5 Steps to Building Your Retail Dream Team

At the 2016 NAMM Show, Liz Reisman of Creative Music Center outlined five steps she took to create a retail dream team and reduce employee-management issues. During the NAMM U session, Reisman asked the audience to consider the biggest reason their staff wastes time, and suggested that it’s simply because they don’t have a reason to be focused.

Here are Reisman’s best practices. (Watch the video for the full session.)

5 Steps to Building Your Retail Dream Team
1. Identify three goals for each team member.
2. Ask team members to write three goals for themselves.
3. Meet, share, combine and refine goals.
4. Set deadlines and schedule progress reviews.
5. Make sure each team member documents goals and deadlines for your files and sends to you for review.

Step 3 might take some time as you work together to establish and refine goals that are consistent with both your needs.

Get specific with Step 4 and setting deadlines. Ask employees if the goal is achievable by a date you’ve chosen. Set up monthly reviews. Check each goal against the criteria that it’s concrete, measurable and achievable. Reisman revealed that team members feel very good when they exceed their goals.

The value of setting employee goals:
• Staff members have a clear idea of what’s expected of them.
• Staff members are involved and engaged.
• Opens the line of communication between you and staff.
• Helps keep team members focused on their individual goals.
• Gives you an opportunity to identify issues before they become problems.

“It’s OK if they don’t meet the goal,” she said. “The best piece of the process is the conversation when we sit down together.” As an owner, you’ll want to know why and what happens when a goal isn’t met.

Additional tips for building your retail dream team:
• You can tell right away who’s distracted and unfocused, so you can address any issues immediately. You’ll know who’s not meeting his or her goals, and you can document it. Not meeting the first goal is a sign.

• Other employees who are focused and have a great work ethic keep the momentum going in the store and help motivate their team members (a self-policing setup).

• Meet with employees 15, 30 and 45 days out.

• Communicate from a leadership position that everyone needs goals, including you. Start with the big picture.

• Commitment and goals are both essential to your business.

• Sit down as a group, and agree that we all need goals as a team, because we’re all trying to work collectively.

• When employees set goals, they’re harder on themselves. Nine times out of 10, they’re going to set higher goals for themselves than you would.

​• The hardest part is the follow-up, and it takes time. Reisman allows 15 minutes, unless it’s a problem employee. Fifteen minutes is better than no minutes.