Soft Skills Of Awesome Retail Leaders

Soft Skills Of Awesome Retail Leaders Retail is changing rapidly! Retail Leadership is constantly required to assess their impact and evolve and re-invent their leadership style/approach.  The compliance-managing, hard-driving skill set that many retailers had a tendency to value in the past won’t keep working in the future. Things are changing [for the better] inside the retail industry. Our employees have access to lots of information and can become extremely valuable brand advocates and ambassadors. Our customers are savvy and demand that we train, develop, and invest in our teams to deliver an amazing customer experience. There are even amazing programs like the RightSkill Program available for emerging retail talent to become strong self-directed learners and step into roles with the critical knowledgeRead More

The Art of Providing Fair & Balanced Feedback in Retail

The Art of Providing Fair & Balanced Feedback in Retail There is no doubt that creating a retail workplace that expects and values ongoing, in-the-moment feedback is significantly more beneficial to the health of the business, the growth of the team, and the customer experience than leaving feedback and guidance to annual or semi-annual performance appraisal time. Unfortunately, not all retail organizations have embraced this philosophy and are still stuck believing “coaching and counseling” and using PA’s to drive performance improvement only during specific times of the year is a driver of engagement and productivity. It is not. I titled this articled the way I did because there is an art to providing fair and balanced, in-the-moment feedback to your team members. ThereRead More

Retail Competency: Be A Great Decision Maker

How To Make Better, Faster Decisions Your ability to make smart decisions quickly is definitely a competency that is valued in retail. It’s a skill that inspires confidence in your abilities and leads to success. Shelley Row, an expert in efficient decision-making, says the secret is listening to your intuition while incorporating facts, a combination she calls “infotuition.” [Source: IvankaTrump] “Infotuition is a practical leadership tool. It’s a skilled, self-aware, decision-making approach—not a willy-nilly use of the whim.” – Shelley Row Unfortunately, as noted by Walter Dill Scott, “Man has been called the reasoning animal but he could with greater truthfulness be called the creature of suggestion. He is reasonable, but he is to a greater extent suggestible”. [Source: PsychCentral]. This is aRead More

How To Be A Great Retail Team Member

How To Be A Great Retail Team Member As you may know the ability to work well on a retail team can make or break your retail reputation and professional brand. As a matter of fact – in a previous article I mention how great retail teams tend to “weed out” those colleagues who are not great collaborators [even though they may be great employees] if they can’t support their team members.  Great team players are able to do more, get greater satisfaction from their work and make a bigger impact on their companies and their coworkers through combined behaviors. Here are some of those shared qualities and behaviors that make for the best team members: Prioritize Getting To Know Your Colleagues: CheckRead More

Retail Leadership: Simple Steps To Solve Big Problems

Retail Leadership: Simple Steps To Solve Big Problems Recently I was reading an article about the amazing philanthropist and person Kelsey Langdale, Co-Developer of packH2O, which aims to solve the water crisis in underdeveloped countries. In it she outlines her thoughts on how to stop, assess, and tackle issues that are overwhelming in nature. These steps are absolutely relevant in any business setting and it really does bring simple actions and processes to solving challenging business obstacles. Identify the top-level goals: This is your opportunity to break the problem down into three main parts. Three phases that define what you hope to accomplish and achieve that are measurable and that start to erode the problem through action and process. Reassess at each phaseRead More

Email In The Retail Workplace

Email In The Retail Workplace Email is the only organization-wide technology that affects every employee. Across departments, roles, and titles, it is the great corporate leveler. It’s intended purpose was to allow us to share thoughts and updates. It allowed us to ask questions and solicit opinions, information, and content from our colleagues on things we are working on. It is a tool that was designed to improve the flow of work, the accessibility of sharing, and serve to elevate our access to information and people we need to connect with. However, it – over time – has not created the ease of connecting that it should, but has resulted in misunderstandings, the ability for people to be passive aggressive or just simplyRead More

This Is What Great Retail Teams Look Like

This Is What Great Retail Teams Look Like Every retail leader and retail team member aspires to work with people who support, encourage, inspire, and help them bring out the best in themselves and each other. Well-integrated, high-performing teams never lose sight of their goals and are largely self-propelling and self-sustaining. And it all comes down to their leadership. Great leaders inspire greatness in others. The are involved and supportive consistently and hold their team to a high standard of performance and give them the tools and resources to be amazing. It Starts With The Leader The Europe-based Centre for Organizational Research conducted several surveys on teams that ‘click’ and found that they always have a leader who creates the environment and establishesRead More

