Store manager meetings are a critical part of operations. It is hard to have a perfect meeting, but it needs to be well done since the cost of having all your store managers out of the store is substantial and demands a great return. High performance operations often use the store manager meeting as an integral part of the process and systematization efforts.
Here are some key meeting goals to consider as you plan:
- Everyone appreciates a well-organized meeting that uses time well and contains valuable information.
- Break the meeting into mini sessions (30 to 45 minutes each) and ensure presentations have visual aids and proper documentation for take-away review. A checklist to review during the coming week is very nice. A review of the checklist with the supervisor is even better.
- What are we to get from the meeting and do once we are done. Smart goals work here as well – specific, measurable, assigned to a person, realistic and time-bound.
- Reminders and support – no matter how great the meeting, it is not easy to get to everything that needs to be covered. In addition, the crush of work can push the new ideas to the back. Reminders and follow-up are part of the job.
- Change is hard. Make it fun. Have vendors provide food and gifts, make team-building exercises, award great work, and find ways to spotlight great effort and results.
Listen as well as instruct
- If you want your team to perform, make sure you acknowledge and respond to their concerns. Not every problem can be solved on the fly, but don’t be afraid to tackle some during the meeting. Give them something specific to remember that applies to their personal situation. Encourage participation by providing positive responses to issues.
- Explain the time and resources to implement the changes. Make sure they leave with confidence to try new things and with the safety of knowing they do not have to get it perfect the first time. Encourage change so improvement can occur.
Great store manager meetings end with enthusiasm and a commitment to achieve specific actions. The participants should feel energized and motivated. Such meetings often include awards for great results, prizes to keep everyone feeling appreciated, and some interesting management sessions – even games to stimulate new thinking. After all, the necessary part of improvement is changing behavior. It takes clarity, skills and motivation to try new things. Help them by preparing and executing a great meeting. The results will come.