Making the Effort to “Re-Zeal”

All employees of a C-Store have responsibilities. Whether it is managing the company, buying inventory, overseeing operations, serving customers or raising a family, people spend their time seeking objectives, solving problems and handling what comes to them each day.  This stress is normal life.

If to think of your productivity as a battery, it is very easy to see how one can run down and lose their power to go on. It happens to everyone. This is to talk about when life stress becomes internal stress. That is the time to Re-zeal!  You need to do whatever it takes to recharge where you are ready and even eager to start each day.


The time to re-zeal is when you find yourself losing your effectiveness at work, getting irritated often or just finding it hard to wake up in the morning having to face another day.   It is this  internal stress in an individual that causes a lack of effectiveness and irritability.  This is why there are weekends or days off. Whether you are running the C-Store company, buying the company’s inventory or serving its customers, routine tasks just wear a person out.  The break in routine gives you time to recharge. The more routine things are, the more likely this is to happen.  Allowing yourself and your employees time to re-zeal can make a difference in Store Performance, negotiating  prices with your vendors, having happier customers and your overall profits.  So, you may be asking, how does one re-zeal?


Internal stress is usually created when your wheel of life is imbalanced. Good News as a great online article that discusses the theory on the wheel and its components. To explain it simply, it divides the areas of your life into a pie shaped chart where all are to be valued the way you want them to be.  For the intent of this article, lets say they are all to be equal.   Internal stress begins when the portions are starting to shift.  They are no longer equal.  The re-zeal happens when you do something to shift them back to your required equal sizes.  This could mean spending some time clearing out your inbox on the weekend, pressure washing your patio, taking your mate out to dinner or attending your child’s school play.  The key is to look at your wheel and see where things are slipping.  Then take the action that is needed in order to move these facets of life back to equal proportions.


There may be some guilt associated with  taking the time to put the wheel in order.  It may mean working when you are to be with family or not thinking about work at all when you probably should.  If in a constant state of taking care of things, one can expect to take time from one area to realign the other.  What is done this time to re-zeal may not work next time.  It takes a small amount of time to look at the wheel and see what needs fixing when it happens. Everyone’s wheel is different and as time goes by, you may find your own wheel changes.  In fact the problem can also be it is time for your wheel to change.  What is important to understand that in taking this personal time to re-organize, you are taking care of others so you can be the efficient and effective person you know you can be in all areas of your life.  You will stay on top of your game and ensure your involvement in your company, whatever your role, is optimal.


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Do numbers really matter when managing store performance?

Why does the existence of performance numbers impact the very performance they measure. It is often stated ‘If you want to improve something measure it.’ The statement is rarely disputed but not always supported. There are just as many reasons not to analyze your data as there are to do so. a common one is that it is a sacrifice of productivity and time.  When people are very busy, there is a tendency to minimalize the measurement and assessment effort.  However, when measurements and analysis are limited, you may not be given the underlying reasons for your performance.  You can end up spending the more time than you saved to hunting for answers.  So both sides argue for saving time and getting work done. These conflicting reasons and results  present the question of what the true balance is between effective analysis and efficiency. There seems to be two camps – believers .and non-believers.
Non-Measurement Justification
1. What can anyone really do about sales anyway?
2. Driving sales is done with promotions and that just costs you money
3. The same amount of stuff is bought anyway, all that you do is change when it is bought
4. All you need is a basic daily summary to make sure things are okay the rest is just a waste of time
5. Measuring takes time and money and keeps key staff from doing the important operational work.

Even the points that are used to explain why numbers do not matter, provide some justification for how it helps. The first point indicates that the person may not be a retailer. Sometimes operations people are placed in roles that require marketing and retail skills. The second point actually shows that sales can be impacted but talks about profit margins more than the lack of ability to affect sales. Point three may be the most important. If there is a limited market, then not driving sales may allow competition to get it. And finally, if there is a need for some number, then the argument may be one about the choice of measurements rather than the efficacy. Indeed, the second part of the measurement tenant is to be careful what you measure. Of course any measurement system requires time and money. Further, most companies report that their staff is working hard and feeling stress. It is important not to overload workers or distract them for the main job.

‘Without data you’re just another person with an opinion. ‘

W. Edwards Deming

Measurement justification
1. Measurement allows comparison so we know if things are better or worse
2. Knowing what is working and not working identifies problems that need to be fixed
3. Tracking allows audits so that validations may be made to ensure waste and shrinkage do not hurt performance
4. Having the right information with all staff allows everyone to work with the same information.
5. Measurement shows staff what management values. Having a scorecard allows clarity with business goals and performance.
6. Results justify rewards and explain restrictions.

As with most things, there are arguments for both sides. When a proper use of measurements is put in place it addresses both the plus and minus points. Even if you agree to measure, it is important to make the measurements as simple and cost effective as possible. Using the data must be straight-forward fit into the work flow and time constraints for work. When done well the numbers should provide insight into key performance for the ultimate goals and the leading indicators that allow managers to gauge performance and drive the work that they can control that will lead to the desired results.

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