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team For the past three months I have been very involved in some really exciting retail consulting projects. This is a unique experience because I am learning a lot and getting to experience and identify collaborative efforts and that tools that work and some practices that do not. Two of my projects are very easy and the programs we are working through are areas that we are very much aligned and things that I am extremely familiar with. The third project is a little more complex for a few reasons, (1) There are more people involved [13 of us], (2) Our priorities/passions are not aligned, (3) We are functioning in our own silos. This project has ledRead More

Net Promoter Score & The Customer Experience

Net Promoter Score (NPS) & The Customer Experience In 2003, Fred Reichheld, a partner at Bain & Company, created a new way of measuring how well a brand or an organization treats the people it interacts with—how well it generates relationships worthy of loyalty. Extensive research has shown that your Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, acts as a leading indicator of growth. If your organization’s NPS is higher than your competitors, you will likely outperform the industry/market, and managing your retail organization to improve NPS will also improve your business performance. Retail organizations that use NPS as the foundation of a measurement framework that is tightly tied to the customer experience can determine where they stand in the market quickly and frequently. HowRead More

“Human Leadership” In Retail

Human Leadership In Retail I am a strong believer in investing in employees. Investing in training & development. Investing in recognition tools that make people [especially top performers/contributors] feel valued and appreciated. Investing in career path planning that is aligned with the company objectives and ensuring that we have the right people in the right places and ensuring that they have the tools and resources to deliver amazing results. I have always aspired to be an accessible and involved business partner to my team members. As a retail leader, I have always felt my job is 90% how my team feels, how I support them, and guide them to find their success. Recently, I read an article from the amazing and always brilliantRead More

What Is CRM in Retail And Why It’s Important

Customer Relationship Management Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the principles, practices, and guidelines that an organization follows when interacting with its customers. From the organization’s point of view, this entire relationship not only encompasses the direct interaction aspect, such as sales and/or service related processes, but also in the forecasting and analysis of customer trends and behaviors, which ultimately serve to enhance the customer’s overall experience. [Source: Investopedia] CRM is more than just creating a list of names and email address [which is usually a direction issued to the store teams to do]. CRM allows retail organizations to build comprehensive records and profiles of every customer that engages with their brand. In a time when every retailer, in order to thrive andRead More

Staying Productive And Motivated In Retail

Staying Productive And Motivated In Retail The other day I wrote a blog article titled, “Competing with ‘Good Enough‘”. In that article I referenced an article from CareerRealism that essentially explained that there is, fundamentally, no reason to deliver greatness. There’s no benefit and the real winners are the ones that move on to a new role. Presumably with a higher salary, better benefits, and a better title.  After thinking about it for the past couple of days – I, fundamentally, disagree with the philosophy – for the most part. I agree that consistency of recognition in retail is definitely an opportunity both at the leadership level and the corporate level. There are very few organizations that truly and genuinely recognize and rewardRead More

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead It’s nearing that time again. On the cusp of seasons changing, winter flurries are having me dreaming of spring, so start putting away those winter jackets and keeping an eye out for the hottest bathing suits. Think it’s a little premature to start considering springtime? Says who? It is never too early to start looking ahead, as it holds many benefits. Getting a mental escape from your surroundings is one way of taking a break. This should not be something that takes up hours, but every once in awhile, a pleasant thought of warmer weather is sure to bring a smile to your face. Always always always have something to look forward to. People who deal with depression and even thoseRead More

Competing With “Good Enough”

Competing With “Good Enough” At any given moment, on any given day approximately 70% of our employees are disengaged in their jobs and probably disenchanted with their retail organization. 18% of disengaged employee actively undermine their company and coworkers. Which leaves us with about 52% of employees who are doing just enough to get by so they don’t pull focus and open themselves up to coaching/counseling. Which means they are doing just “good enough”. There is an odd reality in retail and with retail leadership – every retail organization speaks to hoping to become a “world class employer” or a “best place to work” and we create best practices and establish benchmarks that we believe will help us create a business and buildRead More

Brick & Mortar Retail and the Savvy Omnichannel Shoppers

Brick & Mortar Retail and the Savvy Omnichannel Shoppers   There is no doubt that one of the fastest changing components of our industry is the customer piece – up until about five years ago we couldn’t stop talking about “Customer Service”, four years ago we started talking about “Customer Experience”. Now, I hear rumblings of “Customer Engagement”. All I know for sure is that the phrase “Customer Service” is a thing of the past. It is an expected, rightfully so, component of the interaction your customer has with your brand, regardless of how or where the interaction originated. We are seeing customers in a brick and mortar retail store on their smartphones checking if they can get a better price on theRead More