Providing feedback during your site visits. Four Questions to Ask Yourself
During my days as a field compliance auditor and then onto district management, I had a lot riding on my shoulders. Traveling store to store, completing evaluations, relaying that information to senior management and monitoring progress was quite the daunting and seemingly never-ending task. In addition, the challenge of staffing, ensuring proper management practices, and the occasional inventory snafu. In my mind, there had to be a more efficient process and effective method to communicate across my locations. Fast forward a number of years and I’m now working with great organizations who are arming their teams with Action Card, a tool I really wish I had.
One major hurdle we often encounter as a district leader or auditor is that store managers and their teams see store visits as “punishment.” They must prepare their location and often dread the feedback given about their HOME. No matter how you cut it, these visits have a ton of value as they are the connective tissue between corporate and store management.
How do WE turn around the negative connotation of these interactions? Communication! Ask yourself (or your team) these questions to improve your interactions resulting in a positive outcome:
How do you view your team(s)?
Answer this honestly, it will help you become more aware of how you truly perceive people, especially as you interact. If there is any measure of negativity, you must turn the focus to their strengths and provide feedback on how they can improve. When you respectfully provide them feedback on how to improve, they will value your interest and commitment to their development.
Are you being clear about the specific outcome you desire?
If you are providing vague information in your communication, it puts the individual in the position of making their best guess about the desired result. They may not ask for clarification as they will not want to look bad or inattentive. Take the time to explain why you may be asking someone to take on a particular task, eliminating doubts arising out of their misunderstanding. Check clarity of your direction by asking questions.
Are you encouraging people no matter how they perform?
When you encourage team associates and management that do well, you will get more of the same. Encouraging the team when they don’t hit the mark sends a message that you still have confidence in their ability to learn and develop. Seek out opportunities to recognize positive performance and encourage the team’s efforts. Be Positive!
Do you provide your team with the resources they need?
In many cases, people are unwilling to reveal that they don’t understand how to do or just don’t have the proper tool to complete certain tasks. They may need training, a new computer, certain materials or other technology. They may not even know what they need to complete the project until they take the time to evaluate the entire situation and identify these items. Always clarify and ensure there is no gap in their overall needs. Here is where Action Card can come in handy providing organization to deliverables and Action Items!.