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Profit by changing behaviour


Case Study - Duty Manager Workshop

Expand this page to see how we worked with a major high street retailer to transform their Duty Manager workshop process...

Client: A major high street retailer

Industry sector: Retail

Where? UK

What was the issue? Despite the importance of the role, The Duty Manager workshop was not popular and people actively avoided attending. Given a Duty Manager has legal responsibility for compliance with health and safety, alcohol sales and weights and measures laws and many other duties, a lack of engagement in learning what to do and when was placing the business at an unnecessary risk.

How did we know? We interviewed a number of existing duty managers to understand what they wished they’d known before starting the role. We analysed existing course materials and sat in on the previous version of the programme. We reviewed the data on the most commonly occurring incidents in stores.

What we did: We made the programme experiential. We created scenarios based on the most commonly occurring incidents and had delegates practise managing those situations – just as pilots practise in a simulator. We used real evidence from stores to illustrate the points covered in the programme. We distilled the management process into its core essence. We pulled together all the relevant resources into an ‘at a glance’ guide to help newly promoted Duty Managers.

What we achieved: Number of people attending the programme has risen dramatically such that there is now a waiting list for people to attend. Feedback from delegates is that the programme provides reassurance, confidence and a clear process to follow. It helped them realise how significant the role was for the business.

Key factors: Make any development programme as real and as relevant as possible. Ideally, create case studies and scenarios that reflect the environment they will have to manage. The use of simulations can be very powerful as a learning experience.

If you are interested in reading more about the way Epiphanies think, read our article on teamwork here.

Contact us to find out more:

+44 77 21 92 33 73


Case Study - On The Money

Expand this page to see how we worked with a major high street retailer to transform their Supervisors and Managers workshop process...

Client: A major high street retailer

Industry sector: Retail

Where? UK

What was the issue?  Supervisors and Managers had a poor understanding of the impact the myriad daily decisions they took had on overall business profitability. For example, ensuring covers are down on refrigerators overnight whilst making only a modest saving per refrigeration unit adds up to a substantial saving when taken across the business. The existing training programme whilst informative, was dull and uninspiring. Delegates sat through a number of lectures and pored over spreadsheets. For those not interested in finance it was seen as dry and boring. The programme needed a re-write.

How did we know? Attendance on the existing programme was poor. Store managers reported a lack of awareness in junior managerial staff of the impact their decisions were having on the bottom line.

What we did: Our starting point was to connect people to the importance of the topic through participation in a fast moving, fun and challenging business game that replicated many of the features of the day job, i.e. limited time, budget, changing goals and changes in context (the equivalent of a week of wet weather in summer affecting which items are the most profitable). The aim was to make as much money as possible within the constraints set. On the back of this exercise the same issues that had emerged during the task were explored but this time in the context of a store. Real data from their own branches was used as the basis for exploring how they could maximise their profitability through minimising costs.

We designed the programme so it could be delivered in one day, in-house with minimal overheads. Along with the Duty Manager programme this is seen as one of the best and most useful programmes to attend.

What we achieved: Significantly higher rating of the programme by delegates. Attendance on the programme significantly improved. Managers in the business reporting a better understanding of the financial impact of decisions made by junior managerial staff who have attended the programme.

Key factors: Even the driest of topics can be brought to life with innovative experiential learning. Whilst such experiences motivate people to learn, the real power comes from applying the lessons to data from their own store, this makes it real, relevant and actionable.

If you want to understand more about the way Epiphanies think read our article on coffee loyalty cards here.

Contact us to find out more:

+44 77 21 92 33 73


Case Study - Resourcing Your Store

Client: A major High Street Retailer

Industry sector: Retail

Where? UK

What was the issue? Filling in templates, following processes and procedures can feel like a distraction from the day job - selling merchandise to customers. The difficulty is the whole model of resource allocation in stores is based on understanding how long it takes to do certain tasks, how many of those tasks there are to do and then allocating time in the form of man-hours to each store. If tasks are not completed in the way intended or inadequate resource is allocated to the tasks then it leads to underperformance and or an unnecessary increase in costs and can drive conflict, frustration and disengagement. Given people are one of the largest costs to a business it’s critical it is done properly. Done well, a store runs smoothly and efficiently with happier staff and customers. The evidence was there were too many errors leading to under performance.

How did we know? The evidence was that the process of resource allocation was poorly understood. How each of the systems used to estimate the work to be done and then the way in which it was allocated and as a consequence what people should be paid were poorly understood. Many did not realise the impact failing to complete certain steps in the process could have on the system as a whole nor how it could mean people did not get paid correctly. Some of the pain experienced by staff in stores overwhelmed by the volume of work could be avoided through better understanding and application of the resourcing tools.

What we did:
It was clear to us that we needed to translate resource allocation from an abstract concept into a practical insight. Accordingly we gathered evidence on how long commonly occurring tasks should take, like making a coffee and then explored the impact across the business when someone varies from the standard process to do something in addition to the standard process like latte art (the time taken to create a pattern in the top of the drink through the skilful pouring of milk into the cap).

We explored the personal consequences of when the right processes and procedures are not followed such as a failure to be paid for the work done as an additional way of helping people realise how important compliance was. We created tasks that brought home to people the unintended impact of non-compliance. Finally, we created a modular approach in which each part of the programme could be delivered as a stand alone mini-programme to address a specific part of the processes and procedures that underpin effective resource allocation. 

We designed the programme so it could be delivered as a series of discrete modules or in one day, in-house with minimal overheads.  It’s early days, but the evidence is this programme is set to be seen as useful and as interesting as “Duty Manager” and “On the Money”.

What we achieved: We were able to simplify what up until this point had been seen as complex and difficult to understand. The clarity of understanding shifted people’s thinking from it being seen as a bureaucratic distraction from the day job to something that could make work easier. This fundamental shift in attitude is perhaps the most powerful legacy, that and people getting paid on time for having done the right work, at the right time, in the right way.

Key factors:
Even the driest of topics can be brought to life with innovative experiential learning, the key is making it as simple as possible - but no simpler. It’s about helping people see what’s in it for them in following seemingly unnecessary processes and procedures. Fundamentally, the biggest factor is in setting the knowledge in context that allows people to appreciate the significance of what they are being asked to do.

If you want to understand more about the way Epiphanies think about changing behaviours read our article on The Power of Context.

Contact us to find out more:

+44 77 21 92 33 73