Celebrating Top Performers In Retail

Top Performers In #Retail I recently read a blog post by Jon Ingham of the “Strategic HCM Blog” regarding a Harvard Business Review article by Ram Charan that stated “2% of people drive 98% impact”. Here is the link to that blog post: Ram Charan’s 2% of the People Drive 98% Impact The accuracy of the statistic is definitely questionable but there is no doubt there are certainly those who are top performers and extremely important to the business. In retail this typically means: that they are top contributors to the business levers that their department is measured on; they are skilled at recruiting talent and filling open positions quickly with right fit people; that they’re on-time (or frequently early) with their projects/deliverables;Read More

70% of Employees Quit Their Jobs Everyday

70% of Retail Employees Quit Their Jobs Everyday (But They Still Keep Showing Up For Work) According to Gallup – 70% of your employees can become disengaged on any given day for a number of reasons. If, according to Harvard Business Review, at Best Buy the value of a 0.1% increase in Employee Engagement in a particular store is $100,000…just think of how employee dis-engagement effects productivity and profitability. In my post “Why Good People Quit In #Retail (And What Compels Them To Stay)” I cover some of the main reasons that people actually leave their jobs. In this post I want to cover a little more about how to keep the teams engaged at work. (A) Employees can become critically disengaged whenRead More

Why Good People Quit Their Retail Company (And What Compels Them To Stay)

Why Good People Quit Their Retail Company (And What Compels Them To Stay) The workplace has all different ways of measuring and assessing “human capital” facts to plan for a variety of expected business changes and to forecast future changes. For example, according to this story from HBR, At Best Buy the value of a 0.1% increase in employee engagement at a particular store is $100,000! Additionally, the article states: Employee attrition can be less of a problem when managers see it coming. Sprint has identified the factors that best foretell which employees will leave after a relatively short time. (Hint: Don’t expect a long tenure from someone who hasn’t signed up for the retirement program.) Interesting, right? I have written several postsRead More

Fostering A Culture of Employee Advocacy

Fostering A Culture Of Employee Advocacy In Retail One white whale of opportunity that I see in much of Retail is to allow employees the freedom (and guidelines) to advocate on a brand’s behalf. I recently read this amazing article by Ben Donkor on LinkHumans – “A Kickstart Guide To Employee Advocacy In Social Media”. This, literally, gives the reader the steps and policies for building a program that manages and supports your team using Social Media to advocate for and help grow your brand and brand loyalty! Employees want to support the growth of the brand but are tentative to share information for a number of reasons: -There is no formal policy around it -They have been told that they aren’t allowedRead More

Hire Innovators and Let Them Innovate

Hire Innovators And Then Let Them Innovate One of my favorite questions when I am interviewing candidates is, “Which is more important – creativity or following policy to the letter?”. I like this question because I really enjoy working with smart, creative, confident thought leaders. The people that answer “creativity” frequently go on to tell me how they made a process or situation better using common sense or innovation to devise the tools they needed. These people are, typically, strong in self-development, asking for stretch assignments and for being highly-productive and proactive with their metric accountability, staffing and people issues, and their time-management. In my experience, the people that answer “following policy” are the people that say they can execute their essential jobRead More

Retail Workplace Happiness

Focusing On Retail Workplace Happiness The Retail Candidate Experience during the interviewing process should reflect the experience that the candidate will have through the onboarding process as a new hire. According to the SHRM Foundation “Organizations say effective onboarding improved retention rates by 52%”. When employees feel the company cares about their growth & development they are happier and more productive at work. When employees feel the company cares about their growth & development they are happier and more productive at work. According to Megan Biro of TalentCulture there are five key things that help deliver Employee Happiness – (1) Pay fairly, (2) Deliver awesome benefits, (3) Keep an open leadership door & mind, (4) Share the profits, and (5) make your workplaceRead More

Contributing To The Retail Zietgeist

Contributing To The #Retail Zietgeist Zeitgeist is a great word, Mirriam-Webster defines it as the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era. I absolutely think that applies to the #Retail landscape and the focus that is being placed on employee well-being and workplace happiness. There is a paradigm for the workplace that is shaping the cultural climate and is embedded in the cultures that are, now, considered “Great Places To Work in Retail”. A focus on creating an authentically great and beneficial place to work for employees is a constant key point in these environments as is brand reputation and image from the consumers perspective. There are a couple of things that contribute to the retail zietgeist more than others: (A)Read More

