The First Step To Planning A Great Retail Team



Retail team building's important. If you have just one employee or multiple employees.

So what we are going to talk about today is KSAs. KSAs are a really important aspect of human resources and staffing, especially in retail. 

So hopefully you're building your dream team if you're a retailer and you're focused on being a leader.

I'm going to provide you with some tactical information here for your store. Before we begin, obviously when it comes to human resources every state is different. The federal laws change. So always check on that stuff. This is not legal advice from me, get that from your lawyer.

KSAs are knowledge, skills, and abilities. When you're going to build a team even just from a business standpoint, you're going to do job design to approach staffing in a serious way. So the first thing you need to determine is the KSAs.

Determine the roles in the store. What are the roles that you need in the store? This can be different for everybody.

For example, you may need people that are selling in the store, working in your back office or warehouse. KSAs need to be considered for these different roles. So knowledge, skills, and abilities fit into each of the job roles.

First, we want to consider the job roles. You're not writing the job design, you're not even writing the job description we are not quite there yet. We're just going to say, these are the roles I need in my store and then make a list. Tell yourself: "these are the things I need to fulfill in my store where I may have my own gaps" Your primary role as the retailer, kind of depends on your special skills and what you are really focused on innately. So take a second to look at where you need to fill the gaps in the storefront. 

And check out my other videos on that as far as identifying that if you're not really sure where you're at with that, there are ways to identify that. Okay? But basically, we are gonna look at those roles, and list those roles. Just go ahead. Go ahead and do that right now, make a list. You can just list the roles that are in your store. A lot of times if you just own a single brick-and-mortar store, just one store location you're going to be able to fit those roles onto like one sheet of paper easily, right? As far as what you need in your store, Okay? Now, before we even get into that stuff as far as like full-time, part-time benefits job design and job description, any of that stuff we're going to look at knowledge, skills, and abilities. Okay? Here's the difference between KSAs and what they mean.

Knowledge is something that you have that is learned from the past. From an experience or from doing something. Some people might even call this wisdom, right? But knowledge is something that comes as a result of experience. Experiencing something, something happening to you, or you doing something previously. Knowledge is something that you have that you've learned.

Skills are something that you know how to do. So you've learned how to do something. To draw more of a parallel Knowledge can be like, you have theoretical ideas. Skills are like the how-to, like, you can actually do something mechanically or you can make something happen consistently well. The operative statement in skills is "consistently well"

Abilities are innate. Abilities are things that Are somewhat natural mostly. It's a natural thing like being six foot tall or being four foot tall, or the ability to lift 50 pounds or not lift 50 pounds, that's an ability. So knowledge would be like, I studied something and have the knowledge of it. Abilities can be developed over time but generally, in a brick-and-mortar, retail environment Abilities are in place and not trained for effective roles. For example, the ability to read well enough to complete training on hard skills. 

So for example, I studied how to build a team, right? That doesn't mean I have the skill of building a team, at that point, I just have the knowledge, but I understand the theory of it and the concept of it in that example. A skill is like, I actually went out and built a successful team and I have that skill and I practiced it. I have the hard skill of team building to some extent if I can show repetition now.

So sometimes knowledge comes after a skill. Sometimes we actually build out a skill, do something or get a job done and then have the knowledge of it. Then sometimes people want to get the knowledge and then build out the skills to execute off of that knowledge they learned, and they go and execute that knowledge to get the skills. So knowledge is like the theory and the hypothesis in some cases. Skills is the actual mechanical doing. 

Ability is something natural and innate, again like the ability to maybe lift 50 pounds or not lift 50 pounds, or a tall person or a short person etc. Abilities are more ingrained in a person. Some people consider soft skills like critical thinking or problem-solving to be an ability. Instead of referring to soft skills I just reference abilities because this generally makes more sense with my clients and my team. 

On the blog page on my website, I have a KSA matrix template available for download. It is a Google Doc so you can just open it and make a copy or print it out and fill it out by hand etc. You do not have to give me an e-mail or something silly like that but you can opt into my e-mail list on my website to get a high-quality retail business systems newsletter regularly as well as updates when I launch new retail systems videos on my blog if you are into it. 

An idea to understand for most retailers is that training for hard skills and training for high-impact skills is going to be your primary goal as a retailer. Your primary goal as a retailer, especially in most brick-and-mortar environments, which are high-impact unpredictable task-based environments, meaning they get chaotic, is to be immediately training people on skills to help with those inputs in the chaos of the store, right? Especially if you have a busy store. So, the thing to keep in mind is if somebody doesn't have the knowledge or abilities and they didn't already learn something or have the ability that is needed to then execute skills or learn skills then you may just be adding to the chaos of the already chaotic retail environment you are trying to control. 

So I hope this has helped you think about and even create KSAs for your store! 

Use the Google Drive Template link below to get started right away if you have not already. 




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