Improve Job Performance: Teach, Test, Trust (2020)

Do you notice job performance improve once you teach a new skill? Does the associate follow your direction and change their behavior?  In the moment they were so enthusiastic about what they learned to improve their job performance and you were confident that their performance was going to improve.  But then, it doesn’t.  Before I disclose why this happens, let me tell you a story.  

Breathe on Me

Ever since my child was very young, taking care of her teeth was always a focus.  Whether it was in the morning before school or at night before bed, she diligently brushed her teeth.  To encourage it, I bought her every toothpaste, tooth brush and even dixie pattern cups that she wanted!  Whether it was Disney Princesses or Dora the Explorer, if she wanted it, we bought it.  When she was old enough to do her routines without our supervision, something started to happen.  When she would get ready to leave for school or go to bed, I would call her over and ask her to breathe on me.  Initially, she was happy to do it.  Then she started to ask me why I wanted her to breathe on me and I explained that I was checking to see that her teeth were brushed.  What she learned was, because I loved her, I checked that she was really doing it.  
What does this have to do with teaching someone a skill?  Teaching someone to do something is not enough.  We then have to test them and see if they are doing it like we taught. If you taught someone on your team how to improve their floor supervision skills, you cannot just assume they are doing it.  You have to test their skill.  This could mean observing them during their next segment or stopping by on your day off and observe how they are doing.  Once you have tested their execution, you can then trust that they are doing it when you aren’t at the store observing.  
Sometimes we use something called “trust but verify”.  This means just because we see someone do something right once, doesn’t mean we should assume they will always do it right.  
TEACH, TEST, TRUST…master this skill…it’s one of many important skills you need to continue to move up in your retail career!.  

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