BY STEPHENIE OVERMAN
PAYS OFF NOW AND LATER.
Investing in employee development for managers and front- line workers pays off today with better customer service. It also canpay offdownthe road with betterretention. Jack Kofdarali, president of J & T Management Compa- ny, Inc., which has 27 stores in California, is a believer in that philosophy. “Recently, one of our managers said, ‘I was
talking to a friend of mine who works at another company, in the
same line of business, who was saying how unhappy she is,’” ac-
cording to Kofdarali. “My manager said, ‘One of the things I love
is how engaged we are. We’re always learning new things, we’re
always challenged to do new things.’”
The salaries of the two individuals were comparable, he says,
but “our manager had an incentive to improve performance and
stay with the company.”
Kofdarali has biweekly meetings with his management team, team
leaders and the director of operations. “We’re always doing some-
thing to improve performance, engagement and execution,” he said.
There also are regular meetings in which managers, supervisors and team leaders learn various ways to manage their stores
better, such as “how to prevent injuries, how to deal with customers, hiring, suggestive selling,” he said.
CHARTING THEIR DEVELOPMENT
Employees at Tedeschi Food Shops, Inc. get help mapping out
their own development. “We have a stepped-approach store re-
sponsibility chart to assist folks as they learn the various skills
they need to get up to the next responsibility level,” says Gregory
Donoghue, vice president of human resources. The chart clearly
“shows the different steps they can use to work their way up.”
It’s this clarity and specificity of goals that energizes Tedeschi’s
1,200 employees and franchise operators, Donoghue believes.
“When you bring somebody into the store and they see a goal