Last week, I was in town visiting my niece who works at Lane Bryant. We decided to surprise her and come by the store to pick her up after her shift ended. Well the surprise was on me when my sister informed me that we could wait outside the store, but we couldn’t go in the store or my niece would be penalized. Huh? You see, every time someone walks in the store they get counted. My niece’s performance is measured, based on how much volume is sold as a percentage of each person that walks in the store, even though she has no control over those who come in on the arms of a potential buyer.
I stood outside the store and watched as men strolled in besides their wives and women walked in with baby strollers and kids in tow. A few times my daughter had to hold me back from stopping people (particularly the men) and begging them not to cross the line where the people counter machine was diligently at work.
So I’m thinking that perhaps Lane Bryant should include a scale with their people counter so that those weighing less than 100 pounds, who really have a slim to none chance of making a purchase, don’t get counted. And while they are at it, why not include a camera so that men, who are accompanying their wives, don’t throw off the system and impact the pay, people like my niece will receive.
Think about your own performance measurements. Are you measuring people on metrics that are within their control? Or are you evaluating their performance based on outcomes that are not in their control? Is it time to take a closer look at how you are evaluating performance?
As for me, I’m taking a position on this whole people counting thing and I suggest you do the same. I suspect Lane Bryant is one of many retailers who use this methodology to evaluate performance. I’ve decided I’m no longer going to pop into a chain store and “look around.” This means that I will no longer be making impulse buys because I happen to be in the store. If enough of us do this, then perhaps retail workers will have their performance evaluated more fairly. Hey, a gal can dream, right?
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