Retail Job Aid

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

retail job aid

Industry: Retail – Home Goods

Project Scope
A national retail store has reduced the number of man hours allocated to store associates by 25% in response to rising full-time employee costs and reduced sales.  The 2008 American banking crisis temporarily limited the company’s access to short term financing thereby causing a strain on its working capital needed to cover bi-weekly payroll.  A local store Manager realizes that these staff cutbacks will leave him without a substitute to properly close the store while he’d be out for an upcoming surgery.  The increased workload poses significant time constraints, preventing the Manager from properly training a store associate to act as his substitute.  With the blessing of the corporate office, the Manager took the initiative to find a Process Documentation Specialist to develop training materials.


Process Work Overview
I was referred to the Manager by one of his long-time, loyal customers.  After a brief meeting, I learned that the corporate office’s standard store close-out procedure included the close-out of a newer, more modern cash register.  The local store’s cash registers were not scheduled to be upgraded until later in the year.  A few days later, I shadowed the Manager during a busy night shift.  He supplied me with a uniform so that I would appear to be a trainee and could blend in without raising any customer suspicion.  Once the store was officially closed for the day and with notepad in hand, I documented every step of the cash register close-out process asking questions along the way to ensure the Manager was not inadvertently leaving out important information.  The next morning I converted my notes into a step-by-step procedure and analyzed it to make sure the steps flowed.

Later that night, I handed a draft of the procedure to the Manager as well as the store associated selected to be his substitute.  The store associate used the draft procedure as a guide for closing the cash registers and we each marked up our respective copies to capture necessary changes and modifications.  Two days later, I revised the procedure by converting it into a job aid using short sentences infused with bold font to highlight keyboard functions and increase readability.  I also segmented the content into eight stages, included a troubleshooting and contact guide, and formatted the job aid to print onto 3”x5” index cards.  Once printed the cards were laminated, hole-punched and secured together with a key ring.


With only a few days left before the Manager’s surgery, the completed job aid was tested one more night with a different store associate.  I observed the job aid’s functionality, portability/ease of use and accuracy.  The store associate successfully closed each cash register without any questions and when the screen locked at a certain point, she referenced the job aid’s troubleshooting guide to quickly resolve the issue.  The Manager felt confident that he now had a tool that would allow his substitute to close the store properly.  Two months later, the Manager reported a speedy recovery from surgery.  The corporate office was so impressed that he was asked to share his initiative with other Managers during their national conference.


Do you want something similar for your project?  Contact Me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *