Finding Your Passion In Retail

Finding Your Passion in Retail It took me a while to find my true passion in retail. I have always been a strong field leader and found a high level of satisfaction leading a team to top performing status. I am relatively competitive so, if it was measured, we wanted to be the best. If it was used as an example, we wanted to set the bench. I enjoyed my job (or at least could find joy in my job) as a District and Regional Manager because I could teach others to be voracious in their pursuit of great performance results. But, then there was all the other “stuff” that role requires that made development time just a small fraction of the week.Read More

Excellence In Retail: Top 5 of 2015

Excellence In Retail: Top 5 of 2015 I just want to start off by saying “Thank You” to everyone who has supported my blog. Starting a blog was on my “to-do” list for 2015 and I finally got to it in late July. It has been such a fun endeavor and I get to write about my experiences and my passion for the retail industry. So, “Thank You” to everyone who has read my blog, sent me feedback, liked, shared, favorited, pinned, and retweeted my posts. It means a lot. Since it seems to be “a thing” in the blogging world – I wanted to share my most popular posts of 2015. Here they are: 1) Retail Workplace Happiness 2) Supporting and InspiringRead More

Recruiting Top Talent

Recruiting Top Talent In 2016 There are 5 type of “candidates” in the recruitment market: 1. Active Seekers 2. Semi-active Seekers 3. Passive 4. Happy with their current situation 5. Boomerang (employees that have left the company but are willing to return) Recruitment and Employee Advocates As we all know recruiting is the best method to hiring talent that has a higher potential of fit for both the role and the company culture. Recruiting also is an area that, I have found, requires a lot of training and development, especially at the store level. In my post Fostering a Culture of Employee Advocacy In Retail I shared the fact that “93% of employees say they will make good advocates for the brand”. ThatRead More

Understanding Your Team

Understanding Your Team We are heading into an exciting New Year and it is the perfect opportunity to review the holiday season with your team, provide guidance on their areas of strength and the opportunity areas to work on and improve for the new year. In several posts I have covered some of the common areas of opportunity with team members and leaders for improved development, as well as individual and team growth and maximized productivity. For example: 2016 Key Focus Items: These are the 8 most common areas that references state as a candidate’s greatest opportunity areas. Deadly Sins of Retail Communication: Which identifies the frustrating communication misses of senior leadership to their teams. Fostering a Culture of Employee Advocacy In Retail:Read More

Inspiring Action in the New Year

  Inspiring Action According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, here are some very interesting statistics about New Year’s Resolutions: Top 10 Resolutions of 2015 1. Lose Weight 2. Get Organized 3. Spend Less, Save More 4. Enjoy Life To The Fullest 5. Staying Fit & Healthy 6. Learn Something Exciting 7. Quit Smoking 8. Helping Others In Their Dreams 9. Fall In Love 10. Spend More Time With Family Statistically Speaking…How Will We Do? • 45% of people make New Year’s Resolutions • 38% of Americans never make resolutions • Only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions • People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions •Read More

What I Learned As a Retail Business Owner

  What I Learned By Having My Own Retail Business I have been in retail for many years, in the Summer of 2015 I opened three pop up retail locations and one semi-permanent location. I soft-opened Cotton Candy Fashion’s Home Store on June 1st and opened three true pop up locations the following week. The three pop-up’s closed the Tuesday following Labor Day. My Home Store will be closing on January 7th 2016. I made this investment for a couple of reasons: First: I have very limited apparel experience on my resume. Most of my apparel experience revolves around children’s apparel – which, to me, is mini-grown up apparel but, unfortunately, adult retailers don’t see it that way. I wanted to infuse someRead More

Retail: What To Expect In 2016

#Retail Leadership: What To Be Prepared For With the New Year only weeks away, the internet is rife with information on what to expect in business in 2016. Having spent so much time in field leadership roles, as both a District and Regional Manager, I found that our Human Resources “partners” in our industry tend to keep lots of relevant and essential information to themselves as opposed to developing their leaders to proactively handle potential issues before they become true “HR Issues”. HR has also been a responsibility of mine in my career so I have been able to manage challenges proactively and I am passionate about documentation of great performance and performance improvement issues. Using common sense and book smarts as roadRead More

