At the heart of every retail enterprise lives this goal: improve store performance. But getting to the end goal isn’t easy. Even the smallest efforts to improve performance require activating hundreds, if not thousands, of people to hear, understand, and act on a common vision—no easy feat!

When you start a store performance initiative, you set strategic goals, design KPIs, and roll out your program company-wide. Putting your strategy into practice, however, is largely out of your hands, falling to your district managers and store managers. But let’s be honest—how much do you know about these people and the way they work? Are you communicating to them in the right ways? Do they understand how your initiative fits in their day-to-day and why it’s important?

Last fall, in an effort to understand the role district managers play in stores’ success, we surveyed nearly 1,000 district managers across industries. What we uncovered in our subsequent report painted a picture of a person who spends a substantial amount of time on low-value tasks, who doesn’t feel connected to their corporate office and programs, and who manages their workload through binders full of printouts—not exactly the most efficient or effective way to work. Our question became this: if you can figure out ways improve the way district managers work, how might that impact store-level performance?

To go a step further, we wondered what could we learn from store managers? Since they’re on the front lines, they arguably have more influence on the store’s bottom line. Do they feel as disconnected from corporate as district managers do? Are they spending time on low-value tasks that could be managed more efficiently? What gets in the way of being singularly focused on store performance?

This spring, we launched the 2016 Store Manager Survey in partnership with Worldwide Business Research to shed light on the challenges and opportunities facing store managers. We intend to uncover what store managers think about their current state-of-the-state and where they have real needs or gaps from corporate. The survey will be open through the month of May, with a full report to be released at the Future Stores conference in late June.

How do your store managers stack up? We’d love to help you find the answer. As we did with our District Manager Survey, we offering benchmarking on the Store Manager Survey. If you would like to benchmark your own store managers against other store managers in your industry, as well as across industries, let us know. We will generate a custom survey link for your company and add custom questions if requested. Then, we’ll prepare a personalized report for you when the survey wraps.

We think there’s a lot to learn from store managers. Feel free to share the survey link with your store force, or request benchmarking.