How to create a drama free store
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Contrarian, the blog of the Dynamic Experiences Group.
Staff drama can have a negative impact on morale, the customer experience, and sales results. Unfortunately, retail is essentially a Petri dish for drama. Lots of downtime and working with a small group of people, many the same age and/or sex, can at times result in too much drama.
For our purposes, we’ll define drama as unresolved conflict among two or more people, over-sharing of personal matters at work, constant sharing of negativity, and/or talking about co-workers who are not present.
That last one — gossip — is the biggest drama-maker of all. It’s like a smoldering fire that if fanned enough can blow up into a huge staff inferno. (How’s that for drama?)
The key to avoiding drama is to create a store environment where it’s simply not acceptable. A drama free store defines and communicates the expected behaviors of all employees. Managers must be quick to point out when someone isn’t in alignment with those expectations.
Here are seven staff guidelines for a drama free store:
- We only talk positively about someone if he/she is not present.
- We each take responsibility to ask someone to stop talking negatively about another person.
- We focus our feedback on someone’s behaviors and actions, not the person.
- We speak directly to any person with whom we are having an issue. We ask a manager to facilitate a conversation if we are unable to do so ourselves.
- We focus on solutions rather than complaining about problems or issues.
- We avoid sharing any personal problems at work.
- We treat every colleague and customer better than we would like to be treated ourselves.
Posting these guidelines in a very visible location in the backroom won’t stop all drama, but it does cut down on it since the appropriate behaviors are kept top of mind. Guidelines also makes it easier to address inappropriate behavior once you’ve made it clear that drama is, in fact, inappropriate.
Is drama unavoidable at retail? What suggestions would you add to those in the article around reducing drama within store staffs?