Key Focus Items 2016

#Retail Leadership: Key Focus Items 2016 I have said it before and I will say it again – there is so much amazing information at our fingertips that it is totally criminal if we don’t put a plan into place to focus on topics that can improve, support, and boost growth of our team members and a continued healthy and happy workplace culture. Recently, there was a great article posted on TLNT written by Cynthia A. Hedricks on, The 8 Things That References Say Candidates Need To Improve On. Here are the highlights: -Being more sociable -Asking for help -Showing patience with others -Better team orientation -Listening carefully -Being open to the ideas and opinions of others -Sharing information with others -Building relationshipsRead More

Retail Resolution: Use Your Accrued Vacation (All Of It!)

  2016 Retail Resolution – Use Your Vacation Time…All Of IT! On December 10th, Globoforce published a great blog post, ‘Tis The Season To Use Your Vacation. I have always read how important it is to use vacation time and step away from work but this article really quantified and qualified the importance of this. Here are some of the biggest takeaways: –“Americans are taking less vacation than at any point in the last forty years–just 16 vacation days today, down from an average of over 20 days taken 15 years ago.” This ‘lost week’ of vacation “is wiping out vacation traditions and taking a heavy toll, particularly on children.” –“Working parents may think they are shielding their children from work stress, butRead More

Toxic Employees In Retail

Toxic Employees In #Retail The New Year is synonymous with change and a fresh start both personally & professionally. In several of my previous posts I mention separating ones self from negative influences in your professional life. Working to align yourself with people that will make you better, support your growth, inspire positive results and productivity…that is fundamental for your personal brand and professional reputation. What, exactly, is a toxic employee in retail? A toxic employee is someone who deliberately inflicts harm to a company’s morale and productivity through intentionally subversive behavior. According to a recently published Harvard study, “The data suggests that toxic people drive other employees to leave an organization faster and more frequently, which generates huge turnover and training costs,Read More

Dysfunctional Retail Workplaces

Dysfunctional Retail Workplaces Dysfunctional Retail Workplaces have three things in abundance: (1) Chaos & Confusion (2) Apathy (3) Sheep In my retail career, as I suspect is similar to everyone’s story, I have worked in very organized and deliberate organizations that found value in bringing in smart, innovative, emotionally mature employees. I have also worked in extremely dysfunctional environments. These were environments where I had to create my own little culture bubble for my team and be courageous enough to take control of the business for the best results we could achieve. When I recollect my workplace cultures that the organizations executives created/allowed, I have two that I can honestly say were truly and absolutely dysfunctional. According to Merriem-Webster the definition for dysfunctionRead More

How To Set Your Retail Team Up For Success in 2016

How To Set Your #Retail Team Up For Success In 2016 As I am typing this post we are only 42 days from celebrating the New Year. If you read the business section of any (reputable) news website or read any online retail industry publications, such as Retailing Today and Retail Industry News @ About, there is already speculation around how the retail landscape will change in 2016. Times can be challenging in retail but if you focus your area of responsibility at work on what you can do to deliver a positive, happy, productive, collaborative and profitable contribution to your business. We know what employees want to be productive and happy at work: -Honest and Transparent Communication -Meaningful Workplace Relationships -Work/Life BalanceRead More

Fundamentals for Building an Effective Training Program

Fundamentals For Building Effective #Retail Training Program When I speak to other Retail Culture or Training & Development leaders I can almost hear them (or see them) cringe when I explain that our Training Program is an 8-12 months investment in our new hires and our employees. But then, I am able to help them understand through our retention, profits, and employee engagement results how effective our program is. In 2012 when I created our training program I, literally, had to start from scratch. Even though I had worked in retail for 16 years, at that point, I’d never really experienced great training as a new hire and I had NEVER been developed (other than my personal passion to self-develop). Training, typically, revolvedRead More

70% of Employees Quit Their Jobs Everyday

70% of Retail Employees Quit Their Jobs Everyday (But They Still Keep Showing Up For Work) According to Gallup – 70% of your employees can become disengaged on any given day for a number of reasons. If, according to Harvard Business Review, at Best Buy the value of a 0.1% increase in Employee Engagement in a particular store is $100,000…just think of how employee dis-engagement effects productivity and profitability. In my post “Why Good People Quit In #Retail (And What Compels Them To Stay)” I cover some of the main reasons that people actually leave their jobs. In this post I want to cover a little more about how to keep the teams engaged at work. (A) Employees can become critically disengaged whenRead More

