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

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

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

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

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