4 Lessons in Staffing From the Apple Store

                                    4 Lessons in Staffing From the Apple Store

Apple is running a seriously
smooth operation in their retail stores. Each employee has a distinct role to
play, understands that role, and does his/her part to deliver the level of
service we’ve come to expect from this powerful brand. All of this requires
serious alignment of brand, business goals and people process.
Finding the right people to work
in the stores is half the battle. There are things that Apple’s retail arm does
particularly well in organizational development–things any organization could
learn from:
1.                    
Make Work Meaningful.
When your employees know that what
they’re doing matters, it’s easier to inspire them to do their best. And no one
appreciates this more than the employees staffing the stores, who are on the
front lines of the customer relationship. Apple would be hard-pressed to
deliver their standard of service in retail unless their employees were
satisfied with the level of employee engagement.
2.                    
Free Up Your Leadership.
When your work force is deployed
effectively with minimal room in the process for bottle-necking managers spend
less time wondering who should be where and more time keeping the machine in
shipshape. Apple Store employees are busy delivering Apple- grade customer
service, so it’s up to leadership to maintain the same level of awesome day
after day. They’re doing more than managing the operation –they’re coaching staff,
leading training, and driving sales.
3.                    
Know your roles!
Tightly-defined roles ensure that
your employees knows exactly what he or she is expected to do, what others do and
what other roles they could move into. Those boldly-colored tees Apple Store
employees wear aren’t just for looks they designate the distinct role each
employee plays. From Experts who assess visitors’ needs, and direct them to the
right place to Geniuses who speak
your language when something’s wrong with your precious MacBook everyone in the
store knows his or her place.
4.                    
Retain With Growth Opportunities.
Many organizations are struggling
to retain top talent, but how many offer a great opportunity for college grads
to make something of themselves? Despite having a great job portal on their
site with multiple open positions, Apple prides itself on promoting from
within. For the twenty-something Expert with a Master’s degree who’s manning the
entrance to an Apple store today, that’s encouraging.
A Lesson for Your Grinding Gears

Organizational development at
this caliber doesn’t just happen–but it’s a necessary part of a thriving
company culture like Apple’s. Getting to that level requires open dialogue
between senior leadership and business partners and human resources and
recruiting. You’ve already got Experts, Specialists, Geniuses and Creatives in
your organization. It’s up to you to find them, engage them, and let them know
you want them to grow with you.

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