Without quality control over the execution of tasks, it’s almost impossible to achieve good results. All the more so when it comes to business. Whether it’s an online store or a stationary retail outlet, staff supervision needs to be equally thorough. Here’s about how to organize a system that will increase labor efficiency and help achieve business goals.
Why Control Your Staff?
Employees are the driving force behind a company. The reputation and success of the brand largely depends on the employees. Their qualifications, communication skills, creativity, speed of thinking, determination, stress resistance, and ability to resolve conflicts are important. But no matter how talented specialists are, they need coordination. It’s provided by management.
Control is necessary in absolutely any sphere where any tasks are set. The main condition for implementation is systematic and not excessive. It’s best to develop a complete system, focused on the implementation of regulations, plans, and the achievement of key performance indicators (KPIs).
A competent system along with a business or democratic management style allows:
- Increase the efficiency of business tasks.
- Identify and eliminate weaknesses.
- Form a favorable working atmosphere.
- Increase the productivity of each employee to avoid them gambling at WooCasino or chatting with friends instead of working.
- Improve the reputation and financial performance of the company.
- Anticipate and prevent possible losses.
Total control and authoritarian management mode will only worsen the situation, demotivate the staff and create a depressing atmosphere in the team, which has nothing to do with productive work.
The lack of control also leads to serious negative consequences. At a minimum, these are:
- Decrease in company and departmental efficiency.
- Degradation of business processes.
- Failure to comply with agreements.
- Deterioration of trust from partners and customers.
- Inability to withstand competition on the market.
Essence and Types of Management Control
Management control means comparison of current state of affairs with previously developed ideal plan, support and direction of business processes.
There are several types of management control:
- Preliminary – the stage of setting tasks.
- Current – coordination of activities in the course of execution of the plan.
- Final – evaluation of the results.
At the first stage, the optimal quantity of human and material resources which are necessary for fulfillment of a particular task is calculated. The readiness of the company to implement the plan and the level of understanding of the basic requirements among the staff is evaluated.
At the second stage, the observance of deadlines and achievement of planned indicators are controlled. If deviations from the plan are detected, the necessary adjustments are promptly made.
The last step is summarizing. Achieved indicators are compared with forecasts and plans, and analysis of detected problems is performed.
Problems can be different – a lot of missed calls due to a shortage of operators, insufficient output of managers due to fixed payment that does not take into account the difference in sales volumes. In such cases, you need to look for ways to eliminate shortcomings. For example, hire an additional employee to work in the call center or introduce a flexible payment system that includes bonuses for meeting or exceeding the plan.
The best employees are rewarded. Lack of professionalism and efficiency is cause for a reprimand or warning. Employees who show negative dynamics are forgiven.
Advantages of the competent management control for the enterprise:
- Predictability of results.
- Discipline and motivation of employees.
- A high level of confidence of customers and partners in the fulfillment of obligations.
- The ability to survive in a tough competitive environment.
- Detection of errors in the working processes at the stage when they have not yet led to irreversible consequences.
- The achievement of stable successful performance.
- Fixing working hours.
Principles of Managing the Work of Employees
Performance in a company needs to be evaluated according to specific criteria. They may differ depending on the specifics of the position and department, the category of personnel, the peculiarities of business processes. These criteria are put into plans that guide subsequent personnel management.
Key performance indicators:
- Quantity – volume of the norm, excess output, additional tasks and assignments.
- Quality – absence of errors and customer complaints, compliance with established regulations, job descriptions.
- Timing – the duration of tasks (on time, ahead of schedule, after the due time).
It’s difficult to perform tasks of high quality, within the given deadlines and excessive volumes. So, management usually assigns a priority indicator, taking into account the current level of employee workload, the weight and importance of each function. Sometimes an average score expressed as a percentage of the sum of the various KPIs is used.
Evaluation criteria should be objective, achievable and measurable if possible. The easiest way to manage the performance of sales managers. In the process, they look at the fulfillment of normative volumes, revenue, the size of the average check, and conversions. Marketing managers are controlled by the amount of traffic attracted. Call-center operators are controlled by the number of clients who made a purchase after communication with an employee.
Besides basic KPIs, the following is assessed:
- Performance dynamics in different time periods.
- Work styles, areas of efficiency and inefficiency of individual employees.
- Differences between employees and departments.
The KPI system must be simple, understandable and motivating for the personnel. It should be tested and deficiencies should be eliminated before implementation. In the future it will become a bar and will display the main goals for the employees of the company.
You should not make such mistakes in management:
- Improper delegation – blurred setting of functions and goals.
- Excessive, rigid oversight that breeds resentment, fear, and indecision.
- Lack of attention, devaluing small but important tasks.
- Not analyzing the results of inspections and ignoring identified weaknesses.
- Working without a system of rewards and punishments for excellence.
- A manager’s desire to be good for everybody.
Basic Control Techniques
Control over employees shall be performed constantly and openly, with additional motivation and feedback between the supervisor and a subordinate. Moreover, along with the rationing of labor according to KPIs a complex of informational, organizational and technical methods should be used.
Plannings and Meetings
A trivial but rather effective method of coordination is short meetings of up to 60 minutes. They can be held daily, weekly or monthly.
“Mystery Shopper” Service
“Mystery shopper” is a separate method of periodic information control, in which the developed standards of behavior of sales personnel are checked. The procedure is assigned to a temporarily hired employee. He contacts salespeople in the outlet or managers of the online store, asks questions, and places an order based on the technical assignment issued.
In the process, the checkpoints of the questionnaire are filled out:
- Communication with the buyer – friendliness, politeness, employee’s interest, correctness.
- Professionalism – answering questions, providing complete information about the product, manufacturer, availability, payment and delivery methods.
- Other qualities – efficiency, the ability to find a way out of a conflict situation.
Based on the collected information a detailed report is composed, which helps to make appropriate managerial decisions – bonus, non-payment of bonuses, additional training, dismissal.
Audio and Video Surveillance
Technical control is organized with the help of specialized techniques and equipment. First of all it is audio recording of employees’ conversations and video surveillance.
Video surveillance allows you to monitor what the staff is doing in the office, at the warehouse or at the point of pickup. In order to obtain information on the behavior over a long period, the surveillance system is connected to a computer. Thus it is possible to look through the fragments of interest at a distance of several months, to evaluate professional activity of an individual employee.
Thanks to audio recordings of telephone conversations it is possible to find out whether an employee fulfills all his/her job obligations:
- Being friendly and attentive to the calling customer.
- Providing comprehensive answers;
- Strive to consider the wishes of the customer;
- gratitude for their interest, etc.
Online monitoring provides real-time monitoring of the personnel. Using this method, management can look at an employee’s monitor at any time and find out what he or she is doing.
The goals of online monitoring are:
- Monitoring the efficiency of time utilization.
- Operational surveillance of questionable employees.
- Interdiction of undesirable behavior – watching videos, entertainment sites and social networks, playing games while working.