Friday, January 5, 2018

Why is Follow Up so important?

It's easy to get caught up in the daily work. It's also easy not to follow up with an associate on a task given to them to complete. Unfortunately when you don't follow up you find out the hard way they either don't do it right, or they don't do it at all.
Two new managers I spoke to recently had the same experience. One was surprised his associate failed to clean a restroom she said she cleaned. He assumed since she was an adult and older than him that he didn't need to follow up.....Another didn't realize his associates leave the backroom a mess with carts of freight and junk on them. He assumed they did it like he did when he was in their position. I told both of them the same thing. You both did a good job which is why you got promoted, and regardless of their age always follow up on the direction you give.
You have to treat people as if they don't know. Don't treat them like idiots, but don't assume they understand what you need done either. My first ASM told me when I failed to follow up with my best associate who performed a task wrong to always, "inspect what you expect." I always remember that, but even though I have still made that mistake since and probably will again.

Here's a few quick tips:

1. Make sure you give clear direction on the task that needs to be completed. Ask if they have any questions. Sometimes having them repeat the direction back helps.
2. Check back early to make sure they started correctly. You can avoid inefficient work if you correct the error immediately before they're too far into it.
3. Regular follow up to make sure the task is done right and on time. You can judge whether or not further follow up is required. Just make sure you can speak to it if you're asked.
4. Say Thank you, good job. Never forget those two. Ever.

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