Qualities of Unstoppable Retail Teams

Qualities of Unstoppable Retail Teams The success of retail businesses boils down to relationships. After all – that is the business we are in. We build relationships with our customer through providing an exceptional experience for them. We do this most effectively by creating and supporting a culture of great workplace collaboration to achieve business goals and objectives. In great places to work – retail leaders support their teams by providing inspiration and motivation, empathy, and involvement to support career growth and development of career capital. The secret to success for any retail team is the ability to understand the, mostly, unspoken needs that each employee has of their business partners, colleagues, and peers. There is a huge opportunity to drive collaboration andRead More

Honesty In Retail

Honesty In Retail The other day I wrote about Authenticity In Retail, at the conclusion of that article I wrote, “The benefit of this [authenticity], as a retail leader, is that everyone our team, every one of our coworkers, and everyone we interact with knows that we are a passionate and committed truth-teller, even when we have to carefully and thoughtfully communicate that truth. That makes us trustworthy as a coach, a mentor, and a leader in our industry and this, ultimately, defines our professional brand.“ A committed truth-teller. It sounds so simple – yet so many people are incapable of communicating the truth. This may for any number of reasons: We are trying to spare someone’s feelings or pride Not wanting othersRead More

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience “Retail is a customer business. You’re trying to take care of the customer—solve something for the customer. And there’s no way to learn that in the classroom or in the corner office…” – Erik Nordstrom, Co-President, Nordstrom Inc. Nordstrom is known for delivering exceptional service. Erik Nordstrom, despite being part of the family that owns the company, worked his way up inside the family’s organization and had experience in various departments in the business. This experience helped him understand the retail business on a granular level first, thus enabling him to perform better in a variety of leadership roles inside the Nordstrom organization as his responsibilities grew. As retail leaders, even the ones in the home office,Read More

Authenticity In Retail – And Why It’s Important

Authenticity In Retail – And Why It’s Important Creating a culture of inspiration, innovation, open and transparent communication, and engagement in your workplace is critical to the success of today’s retail organization. When workplace politics get in the way of real results, great teamwork, and deplete you of the energy to make your impact in the business – you stifle growth and create obstacles that negatively impact employee engagement which, in turn, impacts customer experience. Authenticity, on a broad scale, is fundamentally about building trust in the workplace – “Every company has its own unique culture and its own unique challenges. There is no magic formula. A high level of trust, however, is always very important. The most common misconception I have observedRead More

Avoiding Bad Hires In Retail

Avoiding Bad Hires In Retail According to a study by Leadership IQ: 46% of newly-hired employees will fail within 18 months 19% will achieve unequivocal success Further, the study found that 26% of new hires fail because they can’t accept feedback, 23% because they’re unable to understand and manage emotions, 17% because they lack the necessary motivation to excel, 15% because they have the wrong temperament for the job, and only 11% because they lack the necessary technical skills. While the failure rate for new hires is staggering, it is, unfortunately, not terribly surprising: 82% of managers reported that in hindsight, their job interview process with these employees evoked subtle clues that they would be headed for trouble. Résumés range from inflated truthsRead More

Is Yours A ‘Great Place To Work’?

Is Yours A ‘Great Place To Work’? Building and maintaining an employer brand that resonates with the community and public requires striking a balance between what’s good for the organization and what’s good for the organization’s people. Though this may be a seemingly impossible task for some organizations; it can be done. The brilliant minds at Glassdoor compiled a short list of the 5 traits their “Great Places to Work” winners all had in common. Here are the fundamentally shared qualities: People Matter: The genesis of great places to work starts with the people they invite onto their team. And then how those great people are ambassadors of the brand/organization and help to attract other great people. So, you have to create aRead More

Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success

Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success I engaged in a very lively Skype video conference the other day, following an article I wrote, with some colleagues and we were discussing a succession plan and, subsequent, career path planning for their organization for Store Level Leadership. As we were talking through a better process, their two greatest impediments became extremely clear: (1) that they were promoting based on time in position  and (2) that they were using the archaic succession planning process that involves “forced ranking” on an outdated and ineffective set of criteria that was developed to position the most compliant of the bunch as the most qualified for the next level [and there was no next step in place to closeRead More

