Performance Management System For Retail Sales Associates

Performance Management System Assignment Instructions

Imagine that you are the HR manager for a retail store. Your store sells clothing, shoes, handbags, linens, etc. The company recently had its worst quarter, and you want to improve employee performance through sales of the merchandise and through offering excellent customer service. The employees are less motivated, due to the recent negative media attention the company has been getting about its earnings. You want to implement a new performance management system, modify the employees’ current behavior, and link compensation directly to performance.

Write a four to six (4-6) page paper in which you:

  1. Create a job description for a retail sales associate. Create an organizational behavior modification (OBM) plan to define a set of three (3) key behaviors that are necessary for job performance.
  2. Determine two (2) ways that an HR manager would measure whether prospective employees exhibit the key job performance behaviors. Propose two (2) methods that an HR manager can use to inform employees of the new performance standards.
  3. As the HR manager, create a plan with two (2) methods of providing feedback to employees. Include the frequency with which the feedback would be provided. Propose two (2) actions that company leaders should take to reinforce positive employee behaviors.
  4. As the HR manager, determine three (3) benefits the organization would gain if it adopts a management by objects (MBO) approach in which the employees’ goals are aligned with the organization’s goals. Provide two (2) reasons why it is important to align pay with performance.
  5. Use at least three (3) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Examine performance management issues and processes.
  • Examine the influences on and various approaches to compensation.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in human resource management foundations.
  • Write clearly and concisely about human resource management foundations using proper writing mechanics.

Performance Management System For Retail Sales Associates – Sample Answer

Job Description for a Retail Sales Associate

A retail sales job can include a wide range of duties and undertakings depending on the services, products, and merchandise that the employer provides. This position’s job description distinctly outlines the everyday tasks and activities of a retail saleprofession and offers anaccount of the proficiencies, expertise and key skillsobligatory in the job (Businessballs, 2014). The following is ainventive job description for a retail sales assistant:

General Purpose

The sales associate will be required tohelp customers through the process of choosing and purchasing the neededproducts in the shop. They will also be expected to boostsales by encouraging clients to buy products.

Main Tasks and Duties include:

  1. Greetpatrons
  2. Recommend, choose and help find the right products
  3. Define a product’s characters as well as their benefits
  4. Providecustomers with information regarding financing options available
  5. Receive and process payments; cash, credit card and check payments
  6. Providecustomers with receipts
  7. Bag and package customer’s purchases
  8. Place special orders on behalf of customers
  9. Position and exhibit merchandise

Education and Experience

  1. High school diploma or its equivalent
  2. Understanding of customer service values and practices
  3. Previous experience in sales, retail and customer service

Key Competencies

  1. Excellent communication skills
  2. Customer service oriented
  3. Patience
  4. Enthusiasm
  5. Integrity

Organizational behavior modification (OBM) plan to define key behaviors that are required for successful job performance as a retail sales associate

Behavioral modification approaches from an organizational perspective are focused on implementing actions within sizable businesses to achieve the main objectives. Organizational Behavior Modification (OBM) can be employed to increase attendance, efficiency, punctuality, productivity, customer service, and safe work practices. Some people argue that OBM is too controlling and itdrains workers of their individuality, creativity, dignity, and freedom of choice but albeit the extensive criticism, OBM a modest and straight forward methodthat has been successfully employed by various organizations (Armstrong, 2012).

Some of the key behaviors necessary for an employee to be successful in retail sales job include organizational, interpersonal and communication skills.

Organizational Skills.

Being a successful sales associate requires that the individual have good organizational skills. Sales associate must be able to keep track of customers, especially frequent customers, to ensure that they meet the customer’s expectation so as to provide superior customer service.A sales associate should also keep a record of their frequent customers likes, dislikes and contact information. Associates must respect store procedures, posses the ability to locate inventory, documentation and observe the organization’s system for keeping records. It is also the sales associates’ duty to ensure merchandise is displayed in ansystematized and appealing way.

Interpersonal Skills.

