Being Positive In Today’s Retail Landscape

Being Positive In Today’s Retail Landscape Authentically positive people inside the retail industry are rare – most retailer leaders and team members walk around with a “negativity bias“. It is an unfortunate but very real trait we encounter in most of our retail coworkers and team members. One of my greatest challenges last year was really trying to turn around this propensity of people to possess a dangerous and overwhelming sensitivity to unpleasant or negative thoughts, comments, and/or news. Research shows that because we tend to favor the negative over the positive feelings/memories that we have to have a ratio of five positive events to one negative to maintain a healthy “balance”. Given the current retail industry environment – we experience a barrageRead More

Developing Managerial Courage In Retail Leaders

Developing Managerial Courage In Retail Leaders As I mentioned in my last post, it has been a wildly busy several weeks. I am currently working on an amazing project with a company that is extremely challenged with their Store Leader level of employee. The company I am currently supporting does not invest in their people. Store leaders are selected using an outdated set of criteria – with the most important and valued “skill” that their store leaders can possess is [wait for it…] compliance. Very rarely am I working with an organization that is extremely healthy – sometimes it happens [but not very often] – in the case of this project, the company is struggling. It is struggling with its organizational culture, employeeRead More

The Out Of Touch & Toxic Retail CEO

The Out Of Touch & Toxic Retail CEO As I have mentioned before and I am so grateful for the things I have learned by writing this blog. I have met some truly incredible people. I have gained invaluable knowledge. I have actually ranked in the Top 100 Productivity Blog worldwide. This has been an amazing year so far and I am so glad to have this medium to share information, engage in vivid and colorful dialogs, and connect with other retail professional of all levels. I have also been able to support a variety of retail organizations in retail leadership and culture development in both short- and long-term capacities. One of the great lessons that I have learned is how to quicklyRead More

Toxic Retail Leadership

Toxic Retail Leadership When I created this headline I, initially, typed “Poor Retail Leadership” – but using the word “poor” brings up the idea that the leader may be okay – perhaps just not very strong. What I want to write about today is the truly bad and toxic leader and how they interfere with the growth, development, and retention of truly remarkable team members. We are witnessing the rise of toxic leaders in the retail workplace. There is so much pressure to deliver, execute, and comply in retail today that many leaders choose to lead through fear and intimidation as opposed to behaving as a supportive and inspiring business partner to their team. Someone that is committed to hiring great talent andRead More

The Benefits Of Retail Employee Development

The Benefits Of Retail Employee Development Most retail employees – regardless of current position – have designs on a more senior level than where they currently stand. And that’s a great thing. The challenge is that we are so busy keeping up with process and operations with our teams that we are unable to build in the valuable exercises that support employee development and career growth. Every single retail employee can benefit from a focused development program. Retail is such a fast-changing and fluid industry if anyone believes they are up-to-date in their development and growth – they are automatically behind. Yet it’s easily forgotten or allowed to take a back seat due to the pressure(s) of everyday business. Why? Why is employeeRead More

7 Regrettable [But Avoidable] Mistakes Retail Leaders Make

7 Regrettable [But Avoidable] Mistakes Retail Leaders Make Regardless of what level of leadership you currently are in inside the retail industry there are challenges that exist that can bring you and your team’s momentum to a screeching halt. A valuable leadership competency in retail is to possess and exhibit a high-level of self-awareness – which, in essence, means that we have to frequently step back and assess our style to determine if we are leading our teams and our own performance in the right direction and if we are optimizing our team talents in the process. If we are not, we need to reinvent our approach and upskill our style. Not Providing Feedback: Regardless of where “Delivering Fair & Balanced Feedback andRead More

8 Reasons Retail Employees Dislike Their Boss

8 Reasons Retail Employees Dislike Their Boss Research on retail leadership has, primarily, focused on best practices and what exactly makes a leader phenomenal and effective. Unfortunately, there are too many retail bosses who fall far short of being a “leader”. In fact, according to psychologists Robert Hogan and Robert Kaiser the “majority of bosses are incompetent“, primarily due to poor selection and promotion practices – the wrong people are placed in leadership position. It is impossible for incompetent leadership to attract, source, hire, or lead true talent. So they are left hiring sheep [people that can easily be managed and manipulated into compliance]. This vicious cycle permeates mid-, senior-, and level even executive field leadership – and it is hurting retail organizations.Read More

