What is the best way to monitor employees during a shift?

My client has a promotions company and wants to be able to monitor his employees during their shift, to know they are actually standing in the store where they are supposed to be, and not wandering around chatting. Our software gives him real time reports, and the staff can check in and check out with GPS tracking. But how can he ensure they stay at their work station at all times during their shift? Has anyone got an answer?

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4

Hi Christine

You have not mentioned which country you are from. In some countries, such as Germany, monitoring staff is illegal.

My original background was in Retailing, and my first Degree was in Retail Management & Marketing, although later in life I moved on to Direct Sales in technology sector. I ended up managing large sales teams across the globe. At one time I had staff in practically every developed country in the world. How did I manage them?

Certainly not with camera's, GPS locators, or microchip implants!

We employed motivated and intelligent people. We explained the company's objectives, clearly set out what we needed to do in each region, and then each country. Everyone undertook their role and part they played in company's success. We agreed a plan (note “agreed” a plan, we did not tell them how to do it but asked them how they will do it), monitored results (not individuals) on daily and weekly basis. We discussed how we could do better, and agreed action plans to improve performance. We celebrated success publicly and gave constructive criticisms privately. We created a unified and motivated team not just for money (although it helped), but by creating common goals and values.

In retailing, I would encourage you to look at how you motivate staff and make them stakeholders in the success. For example:

- Create the drive - Explain why you are having the promotion and how this will help the business

- Set expectations - Set out the company's target and break it down to individuals. If the target is big, break it down to daily or even hourly sales that Company needs to achieve. (We used to send out daily shipment figures to sales team by SMS. There is no reason why you cannot do the same & break it down to hourly ones as I used to get them from our global warehouses)

- Create a buzz- Create teams and set up competition between the teams - Red, Blue & Yellow, or whatever you want to call them, and then have a weekly or monthly prize for top performing team. Doesn't have to be big, it could be a pizza night or bowling night or something fun but not expensive

- Provide feedback – Give regular report on performance vs target by team but individuals should be private with 1-on-1 (never embarrass individuals)

- Intensify competition - Have Sales Person of the day or week. Just a photo and a bottle of wine/box of chocolate/shopping voucher to say thanks.

- Create ownership - Make them own it and you don't have to monitor.

Trust me this works. I ran the top Retail Branch out of 120 when I was the youngest manager in the chain at 24! I also run the top region in sales when I moved on to Direct Sales (I was 32) and every team I ran was top performing team in the company. I never had to directly monitor any of my team members. Technology is not always the answer when you are dealing with people, Managers (or owners) need to step up to the plate.

Wish you every success in your business.

4

My gut instinct is that if the trust level is that low, management is doing a poor job recruiting good people and earning the trust and respect of those employees. You have uncovered the tip of a much deeper issue.

3

The best way to monitor employees is having a trusted manager, if you have one you can trust... but for me, i am using the cameras, and i trust that much... And i guess cameras give your employees the ease to work. You should most probably let them loose, not that much but just a bit so that they can open up and work with fun and that will bring out the best in them.
Thank you.
Akmal Yousuf
www.office.com/setup

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