How To “WOW” In A Retail Interview

How To “WOW” In A Retail Interview There is a surplus of interviewing information available on the internet. If you type “Interview Questions” into Google – you get 86,000,000 results! You can find that you, as a candidate, could potentially be asked “Where do you want to be in five years/ten years?” – likely, you can also find a really good answer for that question that feels somewhat organic for you to verbally recycle in an interview. Even I have written a post about my favorite interview questions to gauge emotional maturity and emotional intelligence in candidates. However, you will find that the landscape of interviewing is changing dramatically. I read an interesting article the other day on the SHRM blog called “NoRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop

Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop With the New Year quickly approaching I thought I would cover some topics that are opportunities in retail as professional resolutions for 2016. The first topic I wrote about was #Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have encountered in my career: Self-Development. I am obsessed with self-development because retail, generally, doesn’t have a great track record with training and development or truly investing in the future growth of their employees. Typically, we are hired into roles because we possess the skills needed to positively impact the job description and the competencies that the company feels are relevant to the role. We receive operational training on compliance and policies and that’sRead More

Supporting and Inspiring Change In Retail

Supporting and Inspiring Change In Retail There is an adage that goes “Only three things are certain in life: Birth, Death, and Taxes”. Over the past many years I can, without reservation, add “constant evolution and change in retail” to this list. AND I think that those of us who have been in retail for a while actually enjoy that quality of the business. Change represents challenge and newness to strong leaders. Creative people, especially, enjoy change, it gives us the opportunity to positively communicate change to our teams, we also can, usually, find a fun way to support the team with dealing with the change. Unfortunately, not everyone in retail embraces change. Here is great infographic for why change fails at times.Read More

Scared of Feedback From Your Team? That’s a You Issue

Scared Of Feedback From Your #Retail Team? That’s a YOU Issue One of the biggest challenges I faced when I introduced the Stay Interview Program at work, which includes employee surveys and opportunity for feedback on the senior and executive leadership of the company, was the company leadership’s concern that the feedback would consist of kvetching about “the bosses”. My position was that that would give us the temperature of the team and at least a starting point for culture conversations and programs and where we needed to focus our efforts first. It was the start of this exciting #NewWayToWork – why wasn’t the leadership team more enthusiastic? After the first installment of the survey’s were returned, I compiled the feedback – categorizingRead More

Leadership Transparency In Retail

Leadership Transparency in #Retail I saw this cartoon clip the other day and actually laughed out loud. Then I realized how frequently this situation actually occurs and then it was a little less funny. I remember on a number of occasions joking with my VP of Stores or Company President that I needed a crystal ball to figure out what was happening and what coworkers were thinking. As a leader, I am a strong proponent of sharing. I share a lot with candidates and team members because I want them to feel empowered that they have the information and knowledge to make smart, educated decisions. Knowledge is power and clarity and transparency is paramount to success – both for individuals and collective teams.Read More

Secrets To Being Successful In Retail

Secrets To Being Successful In #Retail Merriam-Webster defines success as this: (a) the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame; (b) the correct or desired result of an attempt; and (c) someone or something that is successful; or a person or thing that succeeds Here are some core competencies of successful people in Retail -Opportunity-Seeking -Initiative -Persistence -Goal Setting -Communication -Fulfilling of Commitments -Calculated Risk Taking -Information Seeking/Self-Development -Persuasion -Influence -Independence -Teamwork -Listening -Concern for quality products -Efficiency -Systematic Planning -Self-Confidence -Assertiveness -Master Strategist -Compassion/Empathy -Decisive -Innovative -Passionate -Direct -Ownership of Results -Sense of Urgency -Self-Discipline I know this list probably seems a little intimidating but most successful people have these competencies hard-wired into their personalities. What I mean by “hard-wired”Read More

To Document or Not To Document

To Document Or Not To Document Retail Performance Issues I am a bit of a legal news nerd and recently, I read a very interesting article on the SHRM website about an offensive employee who is suing his company for a termination. In a nutshell, here is the case: The employee was rude, sarcastic, passive agressive, and just a really terrible communicator. BUT…the company never truly documented any of the issues. A supervisor claims to have spoken to this employee about becoming more “approachable” but there was never any written counseling to support this being a job-threatening performance issue. So then, one day the employee requests FMLA accommodation to care for his son who has a mental illness. The company responds, upon himRead More

Signs You Need To Put You Candidate On The “No” Pile

Retail Hiring – Signs That You Need To Put The Candidate On The “No” Pile Hiring, right?! It’s definitely not an exact science and, occasionally, terrible candidates slip past us and into great roles. Ask any retail person and we can probably tell you about our top 3 terrible hires (my top 3 are doozies)! As leaders, we must have missed something in the interview, we missed one critical question that would have told us that this candidate was a “dud”. Maybe…but quite often the candidate knows how to answer questions because they have researched “commonly asked interview questions”. They know what questions to ask in the “What questions do you have for me” phase, because they have also researched that. Interviewing isRead More