October 01 2014 3:57 PM
Poor Sainsbury’s. Poor store manager. Although to be fair, putting such an obvious internal comms poster, meant for the staff room, in the front window of your shop is a fairly stupid thing to have done. But that really is where the blame lies. And stops.
If you’ve missed the recent hype, one of Sainsbury’s store managers accidently stuck a poster in their shop window asking employees to encourage every customer to spend an additional 50p before year end. This poster was obviously meant for the staff room and never for the public eye. But what is the crime here? Sainsbury’s aren’t instructing employees to overcharge for a packet of biscuits or to help themselves to their customer’s purses. Just asking them to encourage additional spend. Isn’t that, after all, the job of any sales person? Perhaps going that extra mile when it comes to customer service, promote a product a customer may have overlooked?
Of course Sainsbury’s have big targets. They have big competition. Not only from their more traditional rivals like Tesco (although they have recently have issues of their own when it comes to internal ‘errors’), Morrisons and Asda and more recently cut price stores Lidl and Aldi. And of course they need to motivate their most important asset, their employees, to help meet those targets. All companies do.
What Sainsbury’s provided their stores with, was a piece of motivational material for their store managers to share with their teams – to encourage them to help the company meet their targets – the company that pays their wages. They’re not encouraging criminal activity. Just looking at ways to make sure they’re keeping up with their competitors.
Internal motivation and encouragement are extremely important and good internal comms an essential part of any company strategy in order to encourage a happy and motivated workforce. I’m also intelligent enough as a customer to work out if I want to spend an additional 50p on top of my additional shop. I suspect the store manager in question may be in for a tough couple of days, but let’s leave it at that and let internal comms stay where they belong. In the staff room, not the shop window.