Employee Engagement Trends 2016

Employee Engagement Trends In #Retail Quantum Workplace released their 57 page report on Employee Engagement Trends Report waaaayyyy back in June and now that I am on vacation for the holidays, I have an opportunity to read, digest, and understand the information they reported on. In 2015 Employee Engagement was at an 8 year low. In essence, what that means is that employees feel undervalued and they aren’t willing to do what it takes to produce and deliver greatness, because they don’t see a benefit to it. There are lots of reports out there on “Employee Engagement” but this one is particularly valuable because of the detail it provides to the areas that employees are most “uncertain” about. At the conclusion of 2014Read More

Organizational Success: What You Need To Know

Organizational Success in #Retail: What You Need To Know The amazing team at DDI recently published their Leadership Development Road Map and some of the statistics were pretty shocking and critical to know if we are going to effect change in 2016 in our businesses. You can click on the link above to view the interactive infographic (which is very clever and a great read) but here are some of the highlights that immediately resulted in my brain working through a plan-of-action on how to elevate our current and future leader’s competencies: Are Leaders Ready To Deliver? -40% of leaders say the overall quality of their organization’s leadership is high -25% of HR professionals view their organization’s leaders as high quality -15% ofRead More

Getting Reference Checks Right

Retail Hiring: Getting Reference Checks Right I have always been surprised to find out that during the reference check process my teams, specifically in the field level management position, are more or less resigned to getting the basic “Are they rehirable?” question answered. I found out, with a company a couple years ago, the Store Managers had been told to “fake” their reference check forms, because “they don’t matter”. In retail we, typically, have not invested a lot of time into the reference check process for a couple of reasons: (1) We feel as though most hires are transient in nature (especially at the store level) so why bother [yikes, right?!?], (2) People are only going to give us reference names and contactRead More

Key Focus Items 2016

#Retail Leadership: Key Focus Items 2016 I have said it before and I will say it again – there is so much amazing information at our fingertips that it is totally criminal if we don’t put a plan into place to focus on topics that can improve, support, and boost growth of our team members and a continued healthy and happy workplace culture. Recently, there was a great article posted on TLNT written by Cynthia A. Hedricks on, The 8 Things That References Say Candidates Need To Improve On. Here are the highlights: -Being more sociable -Asking for help -Showing patience with others -Better team orientation -Listening carefully -Being open to the ideas and opinions of others -Sharing information with others -Building relationshipsRead More

Retail Resolution: Use Your Accrued Vacation (All Of It!)

  2016 Retail Resolution – Use Your Vacation Time…All Of IT! On December 10th, Globoforce published a great blog post, ‘Tis The Season To Use Your Vacation. I have always read how important it is to use vacation time and step away from work but this article really quantified and qualified the importance of this. Here are some of the biggest takeaways: –“Americans are taking less vacation than at any point in the last forty years–just 16 vacation days today, down from an average of over 20 days taken 15 years ago.” This ‘lost week’ of vacation “is wiping out vacation traditions and taking a heavy toll, particularly on children.” –“Working parents may think they are shielding their children from work stress, butRead More

Retail Competency: Ability To Self-Motivate

#Retail Competency: Ability To Self-Motivate I am pathologically self-motivated. I always have been. I graduated high-school one month after turning 16 because I was desperate to move on from traditional learning methods. I was hungry to see what was next. When first started in retail when I was 18 years old and was insanely motivated (and I worked with an amazing leadership team who saw how committed I was), I worked hard and crushed my job description and asked for additional responsibilities and within six months was promoted to a District Manager. Since then (over the course of many, many…many years) I have accomplished a lot in retail. I have learned a lot. I have continued to work on upskilling, learning, stretching toRead More

Retail Holiday Parties: Dos & Dont’s

Retail Holiday Parties: Do’s & Dont’s I have been working in retail for a very long time and have attended my fair share of holiday parties both personally and professionally. Also, I have been lucky enough to attend some really amazing and some surreal [for lack of a better word] holiday parties with friends. Back when I was in college, I worked at a 5 Star Resort, as a concierge, whose business was largely conference based. At times I would work events to help out other departments and, by far, working holiday parties as a cocktail hostess was the most illuminating, educational, and down right entertaining from my perspective but tragic from other’s perspectives. I would love to know the psychology behind whyRead More