A few days ago I received a telephone message from a
friend and colleague who had just opened a couple carts
here in the Twin Cities.
At the end of the telephone message, he told me to leave
a message if he didn't pick up. He was at the cart and his
phone would be in the cabinet.
This last part of his message caught my attention.
Not too long ago, I was visiting one of the local malls.
And a first-time cart operator asked how they could get
their staff to stop 'texting messages' with their cell
phones at the cart.
The 'quick and easy' answer was to have their staff turn
their phones off, and put them away in a cabinet or in a
drawer at the cart.
Note... that's turn the phones off AND put them away.
Somewhere in the cart. Not in a pocket... where it's
easy to pull out the phone and check messages 'real
Note also... that's not in the cart, but still on. Such
that the ringer can still be heard, and messages checked
Phones should be off and put away.
That's the quick and easy answer.
But in the real world, things are not always so quick and
The reality is that when you're not around, there's a good
chance your staff will occasionally check their messages.
Or send a quick text. Or make a quick call. Or take a
That's the real world.
What my friend knew... is that when your staff sees YOU pulling out your cell phone, and talking on it, they're
going to want to do it too.
And they're likely to do it more often. If you want them to turn off their phones and put them away, it's
wise for you to do so as well.
See... I learned a long time ago that your staff will tend
to follow your lead... at best... at about 80%.
That means if you're at 80%, they'll probably be at 60%.
If you're at 60%, they'll probably be at 40%.
If you want high level of performance from your staff, it
works best to lead by example.
Even when it comes to something small like using your
I bring this up for a couple of reasons.
First, I know how many operators don't turn off and put
away their phones.
I know, because I'll call their phone, and they'll answer
while at the cart. It happens a LOT.
And it's not a good idea.
Now, I know. Some calls are important. You have to
take them. It's business.
Keep in mind, if you take 'important' phone calls on your
cell phone at the cart, your staff probably will too. And they'll probably do it more often.
Of course, the calls that are important to THEM, are
probably going to be a lot different than the ones that
are important to YOU.
What's important to them... may be a call from their
girlfriend, making plans for going to the movies after
the mall closes, and so on...
If it's important enough for someone to reach you at the cart, it's important enough for you to give out the number at the cart.
The real reason I bring all this up, though, has very little to do with cell phones and text messages. .
Whether you're dealing with phone calls and text messages.
Or showing up on time.
Or busting your butt selling.
The real message is...
Lead by example.
Your staff will respect you more for doing so. They'll be more likely to follow your lead. And you'll get better results.
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