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David Geller

David Geller: Get Your Employees To Do Their Chores




Margins are falling everywhere except here.

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of INSTORE.

You’re the boss and you expect everyone to be as diligent as you in keeping the store clean. That means carpets vacuumed, glass shiny and smudge-free, garbage emptied and toilets cleaned.

But you’ll always have someone who never does his chores, and there are always one or two puppy dogs: “I’ll do whatever you want, master! Pick me, pick me!” Which is pretty unfair even though they are willing.

So instead of yelling at the staff about why things aren’t done, we made a schedule of what had to be done. Rather than giving employees tasks that some would hate and some wouldn’t do, we put tasks into groups and divided the staff into groups.

We did allow sales staff to “own” their own showcases when putting out the jewelry every morning.


We placed into each group some easy and some not so easy tasks so one employee didn’t get all the easy ones and another get “toilet and vacuum duty” every time.

Here’s an example of tasks for four groups:


a. Vacuum daily.

b. Make sure refreshments in showroom are replenished/coffee/lemonade/cookies/clean refreshment area.

c. Make coffee for kitchen area.


d. Check if we need to order kitchen supplies/paper products.


a. Arrange catalogs neatly.

b. Clean glass on all showcases before opening, at lunch and at 4 p.m.

c. Check once a week for ample stock of ring boxes/wrap and bows.



a. Clean bathrooms/toilets/kitchen area.

b. Empty all garbage cans.


a. Make sure every showcase/station has pens/calculators/Geller price book/ring sticks/job envelopes.

b. Call customers with jobs finished yesterday to come and get their work.

c. Clean glass in front windows and doors.

d. Sweep sidewalk in front of store door.

Now that we have these groups, we rotated them so no one always had a grungy job. Each week someone had a different group and it took four weeks before you did the same thing again. We placed it on a calendar with staff members’ names.

So now everyone knows his or her chores each week and it rotates. Then when I go out to the floor and see the front windows were not cleaned, instead of yelling “Why can’t you guys keep this place clean?” or picking on my “go-to person,” I just look at the list and see that Group 4 was responsible for cleaning the front store windows.

I then go to the showroom and say, “Who has Group 4 this week?”

Max says “That’s me.”

“Max, you missed cleaning the front windows. Hop to it, please. Fair is fair.



David Geller is a consultant to jewelers on store management. Email him at



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