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

Retail Career Obstacle: Gossiping

Retail Career (Killer) Obstacle: Gossiping 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 topics I have written about are Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness; Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop; Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant; Retail Career Obstacle: Inabiity To Think Strategically; and Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Gossiping. Retail has lots of “yentas”…and in retail gossiping is an equal opportunity sport. According to Susan Ricker, “Nearly half of employers say they would think twice before moving an employee who participates in office gossip up theRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team

#Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team On my list of Top 3 disheartening phrases I heard last week was “I just need to hire some bodies”. These words are the kiss of death for a store’s productivity and profitability. I have previously referenced a quote by Eric Ryan that I think is fabulous “Mediocre hires are like empty calories. They make you bigger, but less healthy.” This is incredibly true of field teams and something that I am constantly managing with my Store Managers when I am in the field. I have implemented Stay Interviews in our business to be able to identify common areas of opportunity on teams through feedback and dialogue with each and every team member in eachRead More

How To Have “Happy Holidays” In Retail

How To Have Happy Holidays In #Retail This is “go time” in Retail and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. The pace increases, daily sales increase, foot traffic increases, you have seasonal team members to infuse some new perspectives and excitement into the business! If the Store Managers in the field are truly behind the metrics – hourly reads are taken and shared with the team and everyone in the store is aligned with crushing plans and LY’s! It can be seriously exhilarating! In order to have a truly smooth and productive holiday season though, there needs to be a partnership between the field and corporate teams. I have been involved holiday seasons that were flawless and holiday seasonsRead 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

Retail Career Obstacle: Inability To Think Strategically

#Retail Career Obstacle: Inability To Think Strategically 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 topics I have written about are #Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness, #Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop,and #Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Inability To Think Strategically The nature of retail today demands that we are constantly assessing our priorities and processes and reacting to the changing pace of our retail environment. Strategy can take us from reactive to proactive in most cases. Merriam-Webster defines strategy as (a) a careful plan or method for achievingRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant

Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious And Arrogant 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 topics I have written about are #Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness and #Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Excessively Ambitious And Arrogant. We have all experienced the office or field blowhard. A colleague, past or present, that constantly talks about how smart, what a savvy leader they are, how amazing they are but cannot produce real results to save their lives? We have all come across this person, probably more than one, in our careers. TheyRead 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

Creativity In Retail

Creativity in Retail Aside from the obvious, that probably popped into you mind, creativity in retail is beneficial in all areas of the business. Clearly, those of us who love Visual Merchandising and creating moments and visual experiences for our customers understand the tangible “creativity”. It used to be that people were categorized in various compartments inside retail. Certainly people that were more “operationally” driven or analytical couldn’t be more creatively inclined and vice versa…the “creative” ones whose forte is visuals and building a beautiful display or a aesthetically perfect denim wall couldn’t possibly be strong in operations. Thankfully, that is not the case any longer (even though titles still exist) and people have found that there is a tremendous amount of creativityRead 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

Successful Time Management

Retail Time Management We live in an amazing time. We have access to so much information to help us be better at almost everything. As I coach people in retail and mentor people I find that there is a consistent opportunity to work on a few basic competencies that are more challenging, but that are necessary, to build a foundation for successful retail leadership and one of the key competencies of successful retail leaders is high-productivity. There are a couple of key components to being highly-productive that are opportunity to a lot of new retail leaders: -Time Management -Planning -Delegation Here is the good news…they all impact one another in the workplace so if you choose one to start with – it willRead 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

Hire Innovators and Let Them Innovate

Hire Innovators And Then Let Them Innovate One of my favorite questions when I am interviewing candidates is, “Which is more important – creativity or following policy to the letter?”. I like this question because I really enjoy working with smart, creative, confident thought leaders. The people that answer “creativity” frequently go on to tell me how they made a process or situation better using common sense or innovation to devise the tools they needed. These people are, typically, strong in self-development, asking for stretch assignments and for being highly-productive and proactive with their metric accountability, staffing and people issues, and their time-management. In my experience, the people that answer “following policy” are the people that say they can execute their essential jobRead More