By Debra Dee Bradford
Dear OD Chatter,
I work in retail and am just starting my career. Anyway I keep asking for more responsibility like taking over the stock room. The stock room is a mess and not only can I fix that (thanks to my Mom always harping on neatness) that position would pay more and help me move up. I really need the extra cash and my manager knows but for some reason doesn’t see value in a better managed stockroom or how it will make life on the sales floor better for everyone, even the customer. We say that we don’t have something in stock because we can’t find it. How can I get this new assignment?
Signed, Mr. Organization
Dear Mr. Organization
It is nice to read about a new career and good for you in speaking up about something that will make your store better! First let’s make sure you are ready to land this new job.
In most retail organizations there is an above store manager who holds responsibility for everything that happens in your store. I would seek to understand what metrics the above store manager measures from your store’s performance. This should be easy because it should be something that your store manager talks about all the time.
For example, if they measure the number of store credit applications, make it your goal to ask every customer and be the number one employee who is bringing in the most new credit accounts.
The key here is to get noticed as a leader in the store. When you look good you make your manager look good. It’s always easier to grow your career once everyone looks upon you as the top employee under one or more metrics. The items being measured are called key performance indicators (KPI).
You may want to create a KPI for your stockroom cleanup by recording on a piece of paper (keep it in your pocket) a mark every time you have to tell a customer that the item they want is not in stock. You can use this data to justify the company filling the job.
After the stockroom is all organized, take the same measurement again. At that point you will be able to honestly say that prior to the stockroom cleanup I would turn away an average of XX (example 15) customers each week and after the cleanup that number dropped to X (example 4).
If there is a job opening you should move ahead and apply. The only reason you would not is if your company requires you to gain the preapproval of your manager.
If there is not a job opening you should move ahead and made a plan for the stockroom cleanup. Keep the plan simple and don’t rearrange anything, just work to place everything where it belongs and be sure that the shelving is properly labeled.
In closing, even if there is no actual job for the stockroom you may land the next opening for assistant store manager and that certainly will be more income for you. Nonetheless, be sure to add this as an accomplishment to your resume so your next employer knows they are getting a self-starter who is very organized!
Thanks for sending us your HR question!
OD Chatter is written by Debra Dee Bradford, CHRO of ODL Business Partners, Inc. (www.odlbp.com) an HR consulting firm specializing in organizational development and leadership training. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, send your workplace related questions to OD Chatter at email@example.com.