Why Good People Quit Their Retail Company (And What Compels Them To Stay)

Why Good People Quit Their Retail Company (And What Compels Them To Stay) The workplace has all different ways of measuring and assessing “human capital” facts to plan for a variety of expected business changes and to forecast future changes. For example, according to this story from HBR, At Best Buy the value of a 0.1% increase in employee engagement at a particular store is $100,000! Additionally, the article states: Employee attrition can be less of a problem when managers see it coming. Sprint has identified the factors that best foretell which employees will leave after a relatively short time. (Hint: Don’t expect a long tenure from someone who hasn’t signed up for the retirement program.) Interesting, right? I have written several postsRead More

Retail Workplace Happiness

Focusing On Retail Workplace Happiness The Retail Candidate Experience during the interviewing process should reflect the experience that the candidate will have through the onboarding process as a new hire. According to the SHRM Foundation “Organizations say effective onboarding improved retention rates by 52%”. When employees feel the company cares about their growth & development they are happier and more productive at work. When employees feel the company cares about their growth & development they are happier and more productive at work. According to Megan Biro of TalentCulture there are five key things that help deliver Employee Happiness – (1) Pay fairly, (2) Deliver awesome benefits, (3) Keep an open leadership door & mind, (4) Share the profits, and (5) make your workplaceRead More

Supporting and Inspiring Change In Retail

Supporting and Inspiring Change In Retail There is an adage that goes “Only three things are certain in life: Birth, Death, and Taxes”. Over the past many years I can, without reservation, add “constant evolution and change in retail” to this list. AND I think that those of us who have been in retail for a while actually enjoy that quality of the business. Change represents challenge and newness to strong leaders. Creative people, especially, enjoy change, it gives us the opportunity to positively communicate change to our teams, we also can, usually, find a fun way to support the team with dealing with the change. Unfortunately, not everyone in retail embraces change. Here is great infographic for why change fails at times.Read More

Leadership Transparency In Retail

Leadership Transparency in #Retail I saw this cartoon clip the other day and actually laughed out loud. Then I realized how frequently this situation actually occurs and then it was a little less funny. I remember on a number of occasions joking with my VP of Stores or Company President that I needed a crystal ball to figure out what was happening and what coworkers were thinking. As a leader, I am a strong proponent of sharing. I share a lot with candidates and team members because I want them to feel empowered that they have the information and knowledge to make smart, educated decisions. Knowledge is power and clarity and transparency is paramount to success – both for individuals and collective teams.Read More

Employee Referral Program

  The Importance Of A #Retail Employee Referral Program Things you may not know about Employee Referrals: -The #1 source for quality new hires -Retention of referrals is higher than any other source -Referrals that are hired produce more profit -Referrals are more likely to be a “cultural fit” than other hires -One out of every five referrals gets hired (saving time & $ on recruitment) Great refers great to a great place to work! It is an absolute that Employee Referral Programs produce higher-caliber candidates. There are several ways to institute a program at your workplace: -Internal communication methods (emails,newsletters,call-to-action meetings) -Social Media platforms -Contests -Make your workplace great and the referrals will follow The most effective way to find right-fit candidatesRead More

Peer-To-Peer Recognition Programs

Peer-To-Peer Recognition Program in Retail One of the most effective programs I have introduced into my business in the past nine months has been a formal Peer-To-Peer Recognition Program. As discussed in previous posts, work relationships are a huge factor in workplace happiness for employees. A big part of cultivating a culture that supports healthy work relationships is to allow the employees to recognize each other for what they bring to the business, how they epitomize the company values, or how they support their co-workers. What is Peer-To-Peer Recognition? According to Baudville it is the “genuine expression of appreciation exchanged between co-workers“. What does Peer-To-Peer Recognition do? It increases visibility for employee achievements (both individual & collectively), it connects employees across locations, andRead More

Stay Interviews

In previous posts I have mentioned “Stay Interviews” and what a great tool they are as it relates to company culture. I thought I would take this opportunity to expand on this program and how powerful it can be to Workplace Happiness and Career Growth for employees. As far as the traditional annual performance review goes, you can see in the graphic to the left that a good majority of employees don’t believe this to be a true indicator of their performance. According to an SHRM survey even “90% of HR professionals do not believe their companies performance appraisals provide accurate information”. It is clearly a time for change and reinvention of the process. Transitioning to a “Stay Interview” model in many retailRead More