Inspiring The Future Of Retail Productivity & Organizational Health

Inspiring The Future Of Retail Productivity & Organizational Health I have the unique and invaluable experience, over the past several months to connect with lots of different retail organizations and get to know team members inside the organization from C-Level leadership to Part-Time Sales Associates. One of the most interesting constants I encounter when I am learning about the business is that on the list of business obstacles – the people piece usually falls toward the bottom of the issues. In recent months I have heard about marketing concerns, product availability/allocation issues, operational challenges – I have even heard rationalizations relating to the weather, the finicky customer – very rarely do senior- and executive-leadership truly assess their people component and readily identify opportunityRead More

Boosting Employee Morale In Retail

Boosting Employee Morale In Retail According to Sociologist and Harvard Professor Alexander Leighton, “morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.” Mr Leighton spoke to the fact that morale is particularly important during times of challenges and controversy. As most retail organizations continue to fix their profit and customer experience issues we are wearing away at the morale that we desperately need to drive results. Leaders, particularly those who are responsible for the customer facing teams, must know how to inspire and maintain a high-level of morale if they are committed to success and excellence for their team. Unfortunately, it is all to common that morale is measured by theRead More

The Dangers Of The Status Quo In Retail

The Dangers Of The Status Quo In Retail In almost every single retail workplace there is an accepted and established way of doing things. These are policies, processes, and procedures that someone developed and deemed a “best practice” along the way. Often these processes are defined when a policy is launched – sometimes the practice is updated or minimally reshaped but so frequently it is established and then forgotten and the employees are still required to follow the accountability to the letter – without question. Not updating, eliminating, or overhauling the status quo can be a very dangerous and destructive path to choose in today’s retail climate. Working under the umbrella of the status quo during this precarious time leads to the vastRead More

Toxic Retail Leadership

Toxic Retail Leadership When I created this headline I, initially, typed “Poor Retail Leadership” – but using the word “poor” brings up the idea that the leader may be okay – perhaps just not very strong. What I want to write about today is the truly bad and toxic leader and how they interfere with the growth, development, and retention of truly remarkable team members. We are witnessing the rise of toxic leaders in the retail workplace. There is so much pressure to deliver, execute, and comply in retail today that many leaders choose to lead through fear and intimidation as opposed to behaving as a supportive and inspiring business partner to their team. Someone that is committed to hiring great talent andRead More

Want To Be A Great Retail Leader? Avoid Saying & Doing These Things…

Want To Be A Great Retail Leader? Avoid Saying & Doing These Things… Retail leadership is not easy and with all of the moldy, crusty, and outdated processes and corporate policies – it is relatively easy to fall into the trap of managing primarily for compliance, become a big grump, and an effective leader of the “status quo”.  It takes a special leader to rise above the average, not to give in to the organizational challenges, and to deliver a leadership style that inspires and motivates their team. Great retail leaders speak the truth and fight for the elimination of processes that don’t add value to the customer experience and/or the employee experience. 5 Things You Will Never Hear A Great Retail LeaderRead More

Intentional Excellence In Retail

Intentional Excellence In Retail As a retail leader I have very little tolerance for mediocrity. I have a firm belief that people deliver the results they choose to deliver. Excellence is a deliberate result – not luck or accidental. If you want to be successful – make a decision and develop a plan to be successful. If you want to be a failure – you make excuses and play the victim and you make a choice to not succeed. It really is that simple. However, as an involved leader, I need to be able to identify the team members that work inside my area of responsibility that have the ability [and latent talents] to be excellent and help them realize what they areRead More

Keeping A Retail Team Positive During Leadership Transition

Keeping A Retail Team Positive During Leadership Transition Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. But I’d like to add a third certainty for those of us in retail: change! Those of us who work inside this industry get to experience change and shifting priorities on a daily – and sometimes hourly – basis. That’s one of the things we usually enjoy. If you are in retail and you don’t enjoy evolution – this can be a pretty rough and miserable industry to be in. The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. – H.P. Lovecraft Usually, as it relates to ourRead More

Retail Clichés And Choosing To Be Better

Retail Clichés And Choosing To Be Better If you have read any of my articles you may recognize I have very specific areas that I am super passionate about: Team Development Through Learning & Guidance; Not Tolerating “Good Enough” Performance Results But Everyone Contributing to Excellence; Customer Experience Delivery; Making Retail A Forward-Thinking Industry [getting rid of moldy and crusty processes/policies that are accepted as the status quo or [gasp] because “we have always done it this way“]. …the list actually goes on and on. One thing that makes me a little crazy is when I hear phrases like “they acknowledged they’d ‘checked out’ a couple of years ago” or “they’ve been on auto-pilot the last couple years“. These are very politically correctRead More

The Benefits Of Retail Employee Development

The Benefits Of Retail Employee Development Most retail employees – regardless of current position – have designs on a more senior level than where they currently stand. And that’s a great thing. The challenge is that we are so busy keeping up with process and operations with our teams that we are unable to build in the valuable exercises that support employee development and career growth. Every single retail employee can benefit from a focused development program. Retail is such a fast-changing and fluid industry if anyone believes they are up-to-date in their development and growth – they are automatically behind. Yet it’s easily forgotten or allowed to take a back seat due to the pressure(s) of everyday business. Why? Why is employeeRead More

How To Fix Broken Work Relationships In Retail

Broken Work Relationships In Retail One of the greatest pieces of advice my very first Director of Stores ever gave me when I first started in retail was “don’t burn bridges. Retail is a very small community and you will interacting with the same people throughout your career”. This advice was very valuable and frighteningly true. Retail is not always easy and sometimes we fall into unhealthy or unhappy patterns with our coworkers. Most coworkers won’t overtly show their dislike for you as they are cognizant that displaying their dislike or upset with their colleagues may impact their careers negatively. Instead they will display passive aggressive practices and/or resort to juvenile behaviors to communicate their displeasure. Doing or saying things to create difficultyRead More