Retail Management: Misery Loves Company – Remove the Lower 20%
When I was the VP of Marketing for a franchise, we came up with a series of feature drinks which were designed to lift average check. I often was frustrated that the very programs that could most help struggling franchisees were often met with a cold shoulder.
“My customers don’t like it,” “I really liked the other one,” etc. For the struggling, there was always an excuse and it was usually the Marketing department’s fault.
Are you in a position where you are trying to get people to change for their own betterment? Here’s the secret to making it work…Leave the bottom 20% where they are.
Those 20% are not going to change. As the old saying goes you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.
Should you spend your time instead on the top performers? Regrettably no. They are doing what needs to be done. Give them space to crow about what they have and are doing but frankly, they probably understand what it takes to be successful more than you.
The sweet spot, the place you can make the most difference is that middle 60%. You want to keep them from spiraling down to the lower 20%. That’s because misery loves company.
Those who are struggling often are looking for allies and someone to blame. Their view of the world is that it is nasty and something that is ruling their lives. Being responsible for their own happiness is foreign.
This holds true whether you are dealing with a group of franchisees, a group of employees, a church group or a sports team.
You have to intervene and keep that middle 60% progressing forward, not going back. That means giving them training, personal attention and opportunities. But too often we spend our precious time on the ones who can least change – the bottom 20%.
Give the Bitter Bettys – your lower 20% – a chance certainly, but don’t waste your precious time trying to raise them from the muck. Instead, let them go.
Please comment with a time when you spent too much time on your lower 20% below…