Professional Jeweler Archive: Got Woo?

March 2001

Managing/Your People

Got Woo?

Do your workers belong in front of people or out of sight?

Do your salespeople have woo? If they do, they’re good at customer relations. However, putting a low-woo employee in sales is like using a screwdriver to sink a nail.

Fortunately, you can avoid this woo boo-boo, says The Wall Street Journal. One option is to use a “perceiver interview” test such as one developed by the Gallup Organization. Gallup visits a company and identifies the characteristics of top performers. Then it writes a questionnaire to uncover exactly those traits.

Different clients test for different personality themes (Gallup lists 300). One may want “achievers,” “arrangers” and “stimulators,” while another one seeks “developers,” “delegators” and “relators.”

The Au Bon Pain bakery café determined it needed some quality woo at its front counters and ran employees of its 222 U.S. stores through the test. Managers asked roughly 50 questions to tease out employees’ natures. Scores revealed workers’ personality themes, which helped with hiring decisions and job assignments. Employees high in “gestalt” (organizational skills) and “kinesthetic” (energetic) might be assigned to the sandwich bar, says Alison Mitchell, director of retail training.

Low-woo employees? “A back-of-the-store position like baking the food,” says Mitchell, who adds that employees who are appropriately assigned have higher job satisfaction.

• Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ; (609) 924-9600.

– Mark E. Dixon

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications