Retail Competency: Ability To Self-Motivate

#Retail Competency: Ability To Self-Motivate I am pathologically self-motivated. I always have been. I graduated high-school one month after turning 16 because I was desperate to move on from traditional learning methods. I was hungry to see what was next. When first started in retail when I was 18 years old and was insanely motivated (and I worked with an amazing leadership team who saw how committed I was), I worked hard and crushed my job description and asked for additional responsibilities and within six months was promoted to a District Manager. Since then (over the course of many, many…many years) I have accomplished a lot in retail. I have learned a lot. I have continued to work on upskilling, learning, stretching toRead 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

Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness

Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness We, none of us, actually enjoy hearing about our shortcomings, or performance issues but if we truly want to achieve professional (and even personal) success we have to be open to: (a) identifying our weaknesses (and implementing a plan or seeking information on how to improve) and (b) hearing other people talk about our opportunity areas from their point-of-view. Defensiveness is one area can effect so many others in a negative way unless we learn to embrace identifying or, if we are incapable of doing so, listening to people coach us on our professional weakness. When accepting feedback from superiors or even peers and you are open to it you will set the tone that: -You take criticism asRead More

Retail Competency: Listening

#Retail Competency: Listening Listening is one of the more important personal skills you can possess in retail and one of the most under-used and/or under-developed competencies. In 2015 we have made some major changes to the way we work in our company by ensuring that we are providing an open forum for our team members to communicate with us and we have made a commitment to them to actively listen and have dialogue around how we can all improve workplace culture. We have implemented programs such as the “Stay Interview” program, which has been a huge success for our business and our employees and our Peer-To-Peer Recognition Program which allows us to truly hear, react, and respond to their needs and ideas. ActiveRead More

Productivity In Retail

Productivity In Retail This is a topic I have been reading a lot about lately now that we are in the throes of the holiday season. This topic is important to me for a couple of reasons: (1) It’s the holidays and the expectation on the field is overwhelming in some companies with tasking, managing sales, providing customer experience, six-day work weeks, people having to sacrifice their holiday to work on Thanksgiving, Hanuakkah and Christmas; (2) If you are an “exempt” employee in retail, you are expected to work excessive hours regardless of how productive or unproductive they are and; (3) There is an abundance of information available to us that shows how unproductive and unhealthy extreme hours are – regardless of industry.Read More

#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