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

Retail Customer Experience

#Retail Customer Experience In a previous post titled – Let’s Make The #Retail Customer Experience Great In 2016! – I covered the more organizational topic around how to set your company employees up, through training/development, for providing great customer experience. This post is really for the team members who are interacting with the customer and mapping out a basic plan to deliver the service levels conducive with providing a great experience. What do our customers want? There are some challenges inside retail being that it is no longer just a brick-and-mortar business but, instead, an onmichannel and multichannel experience for the consumer. However, there is still power in having a product in-hand today so when you have customers in your store – itRead More

Managing Organization Vision & Values

#Retail Competency: Managing Organization Vision & Values According to Globoforce, and their Workforce Moodtracker Report: “88% of workers who understand their company’s core values reported engagement at work”! And “79% of employees say that recognition tied to core values gave them a stronger sense of company goals and objectives”. These are impactful statistics to know and understand for maximizing tools inside the business that elevate engagement, a sense of purpose, and happiness. Here are the scary statistics: According to TinyPulse: “58% of employees do not know their company’s mission, vision, and values” and “39% of employees say their senior leaders do not act in accordance with the companies guiding principles”. Finally, according to Redii, “68% of employees believe businesses aren’t doing enough toRead More

Toxic Employees In Retail

Toxic Employees In #Retail The New Year is synonymous with change and a fresh start both personally & professionally. In several of my previous posts I mention separating ones self from negative influences in your professional life. Working to align yourself with people that will make you better, support your growth, inspire positive results and productivity…that is fundamental for your personal brand and professional reputation. What, exactly, is a toxic employee in retail? A toxic employee is someone who deliberately inflicts harm to a company’s morale and productivity through intentionally subversive behavior. According to a recently published Harvard study, “The data suggests that toxic people drive other employees to leave an organization faster and more frequently, which generates huge turnover and training costs,Read More

You Don’t Have To Be A Jerk, But You Do Have To Be Honest

Retail Feedback: You Don’t Have To Be A Jerk, But You Have To Be Honest One thing I learned early on in my career is to give pointed, focused feedback. I, probably like a lot of retail leaders today, had to learn the hard way. I first started in retail leadership when I was 18 and was made a District Manager by 19 and wanted to be adored by my team and I had not the slightest clue on how to coach, develop, or lead anyone. So, when I had to address issues it was in generalities and I apologized, A LOT, throughout my schpiel. Clearly, that was not the way to go: So…as I upskilled my development in leadership and shored upRead More

Recognition & Motivation

#Retail Recognition/Motivation In my blog post titled, Celebrating Top Performers In #Retail, I mention the fact that, “The pedestrian (and all too frequent) approach in retail is to manage and focus on the bottom performers and so frequently that is done to the detriment of appreciating and supporting the “A” and “B” players in a company.” I can remember a couple examples of this during my own career but I will share one of the most recent ones: I worked for a company where my team produced amazing results, week after week, we were the #1 Region in the Company in every single key performance indicator. The bottom performing RM who was <23%> to LY and <27%> to Plan had two AMAZING weeksRead More

How To Find Happiness At Work

10 Ways To Find Happiness AT Work It is very easy to feel “stuck” in retail. To feel stagnant and caught in a “groundhog day” routine. But, there are definitely ways to shake off that uninspired feeling. Here are some ideas to find happiness when you feel like need a infusion of HAPPINESS: 1. Do Something You LOVE Every Single Day -If you love getting lost in visuals, build in 30 minutes to an hour to reset an area of the store or tweak your windows (a) Perfect storytelling through your visuals/create moments for your customer to “surprise & delight” (b) Create a great concept fixture and measure the results of product movement (c) Work on improving the swing area (fixture placement) forRead More

Recruitment, Employer Branding, and Creating A Best Place To Work

Retail Recruitment, Employer Branding, and Creating A “Best Place To Work” Retail Recruitment & Employer Branding I don’t know anyone in retail who doesn’t speak to hoping to be able to attract and recruit “top retail talent”. Everyone wants top talent. Here’s the thing, top talent wants to work for great brands and great leadership. Top talent wants to be invested in, valued for their contributions, and provided the opportunity to grow their employment into a career with a “Best Place To Work”. Top talent wants a company to meet them half way, they will give you greatness but they expect the company to invest in them and to give them development, education, and a future. There are so many buzzwords and thingsRead More

Let’s Make The Retail Customer Experience Great In 2016!

Let’s Make #Retail Customer Experience Great In 2016! I am committed to making 2016 a great year both personally and professionally for myself. I am also committed to protecting my industry by reinventing my strategy, leadership, and overall approach to the business to resonate with the changing landscape that we experience, weekly, in retail. There are several reports on how challenging Thanksgiving Day was for brick-and-mortar retail so far Yahoo Finance, Thanksgiving Shopping Crowds ‘Good Not Great’; Online Sales Strong, from Business Of Fashion, Online Sales Surge Ahead of Brick-and-Mortar Retailers’ Big Day, and from Wall Street Journal, Black Friday Shopping – With Thinner Crowds. We also learned about the Cyber Monday Results; From Business Of Fashion, Cyber Monday Sales Jump, High TrafficRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Gossiping

Retail Career (Killer) Obstacle: Gossiping 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 topics I have written about are Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness; Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop; Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant; Retail Career Obstacle: Inabiity To Think Strategically; and Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Gossiping. Retail has lots of “yentas”…and in retail gossiping is an equal opportunity sport. According to Susan Ricker, “Nearly half of employers say they would think twice before moving an employee who participates in office gossip up theRead More