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    How do I convince my staff it is important to keep the store clean?

    Q: “I've got a retail store that's a destination location. I'm adamant about first impressions such as a clean and neat storefront outside.” Perfect. A well-groomed yard. Excellent. I'm with you so far, Larry. Clean delivery vehicles, including snow removal done well etc. Am I wrong, and if not, how do I convince my employees?

    A: You should be adamant about first impressions. So, no, you're not wrong. And I'd say beat it out of them. We're not saying beating employees. We aren't talking about violence or anything like that.

    To beat the lazy behaviors out of your store you're going to have to come up with lists and say, "When we open the store, these 10 things have to be done. And in four hours these 10 things have to be done. Just, like you see checklists in restaurants, bathrooms, or airports, you have to develop their eyes to see what you see. Once you have those lists, develop monthly deep cleaning where you pull everything out of a section and clean. 

    How to get them onboard?

    Grab your manager or one of your employees one day and visit a competitor. The thing that bothers me is when I go up to a business and there's, like, 20 cigarette butts around the outside of the front, which tells you the employees are bored, and they've been standing out there with that trash at their feet.

    Or you walk into the store and there's handprints all over the doors.

    Or you go through and there's lights out where there shouldn't be, or any number of things. So you have to develop their eyes to see what you see.

    Next, you go to another retailer, not a competitor, a whole different type, and then ask them what they see. If you have to, make it a game to come up with what is dirty and ask how that store could have fixed it.

    So short answer? Start training their eyes for cleanliness and get them to see what is the message a dirty store signals to people.

    Oftentimes, we're not aware of what we don't know. And if they don't seem to understand that or want to work towards that, then you can always say, "Your service is no longer needed. Thanks very much."

    See also, How To Spring Clean Your Retail Store With This Checklist

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