Infantile When It Comes To Percentile

, , , , | Working | December 5, 2018

(Our store has a daily sales goal assigned by corporate. Our district manager comes up with the idea of breaking this down into hourly sales goals, then ranking employees by how close to the hourly goal the employee reaches. This is supposed to be posted in the break room to motivate employees. We aren’t given much guidance on this, but I implement this in a way that makes sense to me. A few months later, I am at a district meeting and this sales goal chart comes up.)

Store Manager #1: “I’m so glad we did that! It’s helped me weed out the slackers. The same people are always coming in lowest, and others do the best!”

Me: “That’s weird; my employees really vary in their ranking.”

Store Manager #2: “You must be lucky! I fired four people because they kept coming up at the bottom every time.”

Store Manager #1: “I can’t do that, or I’d lose my whole opening team, the slackers!”

Me: “Um… how are you calculating hourly sales goals?”

(It turns out several managers were just dividing the daily sales goals by the number of hours the store was open, and assigning a flat hourly sales goal across the day. Because the opening crew was there for the slowest hours of the day, when there were next to no customers, they came in last every time. But people scheduled for the busy, after-five rush had great scores. I calculated mine by figuring out the average percentages of daily sales per hour — basically a bell curve — and dividing the daily sales goals according to that. It took me a bit to convince my district manager that my way made more sense, but when we did, the rankings were more random at other locations. I just wish I had found out before people lost their jobs!)

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