I am sure someone somewhere likes doing Physical Inventories.  Counting every item in a store.  Overnight.  But I haven’t met them.

    Yet doing an Inventory is a great time to develop the staff.   First, putting a junior manager in charge of this critical process can begin to encourage growth and responsibility to expand their skills in leadership, communication, process management and accuracy.  Be clear that this is a development exercise and an important step in their maturation into a full-fledged manager.  Use the process to observe how they handle decision-making and communication with other employees.  Take time to provide feedback.

    Inventory can be a time for team building as well.  Set goals with the team for accuracy levels. (98% accuracy is a world-class target.) Take a pizza break, a karaoke break or a lottery break to keep the task of counting products more lively.  Once inventory is completed, share back results with the team and reinforce the goals with a small recognition or a team reward.

    If you are in retail, there are some universal truths.  One is that at some time or another there will have to be a Physical Inventory .  Another is that developing store staff is never ending.  Smart store managers combine the two.