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

Recognition in Retail

Recognition in Retail 89% of senior managers said their organization is good at showing appreciation to workers. 30% of employees gave their firms low marks when it comes to shining a light on their achievements. Unfortunately, this type of disparity in what Executive/Senior Leadership perceives to what the employees experience is nothing new. These two entities inside a retail organization work within their own bubbles and often times initiatives and programs that are believed to be functioning, go by the wayside for any number of reasons, such as: They aren’t made to be important The team leaders don’t feel recognized/appreciated so why should they recognize their team [this actually happens] They aren’t consistent It becomes a program of compliance and therefore becomes disingenuousRead 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

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

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

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with some awesome “emerging adults” about the retail industry – how it is evolving and the incredible opportunities that exist within it. It was a great time and the group was extremely smart and engaged in the topic as 52% of them were currently working in an entry level position in retail. My 60 minute presentation ended up being an almost 120 minute presentation with the Q&A portion. There were so many great questions and lively dialogs, I left them with my contact information. Over the last several days I received some great texts and IM’s from the attendees…most of them about the social exchange theory that I brieflyRead More

“Human Leadership” In Retail

Human Leadership In Retail I am a strong believer in investing in employees. Investing in training & development. Investing in recognition tools that make people [especially top performers/contributors] feel valued and appreciated. Investing in career path planning that is aligned with the company objectives and ensuring that we have the right people in the right places and ensuring that they have the tools and resources to deliver amazing results. I have always aspired to be an accessible and involved business partner to my team members. As a retail leader, I have always felt my job is 90% how my team feels, how I support them, and guide them to find their success. Recently, I read an article from the amazing and always brilliantRead 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

The Importance of Onboarding [And Red Flag Warnings To Watch For]

The Importance of Having An Onboarding Strategy [And Red Flag Warnings] Shockingly, one of every 25 employees leaves on their very first day! – Capabiliti by qustn 35% of companies spend “ZERO” dollars on onboarding. You read that correctly… $0.00 dollars, Yet, organizations with an engaging and structured onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity and 50% greater new hire retention. Companies with an engaging employee onboarding program retain 91% of their first year workers – Talentwise An Ineffective Talent Management Strategy Is Costly If you are not allocating budget to onboarding it is a pretty good guess that your talent management tools are not as effective as they could be overall. If you aren’t making the investment in tools, time, andRead More

15 Traits of A “Terrible” Retail Leader

15 Traits of A “Terrible” Retail Leader According to Monster – 38% of employees rate their leader as “horrible” – In the past week I have referenced this statistic three times, that is how important and valuable I think it is to recognize – and for those of us who are lucky enough to be leaders in our industry –  to marinade in and digest. It is also likely to be what is the reality for us, as “Retail Leaders”. Success surveyed members of the Young Entrepreneurs Council to identify what qualities make for a terrible leader. Here was their response: Lack of Transparency: Your team can tell when you are not being honest. Lack of transparency = Lack of Trust. There isRead More