#RetailProblems on Twitter

#RetailProblems On Twitter Especially during this time of year I like to check out #RetailProblems on Twitter. It gives you a snapshot as to what is happening in the field in Retail and what the frustrations are for the employees who work directly in the stores and with customers. I do this so that I can proactively address any irritations that may exist in our business that can, potentially, pull focus away from business, harm employee engagement, and help support anything that we can improve upon that may have been missed in holiday planning. If you do a search on #retailproblems and #retaillife you will see some funny and relevant anecdotes (that we have all experienced) about issues that exist in retail andRead More

Retail Resolutions For The New Year

Retail Resolutions for the New Year New Year’s 2016 is only a few weeks away. For the next couple of weeks we are going to be extremely busy! The field teams will be busy creating amazing customer experiences, getting product in by the truck-load, getting that product on the floor, keeping pace with increased traffic in the stores. It is a very exciting time. Corporate teams are prepping for next year and post-holiday planning. However…once the holiday season comes to a conclusion and things get back to business as usual…it can be a challenge, for some, to go from such excitement back to the normal pace of non-holiday retail. It is always surprising how, post-holiday, everything comes to a, seemingly, screeching halt…the storesRead More

Retail Meetings: How To Make Them Efficient & Effective

Meetings In Retail – How To Make Them Efficient and Effective Meetings…UGH!! Am I right?!? Meetings and conference calls are , frequently, met with a very exaggerated eye roll in retail! They, often, lack inspiration and substance. It’s time to reinvent and structure meetings in a different way in retail. Earlier today I read a great quote from the great Megan Biro of TalentCulture about meetings: “Meetings are certainly the canary in the coalmine; in an authentically transparent company, they reflect everything about that company, including its message and mission.” Everything, all business practices, need to relate back to the company values and mission/vision. Ask yourself – Is the time spent on this meeting and in the meeting going to produce positive, effective,Read More

Celebrating Top Performers In Retail

Top Performers In #Retail I recently read a blog post by Jon Ingham of the “Strategic HCM Blog” regarding a Harvard Business Review article by Ram Charan that stated “2% of people drive 98% impact”. Here is the link to that blog post: Ram Charan’s 2% of the People Drive 98% Impact The accuracy of the statistic is definitely questionable but there is no doubt there are certainly those who are top performers and extremely important to the business. In retail this typically means: that they are top contributors to the business levers that their department is measured on; they are skilled at recruiting talent and filling open positions quickly with right fit people; that they’re on-time (or frequently early) with their projects/deliverables;Read 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

Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop

Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop With the New Year quickly approaching I thought I would cover some topics that are opportunities in retail as professional resolutions for 2016. The first topic I wrote about was #Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have encountered in my career: Self-Development. I am obsessed with self-development because retail, generally, doesn’t have a great track record with training and development or truly investing in the future growth of their employees. Typically, we are hired into roles because we possess the skills needed to positively impact the job description and the competencies that the company feels are relevant to the role. We receive operational training on compliance and policies and that’sRead More

Scared of Feedback From Your Team? That’s a You Issue

Scared Of Feedback From Your #Retail Team? That’s a YOU Issue One of the biggest challenges I faced when I introduced the Stay Interview Program at work, which includes employee surveys and opportunity for feedback on the senior and executive leadership of the company, was the company leadership’s concern that the feedback would consist of kvetching about “the bosses”. My position was that that would give us the temperature of the team and at least a starting point for culture conversations and programs and where we needed to focus our efforts first. It was the start of this exciting #NewWayToWork – why wasn’t the leadership team more enthusiastic? After the first installment of the survey’s were returned, I compiled the feedback – categorizingRead More

Secrets To Being Successful In Retail

Secrets To Being Successful In #Retail Merriam-Webster defines success as this: (a) the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame; (b) the correct or desired result of an attempt; and (c) someone or something that is successful; or a person or thing that succeeds Here are some core competencies of successful people in Retail -Opportunity-Seeking -Initiative -Persistence -Goal Setting -Communication -Fulfilling of Commitments -Calculated Risk Taking -Information Seeking/Self-Development -Persuasion -Influence -Independence -Teamwork -Listening -Concern for quality products -Efficiency -Systematic Planning -Self-Confidence -Assertiveness -Master Strategist -Compassion/Empathy -Decisive -Innovative -Passionate -Direct -Ownership of Results -Sense of Urgency -Self-Discipline I know this list probably seems a little intimidating but most successful people have these competencies hard-wired into their personalities. What I mean by “hard-wired”Read More

Dynamics Of Highly Productive Teams

Dynamics Of Highly Productive #Retail Teams In a previous post I have written about Celebrating Top Performers In #Retail and about how we need to recognize and appreciate the “A” players on our teams. I have been very lucky and honored to work with some teams where everyone was a contributing “A” player and wanted to share some of those team qualities that make a successful and highly productive (and profitable) team. The individuals who made up these amazing teams all understood a few things: (1) where we were going, (2) wanted to join each other on the journey, (3) were committed to perservering when there were obstacles, and (4) were kind and supportive of each other along the way – always! (1)Read More

Poor Performing Teams (And How To Make Them Stronger)

Poor Performing Teams In #Retail (and How To Make Them Stronger) In my work experience I have stepped into roles that were considered very business challenged. Results were soft, teams were incredibly underdeveloped and disengaged, deliverables were consistently late, service levels were sub-par. In one instance I stepped into a business that was ranked 138 out of 141 in performance. The team was of the mindset that they just worked in a challenging market and were unable to do any better. My predecessor had been in the role for 24 years and admitted that, for the last two years of employment, they had “checked out”. It was definitely one of the biggest challenges I faced. The team wasn’t used to coaching, feedback, accountability,Read More

Strategies For Becoming A Top Performer

Strategies For Becoming a Top PerfoRmer in #Retail As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have worked in the retail industry for approximately 18 years. In that period of time I have worked for many inspiring (and some not so inspiring) people in a variety of roles. I have aspired, in my career, to be an inspirational leader to my team members based on the qualities of the leaders I most admire. Even some of my less inspiring leaders have taught me a lot about what “not” to do to ensure I was the most effective and engaging leader possible. In my career I have also had some amazing team members that I have been fortunate to work with who were openRead More

Work/Life Balance

Work-Life Balance In #Retail I have been in retail for approximately 18 (sigh) years. I have worked in large, very-organized, and structured companies. I have also worked in smaller, start-up like organizations. Even though these businesses were extremely different in many ways – they did have some significant similarities. Two of these similarities are a tremendously heavy workload and lack work-life balance . WHY? Why do exorbitant hours worked really = someone who is considered a productive or loyal team member? Why isn’t high-quality of work the sign of a highly-productive, loyal, engaged team member? Or retention? Or metric performance? Or team happiness? Or efficiency? Or the ability to be a top performer and support others with their responsibilities? Remember the movie “TheRead More