Signs You’re About To Lose Your Top Retail Employee

Signs You’re About To Lose Your Top Retail Employee As retail leaders we all need to be hyper-aware of our team member’s happiness and how, exactly, they are feeling about their role and their career path with us and with the organization we work for. I will admit when I championed a transition to quarterly “Stay Interview” I wasn’t sure what to expect or what exactly the changes it would bring to the business. After the first three quarters of stay interviews, it was clearly the right move to make and one of the greatest benefits I can attest to is the ability to identify top performers who are thinking about leaving, for whatever reason. It was an opportunity to address a topicRead More

Rescuing Your Most Valuable Retail Team Members

Rescuing Your Most Valuable Retail Team Members Building and developing a great team takes tremendous dedication and effort. As retail leaders we work tirelessly to guide and mentor our team and especially our top performers. Most of the time people leave because they are unhappy with their boss, their path, or their coworkers. Most of us have our A & B players [high-productivity & high-potential] that we are truly committed to saving. Part of the challenge of creating a high-performance retail team with an extraordinary reputation is that they are prime candidates for recruitment. Great retail leaders know talent when they see it, because it is so rare, and there needs to be a very real and actionable program in place to keepRead More

Treating Retail Employees Like Volunteers

Treating Retail Employees Like Volunteers “Engagement is a renewable daily decision that is voluntarily given when the company has proven worthy of it.” –Jason Lauritsen, Talent Anarchy Every month my nine year old son and I volunteer at a local shelter to serve lunch to the homeless. Originally this started out as a lesson to my son to appreciate the things he has but it has morphed into something we genuinely enjoy doing. It’s such a great experience because the kitchen team let’s me fix the gigantic salads – which I love doing – and working the window because I get to interact with the regulars who we have come to know. Initially my son was in charge of handing out milk butRead More

Avoiding Bad Hires In Retail

Avoiding Bad Hires In Retail According to a study by Leadership IQ: 46% of newly-hired employees will fail within 18 months 19% will achieve unequivocal success Further, the study found that 26% of new hires fail because they can’t accept feedback, 23% because they’re unable to understand and manage emotions, 17% because they lack the necessary motivation to excel, 15% because they have the wrong temperament for the job, and only 11% because they lack the necessary technical skills. While the failure rate for new hires is staggering, it is, unfortunately, not terribly surprising: 82% of managers reported that in hindsight, their job interview process with these employees evoked subtle clues that they would be headed for trouble. Résumés range from inflated truthsRead More

Is Yours A ‘Great Place To Work’?

Is Yours A ‘Great Place To Work’? Building and maintaining an employer brand that resonates with the community and public requires striking a balance between what’s good for the organization and what’s good for the organization’s people. Though this may be a seemingly impossible task for some organizations; it can be done. The brilliant minds at Glassdoor compiled a short list of the 5 traits their “Great Places to Work” winners all had in common. Here are the fundamentally shared qualities: People Matter: The genesis of great places to work starts with the people they invite onto their team. And then how those great people are ambassadors of the brand/organization and help to attract other great people. So, you have to create aRead More

Recruiting For Cultural Fit In Retail

Recruiting For Cultural Fit In Retail When it comes to the success of any retail organization, human capital is a tricky equation that’s challenging to solve. And even though most industries are willing to dig deep into their pockets with resources to recruit and retain top talent, it has been a consistent struggle for the retail industry. We consistently insist on using ATS to select a resume that fits in with the criteria the computer finds “matches” the job description. What we end up with, whether we choose to acknowledge or not, is a homogenized employee. Someone who will be amazing at following the rules and an understanding of how to mostly manage the product piece of the business. Generally, ATS will notRead More

The Genesis of Thriving Retail Workplace Cultures

The Genesis of Thriving Retail Workplace Cultures Workplace culture – it’s something that we hear [and talk about] all the time [seriously…all…the…time]!! Some retail organizations do it really well – according to Fortune & Great Places To Work here are the best retail organizations 2016: The Container Store [Ranked 14 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] REI [Ranked 26 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] Build A Bear [Ranked 45 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] Ikea [Ranked 63 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] Nordstrom [Ranked 92 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] There you have it – these are the five retailers that made the list – only one fashion company.Read 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