Whether you run an office,a restaurant or a public-facing store, you will always need to assess your business. There are multiple ways of doing this but almost always it is impossible to gauge a real-world assessment of how your employees might react if it is a test that they know is coming.
An easy way to assess your staff and overall procedures is to employ the tactic of subversion. While this is a four-letter word to some, subversion is an excellent method of seeing how your staff react given any situation.
Some successful subversion techniques include:
- Mystery shoppers
- Undercover boss
- Crisis test
Mystery shoppers have been used for a long time in supermarkets and large department stores but they can be used in small businesses for a variety of real-time tests, while going undercover yourself is risky but it can pay off if successful, and regular crisis tests should be performed as part of a solid health and safety strategy.
Please, Come Again
Employing people to shop in your store might not seem like good business but professional Mystery Shopping Services are a vital tool in your arsenal for assessing your company. When staff members know of a particular test that is coming up, they can prepare for it and act accordingly, so the point of the mystery shopper is to see them as they usually would.
Mystery shoppers can be utilised to perform a variety of tests including stress tests (the difficult customer), age-appropriate tests such as asking for ID for an age-restricted item and the general consumer experience such as the attitude of staff, cleanliness of an establishment or time to be served.
Most sectors such as retail, health and fitness and hospitality can benefit from mystery shoppers and an experience can be tailored for your business.
Don’t I Know You?
TV shows such as ‘Undercover Boss’ have made the concept famous and it has been proven to be a very useful method of establishing what exactly goes on in your business. Unlike mystery shoppers, posing as an employee can work for almost any type of business and not just retail or one that deals with customers.
Going undercover allows you to gauge what is really happening in your company and what staff and employees really think of you and your organization.
The downside to this however is that if your staff members know you well enough then they could sniff you out and the game would be up. This could be very bad for employee relationships as they may no longer trust you.
Your Nearest Exits Are…
Performance monitoring of crisis management should be performed regularly. While it is required by health and safety laws to have a fire evacuation plan in place, it is no good if staff members don’t know how to follow it.
Scheduled fire drills are a great way of testing your system, but random drills are even better since they can offer an insight into how your employees and indeed managers perform under the stress of there being an actual potential emergency.Every employee should know where the nearest fire exit is located and to what muster point they are assigned. Failure to train staff about this could result in a disaster such as the Woolworths fire in 1979 where 10 people died because of inadequate crisis procedures.