Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success

Setting Retail Store Managers Up For Success I engaged in a very lively Skype video conference the other day, following an article I wrote, with some colleagues and we were discussing a succession plan and, subsequent, career path planning for their organization for Store Level Leadership. As we were talking through a better process, their two greatest impediments became extremely clear: (1) that they were promoting based on time in position  and (2) that they were using the archaic succession planning process that involves “forced ranking” on an outdated and ineffective set of criteria that was developed to position the most compliant of the bunch as the most qualified for the next level [and there was no next step in place to closeRead More

The Retail Disconnect

The Retail Disconnect Sometimes during the course of reading or researching a topic I think is relevant to our industry I come across really interesting and important statistics. The challenging part is seeing that this information is so available to us but we are (a) lacking the ability to identify these challenges could apply to our organization or (b) recognizing that they do, but we are unable to create an effective plan and currently do not have the leadership capability to elevate the results in the company in learning & development and bottom line impact through customer experience. These gaps are definitely an opportunity for most retail organizations and we need a strategy around them to improve and deliver needed development to bringRead More

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams When it comes to hiring talent, there are two elemental strategies that work. The first is to hire the very best talent on the market; the second is to hire decent talent and help support them by bringing out the best in them. Since most retail organization are unwilling to make the investment in recruiting and retaining the top tier of talent, most of us have to go with door number two. As retail leaders we enjoy taking control of the room and leading our team. However, that doesn’t help support the growth and development of the talent that we work with. As a retail leader you’re intelligent. But your job is not to beRead More

Best Ways to Lead a Happy & Productive Retail Team

Best Ways to Lead A Happy & Productive Retail Team There is a significant misconception about what retail leadership is. Many view it as an elevation in rank and title that puts you “in charge” of everybody else, making you the authoritative figure on everything your team does. There needs to be a huge shift in this old mindset. To grow a team that produces fabulous work and delivers results, a leader needs to see themselves not as “the boss”, but a business partner and a talent-nurturer.  With the leadership title you become responsible for the success and growth of your team members, and that is a huge and important responsibility. Leaders are supposed to help unleash and nurture the talents within theirRead More

Top Reasons Retailers Lose Their Best Talent

Top Reasons Retailers Lose Their Best Talent Large and small retail companies share the common challenge of keeping their best and brightest talent in the organization. Companies lose amazing talent every single day and believe that they are exiting the business because of a better opportunity, more money, because they want a change. They are usually leaving not because they really want to – but because they feel compelled to. Here are some of the most common reasons that retailers lose their top talent: No Discussion Around Career Development/Path. You know the pedestrian question we used to ask in interviews “Where do you think you’ll be in 5 years?” Most people don’t know the answer to that. However, everyone wants to and deserves toRead More

Getting The Best From Your Retail Team

Getting The Best From Your Retail Team If there is one thing every retail leader can depend on, it’s that there is no shortage of change in the retail marketplace. The reality is that every retail organization has to contend with aggressive competition looking to improve or disrupt the retail environment. Lots are successful. Others simply create confusion that wastes time and resources.  Whether you lead a field team or corporate team, sooner or later you will be faced with the need to change things up, evolve the business, or elevate results. You could just simply tell your team to get creative with solutions/ideas but, without clarity, that may result in useless ideas and frustrated employees. Not establishing a culture that supports thisRead More

Success Starts With The Retail Leader

Success Starts With The Retail Leader As a leader, you do have a choice as to how you prioritize your time and the components of the business that you have an impact on; there are unlimited possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you delegate to others. How do you determine the where to focus your efforts? How to use your knowledge and experience? What has the greatest impact and what will deliver the great value to the business? It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where OTHERS will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there. –  Roy Osing By focusing on the high-impact, high-value decisionsRead More

Involvement In The Retail Workplace

Involvement In The Retail Workplace TinyPulse asked the question – “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your ability to make an impact here vs. at a prior employer?” The industries with the happiest employees gave a score of 8.15. The industries with the unhappiest employees gave an average score of 6.95. Then they asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much opportunity do you have for professional growth in this organization?” The happiest industry employees gave this question an average score of 7.12 for their current company. The unhappiest industries assigned this question an average score of 6.15. Finally, “On a scale of 1 to 10, do you feel like you’ll have the opportunity to reach your fullRead More

Hiring “Great” Talent vs. Hiring “Good Enough” Talent In Retail

Hiring “Great” Talent vs. Hiring “Good Enough” Talent In Retail I frequently hear from my colleagues how frustrated they are with their team’s turnover and how difficult it is to hire talent that is the right fit for the role, the culture, and the customer. No doubt, it is a very challenging reality that we deal with – but so much of what we experience is self-inflicted because we are working with antiquated and outdated tools/processes, job descriptions, useless applicant tracking systems, irrelevant training materials, and “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” beliefs. We are creating impediments in our business as we insist on committing sabotage by email, sabotage by meetings, and sabotage by not investing the time and budgets needed time to update our recruiting/hiring practices, onboarding,Read More

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work“, gave an incredible Ted Talk in 2011, “The Happy Secret To Better Work”: Shawn Anchor is a great presenter and delivers a truly compelling reason why we need to focus on our happiness and happy things in order to be successful and productive in the workplace. This psychology philosophy is directly counter with what we typically believe and what we are fed, daily, in life. If you don’t have time to watch the presentation – here are some of my favorite parts: If I asked a question like, “How fast can a child learnRead 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

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

What Is CRM in Retail And Why It’s Important

Customer Relationship Management Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the principles, practices, and guidelines that an organization follows when interacting with its customers. From the organization’s point of view, this entire relationship not only encompasses the direct interaction aspect, such as sales and/or service related processes, but also in the forecasting and analysis of customer trends and behaviors, which ultimately serve to enhance the customer’s overall experience. [Source: Investopedia] CRM is more than just creating a list of names and email address [which is usually a direction issued to the store teams to do]. CRM allows retail organizations to build comprehensive records and profiles of every customer that engages with their brand. In a time when every retailer, in order to thrive andRead 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

Finding Balance In Retail During the Holidays

There is no doubt that working in retail we don’t necessarily have time to personally enjoy the holidays as we want to (or should). The holidays are chaotic but very energizing to those of us who have chosen retail as our field. Day-by-day from Halloween through Christmas Eve our work lives have returned to the cyclical holiday traditions of retail and are gravitating towards hectic. However, we should all be able to step back and find the time to relax and enjoy the moments we can with our families and friends. One of the best changes we made in 2015 to our workplace holiday program was to move our holiday party to after January 1st so that ALL employees could attend and theirRead More