Inspiring The Future Of Retail Productivity & Organizational Health

Inspiring The Future Of Retail Productivity & Organizational Health I have the unique and invaluable experience, over the past several months to connect with lots of different retail organizations and get to know team members inside the organization from C-Level leadership to Part-Time Sales Associates. One of the most interesting constants I encounter when I am learning about the business is that on the list of business obstacles – the people piece usually falls toward the bottom of the issues. In recent months I have heard about marketing concerns, product availability/allocation issues, operational challenges – I have even heard rationalizations relating to the weather, the finicky customer – very rarely do senior- and executive-leadership truly assess their people component and readily identify opportunityRead More

Boosting Employee Morale In Retail

Boosting Employee Morale In Retail According to Sociologist and Harvard Professor Alexander Leighton, “morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.” Mr Leighton spoke to the fact that morale is particularly important during times of challenges and controversy. As most retail organizations continue to fix their profit and customer experience issues we are wearing away at the morale that we desperately need to drive results. Leaders, particularly those who are responsible for the customer facing teams, must know how to inspire and maintain a high-level of morale if they are committed to success and excellence for their team. Unfortunately, it is all to common that morale is measured by theRead More

The Dangers Of The Status Quo In Retail

The Dangers Of The Status Quo In Retail In almost every single retail workplace there is an accepted and established way of doing things. These are policies, processes, and procedures that someone developed and deemed a “best practice” along the way. Often these processes are defined when a policy is launched – sometimes the practice is updated or minimally reshaped but so frequently it is established and then forgotten and the employees are still required to follow the accountability to the letter – without question. Not updating, eliminating, or overhauling the status quo can be a very dangerous and destructive path to choose in today’s retail climate. Working under the umbrella of the status quo during this precarious time leads to the vastRead 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

Adding Value To Your Retail Organization

Adding Value To Your Retail Organization Something that has become of a bit of a buzz-phrase in retail is “adding value”. However, this is actually kind of a big deal and something that great retail team members understand. From a leadership perspective: When we invite – by recruiting and sourcing talent – people onto our teams we are inviting them for a few reasons [or at least we should be]: They would complement our company culture; They would complement our team dynamic; They display some/most of the critical success factors that define our top performers; They would be a benefit and future leader in the organization; They are seemingly aligned with the organization’s vision and values; They are passionate about their career pathRead More

Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand

Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand According to the “Employees Rising” study from Weber Shandwick, social encouragement has an outsized impact on employer advocacy among employees. For example, employees with socially-encouraging employers are significantly more likely to help boost sales than employees whose employers aren’t socially encouraging (72% vs. 48%, respectively). Makes sense. The study goes on to say that: “One in five employees (21%) is estimated to be an employee activist, and another 33% have high potential to be employee activists. As the movement grows at an increasing speed, employers have an enormous opportunity to engage and capitalize on these powerful advocates, or risk missing out on an important group of supporters and, at worst, fail to curtail detractors whoRead More

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them As I was writing the article “Retail Productivity & Morale Killers“, my objective was to – in that same article – provide some ideas on how to turn challenging cultures around and deliver a greater level of happiness to your team when morale starts to erode or your team hits a rough patch in their path to deliver excellence. Turned out there was too much to write about with JUST the causes for the issues so I thought I would dedicate another post to this topic and share some statistics and ideas on how to minimize this productivity killer. As a senior level retail leader I force myself, though I may want to denyRead More

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers The other day I wrote about Retail Leadership Credibility Killers, these were specific unfortunate things that retail leaders do that erodes their ability to earn and/or maintain trustworthiness and credibility with their colleagues.  One of my favorite and most rewarding parts of this blog is receiving messages and emails from incredible retail leaders with comments or questions that spark an engaging dialog. One of these conversations around the credibility killers got me thinking about other behaviors we exhibit or choices that we make that not only reflect poorly on our leadership brand but that can really injure the culture of the business. Common Issues That Hurt Morale & Productivity In Retail Lack of training & development opportunities ChaoticRead More

Providing Performance Guidance In Retail

Providing Performance Guidance In Retail This is not the first post I have done on performance feedback, candor, and guidance and it probably won’t be the last because it is such a common “miss” inside retail that is hurting the industry. I grew up with a father who was an amazing business man who also happened to be a labor attorney – though inventing and business were his passions and where he found his success – that didn’t stop him from keeping up with employment/labor law and sharing what he learned with me as I was growing up, and how it translated to the business world. I have always maintained an interest in keeping up with “retail impacting” employment law stories and developmentsRead More

Why Is Retail So Bad At Picking Great Leaders?

Why Is Retail So Bad At Picking Great Leaders? 60 Chief Executives were surveyed and virtually all of them said that recruiting and promoting leadership with true long-term/high-level leadership potential was the key ingredient to their organization’s long-term success. However, the CEOs were then quick to admit that this task is much easier said than done. Retail is great at hiring people who have experience inside similar organizations and finding those “bodies” through an ATS  that sifts through submitted resumes to weed out those that don’t have the desired retail brands in their work history. But what does past experience with a specific brand really tell us about how that person can drive results? What their value is to the business? Can THEYRead More

Qualities Of The Top Retail Leaders

Qualities Of The Greatest Retail Leaders Somewhere, once upon a time, I heard that there were 60 common attributes used to assess leaders in any industry – but there are nine qualities that separate the “good enough” leader [there are lots of these in retail] with the exceptional leaders [there aren’t nearly enough of these in retail]. Why are we swimming in a sea of mediocrity? My opinion – (1) Because retail organizations aren’t prepared to compensate top performers fairly because they are afraid it will hurt the feelings of the “good enough” and poor performers and then mayhem will occur [aka: litigation]. (2) Retail organizations are, mostly, uninspired, and – frankly – bad when it comes to recognition and appreciation. (3) RetailRead More

Qualities of Unstoppable Retail Teams

Qualities of Unstoppable Retail Teams The success of retail businesses boils down to relationships. After all – that is the business we are in. We build relationships with our customer through providing an exceptional experience for them. We do this most effectively by creating and supporting a culture of great workplace collaboration to achieve business goals and objectives. In great places to work – retail leaders support their teams by providing inspiration and motivation, empathy, and involvement to support career growth and development of career capital. The secret to success for any retail team is the ability to understand the, mostly, unspoken needs that each employee has of their business partners, colleagues, and peers. There is a huge opportunity to drive collaboration andRead More

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience “Retail is a customer business. You’re trying to take care of the customer—solve something for the customer. And there’s no way to learn that in the classroom or in the corner office…” – Erik Nordstrom, Co-President, Nordstrom Inc. Nordstrom is known for delivering exceptional service. Erik Nordstrom, despite being part of the family that owns the company, worked his way up inside the family’s organization and had experience in various departments in the business. This experience helped him understand the retail business on a granular level first, thus enabling him to perform better in a variety of leadership roles inside the Nordstrom organization as his responsibilities grew. As retail leaders, even the ones in the home office,Read More

Simple Ways To Overcome Complacency in Retail

Simple Ways To Overcome Complacency in Retail A few days ago I wrote an article on Complacency In Retail, when I was writing it I actually didn’t expect it to get a lot of traction or attention. But after reading news story after news story last week about how broken and in peril retailers have become I definitely believe complacency to be a real issue – a self-inflicted issue by organizations – that some are failing to acknowledge. If WE want to succeed – WE have to change, WE have to adapt and be flexible to the changes the customer expects, WE have to identify and proactively react to reality of the obstacles we face, WE have to shape incredible experiences that deliverRead More