Warning Signs Of A Poor Retail Culture

Warning Signs Of A Poor Retail Culture Being an active job seeker I have been doing a lot of research on retailers that I have identified as organizations I would be really thrilled and proud to work for/with and those that I wouldn’t consider. Both of these lists have seen a lot of changes and updates as I have been speaking with colleagues, recruiters, and hiring managers. As I mentioned in a previous post, “20 years ago, it was absolutely possible for organizations to create an image that was manufactured by the marketing departments, but now…everyone has a say [and super fast, too]. Retailers are no longer what they say they are but what others say they are.” This has become so absolutelyRead More

8 Qualities of An Emerging Retail Leader

8 Qualities of An Emerging Retail Leader In retail, we have the unique and awesome ability to see so many emerging adults start their working careers in our industry. After a few years in retail it is fairly easy for us to identify the people who will probably stay in retail, who will use what they have learned in other industries, who is with us just to pay their monthly cell phone bill, and those who may be perfectly content in their current role and have no design on anything more – and that’s okay too. It is always thrilling, though, to identify people who you know will make great future retail leaders. You can just tell that they possess the personality, theRead More

The Retail Disconnect

The Retail Disconnect Sometimes during the course of reading or researching a topic I think is relevant to our industry I come across really interesting and important statistics. The challenging part is seeing that this information is so available to us but we are (a) lacking the ability to identify these challenges could apply to our organization or (b) recognizing that they do, but we are unable to create an effective plan and currently do not have the leadership capability to elevate the results in the company in learning & development and bottom line impact through customer experience. These gaps are definitely an opportunity for most retail organizations and we need a strategy around them to improve and deliver needed development to bringRead More

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams When it comes to hiring talent, there are two elemental strategies that work. The first is to hire the very best talent on the market; the second is to hire decent talent and help support them by bringing out the best in them. Since most retail organization are unwilling to make the investment in recruiting and retaining the top tier of talent, most of us have to go with door number two. As retail leaders we enjoy taking control of the room and leading our team. However, that doesn’t help support the growth and development of the talent that we work with. As a retail leader you’re intelligent. But your job is not to beRead More

Recruiting For Cultural Fit In Retail

Recruiting For Cultural Fit In Retail When it comes to the success of any retail organization, human capital is a tricky equation that’s challenging to solve. And even though most industries are willing to dig deep into their pockets with resources to recruit and retain top talent, it has been a consistent struggle for the retail industry. We consistently insist on using ATS to select a resume that fits in with the criteria the computer finds “matches” the job description. What we end up with, whether we choose to acknowledge or not, is a homogenized employee. Someone who will be amazing at following the rules and an understanding of how to mostly manage the product piece of the business. Generally, ATS will notRead More

How To Build a Collaborative Retail Team

How To Build a Collaborative Retail Team In retail – teamwork absolutely paves the way for success. We are unable to work within our individual bubbles of responsibility either in the field or in an office environment and truly find success without support from our colleagues and business partners. A collaborative, smart, and enthusiastic team is probably the best weapon you can have to win against retail competition and the obstacles we face in retail as we work to deliver results. Ironically, according to HBR, “Members of complex teams are less likely—absent other influences—to share knowledge freely, to learn from one another, to shift workloads flexibly to break up unexpected bottlenecks, to help one another complete jobs and meet deadlines, and to shareRead More

Simple Ways To Overcome Complacency in Retail

Simple Ways To Overcome Complacency in Retail A few days ago I wrote an article on Complacency In Retail, when I was writing it I actually didn’t expect it to get a lot of traction or attention. But after reading news story after news story last week about how broken and in peril retailers have become I definitely believe complacency to be a real issue – a self-inflicted issue by organizations – that some are failing to acknowledge. If WE want to succeed – WE have to change, WE have to adapt and be flexible to the changes the customer expects, WE have to identify and proactively react to reality of the obstacles we face, WE have to shape incredible experiences that deliverRead More

Simple Ways To Build A Great Retail Team

Simple Ways To Build A Great Retail Team Having the individual talent needed to drive results is the first step to delivering amazing team results. As a leader you have the ability to inspire, motivate and shape the group of smart, driven, customer-focused individuals through your leadership initiatives, your accessibility, your involvement, and your commitment to being a great business partner. Strong working relationships, collaboration, and contribution are things that great talent expects to find in their work culture and they value these qualities in their colleagues. Fostering this culture is something that needs your focused and committed leadership attention – to help support and guide them through any obstacles your individual team members or the collective team may encounter. Your team willRead More