The fiscal month is coming to a close. The store’s sales performance has been lackluster for several months but, this month, they are doing much better. This coming Saturday is the last day of the month. The Store Manager wants to take the day off to do something with family members. The District Manager says no. The Store Manager is very upset. What went wrong here? Did the District Manager do the right thing by forcing the Store Manager to cancel her plans with her family and, instead, work in her store and make the month?
In the particular case the Store Manager put in a huge effort and the store made the budget for the month. In fact, the budget was made by midday on Saturday and, as previously agreed, she was allowed to take the balance of the day off after budget was achieved. The Store Manager will earn a nice bonus and has finally got one really good month on her books. She should be happy and proud.
In the days leading up to the last day of the month the Store Manager made quite an argument against working that day. She stated that her staff could sell just as well as she could, that if customers didn’t come in to buy then they wouldn’t make budget anyway, if there was bad weather the store would be empty, it was not their fault that they were out of certain types of merchandise, that she couldn’t work every Saturday just to guarantee that the store made budget, etc. In effect, this Store Manager was saying that she did not make a difference to the success of her store. What’s with that?
The District Manager reasoned that, while it was understood that she needed time to do certain things with her family, this was the final day of the fiscal month. As it happened the store was very close to making budget for the month and the Store Manager could certainly use a good month after several bad ones. The DM told her that without her being in the store the company couldn’t really be sure that every single thing was done to ensure budget was achieved. On top of all of the really good reasons for her to be in the store driving the business, the Manager was going to make a nice bonus if they achieved budget.
Still, the Store Manager did not believe her presence was going to make a difference. The District Manager needs to take a good hard look at what went on in this situation. How could it possibly be that the Store Manager didn’t think she would make a difference? Why, then, is she there? And what does that say about the performance of the store in recent months? Has the Manager had this attitude for a while?
These things really make you think. At least, they should make you think.
The District Manager has said that there is absolutely no doubt that if she had not pushed for performance, it wouldn’t have happened. Hopefully, the Store Manager is excited and feeling a little more responsible for her results (good and bad) and that any damage done can be repaired. Also, hopefully, the Store Manager has learned a lot from this exercise and will grow from the experience. If not, well that Manager probably shouldn’t be there anyway.