areas you detail, if you grade on a one-to-ten scale and
tell the employee what the "passing grade" is, there can
be no question as to whether or not the employee is entitled to
his or her next pay raise.
these are ideas that the progressive business has in place, and
these are usually the businesses whose employees demonstrate the
highest skills and are most qualified to take care of customers.
So, we have covered one of the areas of concern for most businesses,
right? And the lines of communication between employer and employee
are well established, right? Not quite. Communication is a two-way
street, and so far we have clearly defined what we anticipate from
if you asked your employees how they felt you were performing as
an owner? How many of them would give you an honest answer? This
is not to suggest that you are going to turn over control of your
business to your employees, but employees are just like everyone
else-they feel better if they know their opinions matter. If they
feel better, not only will you and your customers feel better, but
also you will profit from your actions.
the employee-review scenario we described, a similar situation can
be created for your job. During one of your staff meetings, hand
each of your employees a sheet of paper entitled, "The job
description for ... (formerly known as 'boss')." Ask them to
fill in the blank, and then numbering the left side of the page
from one to ten, write down what they believe are the ten most important
things you do. You will probably have to provide them with a list
that details your jobs, such as creating the financial sheets, payroll,
open to buys, long-range planning, scheduling, and all the other
behind-the-scenes tasks you perform.
they complete their forms, if you feel they will be uncomfortable
about giving their lists to you, let them identify themselves by
a code. Salespeople put an "S" on the upper-right corner
of the sheet, warehouse staff a "W," and continuing with
each of the various departments and types of jobs your staff has.
As you compile this list, you will most likely see a pattern of
what your employees feel is important to them.
their list of important items become your list of important items?
To some degree, no. But as to the appearance you have before your
employees, the answer will be a resounding yes! To demonstrate that
you are serious about having a job evaluation from your employees, tabulate these initial inputs and
create a score sheet.
the results so everyone can see the results of their joint efforts.
Then sit down with your key people; and, using all the score sheets,
create a job description for yourself.
may even get a new job title from this meeting-you will have a job
description just like everyone else in your business. With the same
frequency as your employees, ask every employee to rate your performance
using the same scale for yourself as you do for them. You may have
a large enough business that there are several employees with whom
you rarely have contact, but it remains important that they know
you are concerned about their opinions.
your supervisors to tabulate the score from your job evaluations
and sit with them to review your performance. If you do not have
a level of comfort with this select group of employees, you will
surely create one quickly. As they provide you with the results
of the review, ask for further information on areas where your efforts
are in need of improvement. One way to make sure this event occurs
in a positive manner is to require that any criticism given must
be followed by a definitive suggestion for improvement of that particular
may find that you will even allow your supervisors to give suggestions
for your pay raise. Just make sure that you and the supervisors
understand that your salary is as the owner of the business. Your
salary cannot include the expected return on investment that you
have in your inventory, fixtures, and building. That return on investment
is reserved for the stockholders; and during this job review, you
are not the stockholder, but the owner/manager or whatever title
on which you and your supervisors decide.
this idea work? Absolutely! And be prepared to enjoy a camaraderie
and working atmosphere that you never thought possible.