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

Questions, Questions, and More Questions

 Questions, Questions, And More Questions -Do cats get scoliosis? -Why do lightbulbs burn out? -What are bricks made out of? -How do 2-way mirrors work? -What does the barometer reading mean? -How often do volcanoes explode? -How do batteries work? -How do airplanes fly? -Why do you listen to weird music? Yesterday was a snow day so my sons were home from school. The questions above were some of the questions I remember from yesterday…there were hundreds. Some I was able to answer, some I directed them to look up on the internet or in their books, some I was unable to answer but curious about as well so we “investigated” the answer together. It was a fun day of learning things thatRead More

Annoying Employees? Difficult Colleagues? Here’s How To Handle That

Difficult Employees? Colleagues? Here’s How To Handle That I once read that in life we should be able to build rapport and have a genuine feeling of “like” for 85% of the people we meet/interact with. Which means that 15% of people we just are unable to connect with and no matter how we try we just won’t like, and vice versa 15% of the people we interact with won’t much care for us either. There are all sorts of personalities in the retail workplace and that’s one of the great things about our industry – how we embrace diversity and inclusion. Our variety of perspectives and points-of-view allow for shared ideas and solutions for improved results. Understanding that we are not designedRead More

The 3 E’s – Engage, Enchant, and Energize

My 3 E-nitiatives For 2016: Engage, Enchant, and Energize One of my commitments to my teams this year is to create and share only content that will: -Engage -Enchant -Energize I am calling this My 3 E-nitiative For 2016. Most of us who have spent time in Retail have been through a multitude of training modules, programs, seminars, and orientations in our retail background that have been redundant, or our skill set exceeded the material, or…even better…we knew more than the person training us (How annoying and ineffective, right?). This immediately creates a risk of disengaging your audience. Since such a big part of my job is training and development and my audience is entry level to executive, it is so important forRead More

Retail Onboarding Best Practices

Retail Onboarding Best Practices Effectively onboarding new hires is definitely an opportunity in the retail industry. The assumption being, a lot of times, that the team member is a “revolving door employee” and quickly jump ship if recruited by another company or continue looking for a job that pays them slightly more. Did you know though that “Only 12% of employees leave a job for more pay” (Source: TalentWise). Therefore, the opportunity to create a career-focused environment that delivers meaning & purpose is missed and there is no compelling reason for them to stay. If you have a program for engaging your new hire from the candidate experience while interviewing through the training process you stand a greater chance of retaining your newRead 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 Meetings: How To Make Them Efficient & Effective

Meetings In Retail – How To Make Them Efficient and Effective Meetings…UGH!! Am I right?!? Meetings and conference calls are , frequently, met with a very exaggerated eye roll in retail! They, often, lack inspiration and substance. It’s time to reinvent and structure meetings in a different way in retail. Earlier today I read a great quote from the great Megan Biro of TalentCulture about meetings: “Meetings are certainly the canary in the coalmine; in an authentically transparent company, they reflect everything about that company, including its message and mission.” Everything, all business practices, need to relate back to the company values and mission/vision. Ask yourself – Is the time spent on this meeting and in the meeting going to produce positive, effective,Read More

Deadly Sins Of Communication

Deadly Sins of Communication in Retail I recently read an article on HBR.com titled “The Top Complaints from Employees About Their Leaders“. According to the article “91% of employees say communications issues can drag executives down“. The article cited that there is a “clear lack of #emotionalintelligence among business leaders” that culminates in the following leadership traits: bullying, narcissism, micromanaging, etc. Here are a couple of the statistics that really stood out to me -Not recognizing employee achievements (63%) -Not giving clear directions (57%) -Not having time to meet with employees (52%) -Refusing to talk to subordinates (51%) -Not knowing employees names (36%) Some additional communication faux pas’ I have witnessed: -Using excessive profanity in verbal communication -Gossiping about subordinates or co-workers toRead More