Adam LaRoche, The Chicago White Sox, And The Retail Leadership Parallel

Adam LaRoche, The Chicago White Sox, and Retail Leadership Parallels I am not very knowledgeable about sports but I do follow baseball because it’s my sons’ favorite.   This morning I was reading an article on Adam LaRoche exiting a $13million contract because White Sox Executive Vice President Kenny Williams told him, after five years of allowing this, that his 14 year old son, Drake, was not allowed in the clubhouse, on the field, at the drills as much as has been permitted in the past. “I just told him that he needed to dial it back, that’s all,” Williams said. “Look, I don’t want this to turn into something that makes Drake feel badly. He is such a good kid and so lovedRead 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

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

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

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

How To Energize Your Retail Team

How To Energize Your Retail Team As Retail Leaders, we have all been there – knowing that we are at a point in a project or process where our team has lost it’s momentum, enthusiasm, and direction. The general mood is not negative…it’s just…blah. Bring The Energy Back To Your Team Here are some ideas on how to bring energy back to the business and rally the team around regrouping and conquering the project when the pace slows down: Give the project a fun and inspiring name – if the project to be done is somewhat dull and uninspiring, the action to complete it will be as well.  Get the team to think of titles for the process that generate some excitement andRead More

How To Be An Influencer In The Retail Workplace

How To Be An Influencer In The Retail Workplace This weekend I am taking my children on a quick vacation for my oldest’s 9th birthday. It’s going to be a exciting and fun long weekend for them, but I did buy tickets for us to see the Van Gogh Bedroom’s Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago on Saturday. Now, if I blurted out to my boys we were heading to an art museum for a few hours of the vacation they would moan and grumble about it. So, for the past two weeks I have been using influence to share the benefits and history of seeing this amazing exhibit and drawing on our past experiences seeing the works of Van Gogh andRead More

Invested, Involved, And Interested Retail Leadership Is Important – Here’s Why…

Invested, Involved, And Interested Retail Leadership Is Important – Here’s Why… Strategy Executive Company Root conducted a survey of workplace employees and found some pretty shocking perceptions that employee have of their organizations leaders: Many workers seem to doubt the ability of leaders to make workplaces run smoothly, drive accountability, and inspire risk-taking. 43% of employees believe that individual employees, not leaders, have the biggest impact on a company’s culture; This disconnect between employees and leadership might be because 68% of workers feel that most of their company’s leaders are better at their own jobs than inspiring others to excel; Only 22% of workers feel that upper management truly has the best interests of most of their employees at heart; Only 48% ofRead More

Signs of Employee Misery In Retail

Signs of Employee Misery In Retail There are a few very obvious behaviors that employees display when they are in a great state of engagement at work: These employees find fulfillment, enthusiasm and passion in their work They are self-motivated and committed to self-development Frequently they show more attention to detail They develop a sense of ownership and pride in their work They proactively accept additional responsibility and happily take on stretch assignments They stay within the organization; thereby, improving retention Great brand ambassadors/advocates to attract new employees and customers These behaviors are critical to identify in your retail organization to ensure you are creating a challenging, interesting and intriguing work environment. A culture that supports, encourages, and energizes your employees to comeRead More

Minimizing and Managing Chaos/Crisis In Retail

Minimizing and Managing Chaos/Crisis In Retail It is likely, at some point, in every retailers career that we have experienced chaos and confusion in the workplace. It can come in many different forms but as leaders our teams will look to us to minimize the impact of confusion and bring clarity and sanity to the business. Retail is rife with process and systematic interdependancies and changes are not always predictable and clean. Each human involved in the process interprets it differently and looks at it from a different perspective and probably has their own opinion of the priorities and ways to address them. This can either bring innovative and creative solutions or it can create some serious additional confusion. So at times likeRead More

Great Retail Leaders Do These Things Every Day

Great Retail Leaders Do These Things Every Day According to a Monster survey, here is how employees rated their boss: 38% of respondents answered “1 (horrible)” 16% of respondents answered “2” 16% of respondents answered “3” 13% of respondents answered “4” 17% of respondents answered “5 (excellent)” 70% of employee’s aren’t thrilled with their manager. While only 17% rate their boss as excellent. According to Mary Ellen Slayter, Career Advice Expert for Monster. “Having an adversarial relationship with your direct superior can negatively impact your life in countless ways with daily stress and stunted career growth generally being the most common.” We know (if you don’t – you can read it here), the four non-negotiable qualities that employees have of their leaders are:Read More

Trust In The Retail Workplace

Trust In The Retail Workplace A portion of my job requires me to read…a lot…which I love. I am able to connect one topic to another, have something catch my interest that I was not very knowledgeable of. The other day I wrote an article about Retail Leaders: You Own Your Team’s Results & Satisfaction At Work and referenced the topic of trust. According to Dr. Duane Tway trust is “the state of readiness for unguarded interaction with someone or something.” As found by Harvard Business School professor, Amy Cuddy, people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you: _ Can I trust this person? (warmth)_ _ Can I respect this person? (competence)_ But in fact warmth, or trustworthiness, is the mostRead More