One of the best features of a store audit software solution is the ability to answer questions on your smart phone. Automatic reporting aside, this has some benefits that you might have never thought of before. One of the biggest is that store employees do not know what you are doing. You could be checking e-mails, taking notes, completing a task on your checklist, or a variety of other things. It does not add as much pressure as writing things down on paper store audit checklists does.
It is easy to get so caught up in what we are doing that we forget how the employees around us perceive our actions. Even though you could have just been writing a quick note to compliment the deli manager on how great the case looked that day, the new employee behind the counter might think that you looked right at her and started taking notes. She is also probably now paranoid and thinking that she is doing something wrong.
Are those concerns realistic? Probably not. Are they going to happen anyway? Most likely: because many people have a tendency to overanalyze situations and expect the worst. Just think about how everyone reacts when they see a police officer in the median of a highway. All of a sudden, everyone is driving with two hands on the wheel and slowing down to the speed limit, even though they were not doing anything wrong in the first place (except maybe going a few MPH over the speed limit). While many managers try to be relationship builders and get to know the employees working for them, the different tiers can cause that same authority effect as a police officer.
In every exchange of information we have, communication happens in the mind of the receiver. Even a well-intentioned message can be taken the wrong way, so we have to do our best as the person communicating to send the right message. If you are currently using paper checklists, be mindful of your body language and how your employees are reacting to store audits done this way. If you are considering making a change from those paper audits to a store audit software application, be sure to consider this improvement in employee perception as a soft dollar benefit. Increase your employee motivation by making employees feel more comfortable in their role, allow them to be more at ease, and in turn see their customer service match the high quality you have come to expect.