Leading The Way

.. evenings. Another form of communication is the weekly K-Notes which come inserted in each weekly paycheck. In K-Notes, store managers briefly discuss store news such as upcoming events, corporate visits, new associates, etc. Each employee of Kohl’s receives an evaluation every 90 days from Audrey or an assistant store manager. During these evaluations the manager will go over with the employees their current job performance.

The manager will point out all the positive things in the employees’ performance and all the negative. Through this discussion, the employees are able to learn their strong points and what needs to be done to improve their overall work performance. When employees receive a good evaluation, their salary is increased. MOTIVATION Motivation is also an important key factor in leading. When leaders recognize employees for a job well done, the employees are motivated to keeping up the good work.

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Forms of effective motivation include the following: increase in wage promotion recognition among peers bonuses special contests With employees highly motivated, many businesses find that they meet their overall goal. However, some may argue that some forms of motivation are bribes to employees. At Kohl’s, associates are asked to solicit credit applications from customers to meet the store’s weekly goal. Managers will offer employees contests with awards at the end for those who have met the store’s credit application goal. Currently, the store has embarked on a new way to receive credit applications and award the associates at the same time. At the start of April, Kohl’s announced the Kohlkeman contest to its associates. Through this contest, store manager Audrey McCaskey hopes to encourage employees to get customers to open up a Kohl’s charge account.

With every credit application an employee receives, they are awarded a Kohlkeman scratch off card. Each card varies in worth from fifty cents to ten dollars. There are eight different cards that each employee can collect. Whoever collects all eight of the cards receives the grand prize of a twenty-five dollar gift card. While this approach is working with a only a portion of staff participation, it has indeed motivated those who are competitive. Working in retail can be a very challenging job. Often days can be very long if the store is generating big sales from customers.

Employees are required to wear appropriate attire to work. For women it may be a pant suit or a dress. For men, it may be a dress shirt and slacks. Khaki pants are allowed, but employees are prohibited to wear jeans unless they are given special permission from management. Kohl’s Corporation expects all of its associates to be dressed in a professional manner. However, as a special thank you for all their work, employees may be awarded with a jean day or a tennis shoe day.

Jean and tennis shoe days are designated to thank associates for all their hard work during high volume days or for overall good performance. Although leader Audrey McCaskey encourages her department supervisors to keep their areas in good shape, it is often a very challenging task. Coming in each night just as the associates are doing their recovery (when all associates recover merchandise from dressing rooms, the floor, folding messy display tables, etc.), I have noticed that Audrey and the other managers get everyone to help each other out. Some departments aren’t as disorderly as others. Therefore, someone in the men’s department may help out the associates in the misses’ department. Working together as a team, the work gets done faster and employees are able to leave sooner. This past March, management was expecting a “big” corporate visit. To make sure that they were prepared and in order, another motivational tactic was placed.

In this contest, associates were encouraged to keep their departments as clean and orderly as possible. With only one to two people working a department at one time, this has proved not to be an easy task. The department with the most orderly department was to be awarded a Kohl’s gift card. In all, this motivation proved successful to management. INDIVIDUAL RECOGNITION At Kohl’s, there is a formal customer service recognition program for store associates.

At each customer service counter or cash register, there are pink forms called “Tell Us What You Think”. These forms allow customers to give compliments about a store associate who may have helped them or were just friendly. Whenever an associate receives such a compliment, it is counted as a point toward a special name badge. The two highest name badges an associate can receive are the bronze and silver badges, which recognize individual superior customer service. Employees are also encouraged to nominate their co-workers for the associate of the month award. When an associate is chosen for this award, they are given special privileges such as an extra break, a reserved parking space in the employee parking lot, and taken out for lunch by a store manager. Management hopes that this will help motivate employees.

PLANNING FOR SUCCESS Though Audrey McCaskey is General Manager of the Kohl’s Holland store, there are many other people involved in the leading role. There are five other managers of the store who range in various positions. Each one works together to set future goals. Aside from all other associates, they are a team within themselves. Each sales day the store sets a goal of how much intake it receives in sales.

With this tactical goal, Corporate expects it to be reached. An example of a daily sales goal may be $53,000. If the store were to intake anywhere between $46,000 and $50,000, the overall standings would be considered average. However, once the store falls beneath expected standards, in this case an amount in between $40,000 and $45,000, it would be considered a “bad” sales day. Although there are other Kohl’s Department Stores within the area, thus causing sales competition, the Holland store puts in every effort to ensure that customers get satisfaction. With the lasting impression of store quality and associate geniality, customers are most likely to return. IDEAS MAKE A DIFFERENCE The “Ideas Make A Difference” program is a program which allows all associates of the Kohl’s team to make any suggestion that they feel will improve the store.

Kohl’s believes that the best ideas come from the associates who work one on one with the customers. Therefore their ideas may generate improvement through any of the following categories. Customer shopping experience Reduced Expenses Increased Sales Increased Productivity Whenever a suggested idea from an employee is successfully implemented through this program, the originator of the idea will gain recognition from the store as well as financial rewards. The store has found that active and ongoing participation in this program is the key to the company’s success. Leadership is an essential part of effective management, as well as a huge part of the four universal functions. Without effective leading from managers, a business can only go so far.

The introductory quote holds the central message and finding of this paper. The most important thing for successful team leading is knowing how to communicate and get along well with others. Without a strong communication foundation and good linking among employees, successful teamwork and results are decreased. In conclusion, I have found that Kohl’s has done very well in its approaches to team leading and teamwork overall. By practicing each of the individual styles of leadership, Kohl’s has proved to be successful in its operations. A majority of employees found that management was indeed doing an exceptional job at leading them and other associates.

Exceptional communication and motivation have been the proven factors at succeeding in teamwork in a team based operation. The following are the ten commandments of leadership. In a way, these commandments summarize this paper by stating the most important factors in leading. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LEADERSHIP (Manske 194) I. Treat everyone with respect and dignity II.

Set the example for others to follow III. Be an active coach IV. Maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity V. Insist on excellence and hold your people accountable VI. Build group cohesiveness and pride VII. Show confidence in your style VIII.

Maintain a strong sense of urgency IX. Be available and visible to your staff X. Develop yourself to your highest potential Business Reports.