Sales associates need to have skills to help them deal with difficult customers. They must have the ability to make patronswho visit or call the store feel appreciated and valued(DeSouza, e.t al., 2011).A sales associate should be able to foresee customer responses and so they are not taken off-guard. Sales associates must also be good team players who can adeptly resolve conflicts that may arise at work. In an ideal situation, the sales associate must demonstrate confidence so that he/she can make customers feel at ease.

Communication Skills.

Sales associatesare required to be capable to great and welcome customers as well as effectively communicate products information to customers and potential customers. Excellent sales associates are good listeners, which helps them recognizethe customers’ needs (Noe, e.t al., 2014).Individuals who have expertise in two or more languages may have an added advantage on the sales floor in stores that serve multicultural communities.

Ways to measure whether current employees exhibit the key job performance Behaviors

There are several ways for an organization to gauge whether its current employees demonstrate the expected important job performance behaviors. Three particular ways include timeliness, peer and quality appraisal. The value of work executed can be measured through a number of methods. The proportion of work that is rejected or needs to be redone is one of the indicators used to assess job performance. In a sales environment, the number of inquiries that are convertedinto sales can be used to gaugethe quality of salesmanship. How fast a sales associate can perform their tasks is also another method that can be used to gauge his/her performance, but this method must be used with caution to avoid wrong analyses. In a case field service, the average downtime for each client can indicate the associate’s timeliness, which can be used to gauge his/her performance. The number of units produced can also be used to measure employees’ performancein manufacturing plants (Noone, 2009).

Employees and colleagues who are in similar positions can also appraise an employee’s performance. This method is founded on the idea that co-workers are moreacquaintedto an employee’s performance than anyone else within the organization. Over the years, peer appraisal has always been successfully used in manufacturing settings, where quantifiable objective such as units produced are predominately employed. Recently, this method, peer appraisal, has extended to other professions including white-collar professions, where non-quantifiable objectives are used. However, such appraisals can result to ambiguous appraisals. Peer appraisals are usually effective at directing an employee’s attention to existing undesirable behaviors and encouragingthem to change (DeSouza, e.t al., 2011).

There are a number of ways to inform employees of new performance standards that managersmight practice. Managers should simply tell employees exactly what they expect. A manager should sit down with his/her staff, let them know exactly what he/she expects, then get the employees to confirm that they understand what is expected. A manager should never assume that employees already know what is expected of them since they might not know.

Managers should also ensure that employees differentiate between behavior and performance. A manager should emphasize on the performance he/she expects rather than the employee behavior. The manager needs to explain that behavior matters only when it affects performance. They should make expectations measurable to ensure that they are achievable (Noone, 2009). Employees should also be equipped to measure their performance so that they can know how they are doing.

Methods of providing feedback to Employees

Feedback can work for or against the organization. If conducted effectively, it can motivate, inspire, and encourage an employee to do better. However, when manager does not give the feedback effectively, it can result in resentment, discouragement, anger, and it can permanently damage relationships. Managers should ensure that employees get feedback on timely basis. Feedback should be given as soon as possible. If the feedback is related to an event or specific occurrence, it should be gives shortly after the event to ensure that memories don’t fade as time passes (Noone, 2009). Giving critical feedback can be challenging, but it can be very effective.

Legal and ethical issues that could potentially impact the performance management system

Ethics are the foundation of performance appraisal, and the main objective of a high ethical performance evaluation. It is usually meant to help managers provide employees an honest performance assessment and jointly develop a strategy to improve employee’s performance (Noone, 2009).

A manager should exercise ethics while conducting performance appraisals. Appraisals can be very subjective, which affects the relationship between managers and their employees. Below are some of the ways, which performance appraisals can be unethical.

  • Rewards, retributions and threats. -These three must be used positively to avoid demotivating employees. A manager should not reward or punish an employee based on personal relationships or biased opinion.
  • -The process, administration techniques and evaluations of performance appraisal should be standardized to ensure that all employees are treated fairly.
  • Similar/ different from me miscalculation. -This is where managers are biased towards or against someone similar or different from them (Businessballs, 2014).

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