Target uses a game scoring system to encourage its cashiers to work more quickly, according to a screen capture on Flickr. The above photo (from dpstyles’ flickr stream) shows one cashier’s score for the last ten transactions she had rang up. The Gs indicate quickly completed transactions and Rs stand for slow transactions. There are also, apparently, Y-rated transactions –the letters stand for Green, Yellow, and Red and are based on a stoplight semiotic system with elaborate averages set up for different kinds of transactions (clothing gets more time as an average than does, say, candy). This cashier has earned a grade of 88% on her 44 transactions, though I’m not clear on what this 88% means — 88% converted to credit card sales? 88% without an error? 88% without returns?
I guess it’s a good idea to gear the system towards your ideal employee, and this goes a long way towards explaining why a middle-aged woman is always at the helm of the WORST line at my local Target, but I wonder how much accuracy is sacrificed in the name of speed? It’s certainly possible to be a quick and accurate cashier, but if you are getting your quickness as a result of encouraging a game mentality in lesser skilled employees . . . But I guess Target must have done the math on this one and determined that speed in turnover rate outweighs all of the potential errors caused. Interesting.