Hat Rack

August 1998


Hat Rack

Who does what? Written job descriptions can help sort out the jobs and who wears what hat

By Calla & Jeremy Gold

Every salesperson has a hat. Every manager has a hat. And every owner has a hat. The Oxford American Dictionarylists the second definition for "hat" as "symbolizing a person's position or job; to wear two hats, to have two positions or jobs."

By hat, we mean not only his job but also the job description and written records of how best to do the various functions necessary for that position. These written descriptions are also referred to as "job write-ups," "job handbooks," "job manuals" or "standard operating procedure." For brevity, though, "hats" will do.

A person's hat is what he does in an organization. Just as a cowboy's hat is to round up cows, mend fences and bust broncos, a jewelry salesperson's hat is to sell good jewelry to satisfied customers for a profit.

Every job includes many duties, each of which falls under the realm of the person's hat. Every duty, every function, every method of doing things, should be described in writing in each person's hat. All company policy that pertains to the person should be included.

Aid for New Employees
Each business is unique. A salesperson coming from one place of business to another, even with experience in the industry, needs to learn how the new company does things. It could be differences in discount and pricing policies, business hours, how to set the alarm or how to cash out at the end of the day.

Retailers should have written hats for each position so a manager can give a copy to each new employee. The employee should study the hat thoroughly. Imagine what a piece of cake that would be for the manager.

During their tenures, each employee should add to the duties in his or her hat. Hats are not static and should not be treated like junk mail and circular-filed after they've been read once. Hats change, grow, expand and must be maintained. One employee might cut out magazine articles that pertain to his job and put these in his hat. Having developed a new and successful way of selling high-ticket necklaces, another would immediately write it up and put it in her hat. A manager's new method of taking inventory would definitely be included in everyone's hat.

Organizing Your Hats
Every hat should be kept in a manila folder. Each employee should have a personal copy, and master copies should be on file. These masters should be filed together – they are the property of the business. This saves you the trouble of writing new job descriptions and duties when an employee leaves. This also indirectly generates better sales because your staff is more educated and you have more time to sell jewelry.

If written hats don't exist, write them up now. Each employee and member of management should do so. If you're the only person in the business, you still need to write up all your hats. Don't try to keep everything in your head. Not only is it impractical, it's not worth the effort. A year from now, you may decide you need help, that you can't do it all by yourself. You may want to bring your best friend into the business. If you have kept written hats, you'll be way ahead of the game.

Calla and Jeremy Gold own Calla Gold Jewelry , Santa Barbara, CA. This excerpt is from their soon-to-be published bookHow to Become a Personal Jeweler. Calla consults jewelers and can be reached at (805) 963-4157 or e-mail Gold1of3@aol.com.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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