Change the People or Change the People

Image depicting the management approach to change the people or change the people.

Working with top C-Store operators provides a lot of great insights into management. C-Store operators deal with heavy competition, long hours, and weekend work. This environment often leads to high turnover. In order to run well you have to have staff that can get things done as you need.  If your store performance is suffering from an employee who is a weak link, it may be time to either mentor them for change or replace them with a stronger link.  While it may seem tough, I hear the same message in different ways, you either have to get non-performers to change or change who is in that position. One way to say -Change the People or Change the People. To keep your C-Store running smoothly you have to change the people or change the people

Turn-Over is Hard

If  you have too much turn-over you will waste time and money. Obviously, new hires require training. Further, there is risk for bad performance. However, turn-over avoidance may worsen the situation. Sometimes you have to let go of staff.  Of course, the best way is to build a process and culture that people want to join. Executing well means you pick the right people. Next, provide the opportunity for success. Typically, even the best operators understand no one is perfect.  While it is impossible to enjoy termination, there are times it is the right thing. Always remember, the cost to both sides is very high. As such, be thoughtful and avoid it when possible.

Assuming you have done a great job setting job requirements and have a good place to work, if someone is not succeeding it may be that they are in the wrong job.  If they are not performing well, it is likely they are not happy there either.  There are so many jobs out there, that everyone should be able to find one that they enjoy and have the ability to do well. Letting one go is never easy for the person who is being fired or the one who is firing them.  However, if your ultimate role is ensuring store performance and you are not getting the job done and, the reason points to an individual’s unwillingness to improve, the choice becomes obvious.  You mustn’t feel guilt for doing your job.

No matter what, be fair, honest and helpful. Explain why they are being let go. As such, they can learn from it.  Point out their positive trait. Naturally, it is a blow to their self-esteem. Finally, offer suggestions for other possibilities.  For example, list the things they do well. Since change is hard, at least make it beneficial.  Who knows, someday they may even thank you. One of the best rewards is having someone call to thank you for helping them find the job they love.

Of course, if you fire a lot and no changes occur, then it’s time to look inside.