Treating Retail Employees Like Volunteers

Treating Retail Employees Like Volunteers “Engagement is a renewable daily decision that is voluntarily given when the company has proven worthy of it.” –Jason Lauritsen, Talent Anarchy Every month my nine year old son and I volunteer at a local shelter to serve lunch to the homeless. Originally this started out as a lesson to my son to appreciate the things he has but it has morphed into something we genuinely enjoy doing. It’s such a great experience because the kitchen team let’s me fix the gigantic salads – which I love doing – and working the window because I get to interact with the regulars who we have come to know. Initially my son was in charge of handing out milk butRead More

Warning Signs Of A Poor Retail Culture

Warning Signs Of A Poor Retail Culture When we are active [or even passive] job seekers, we conduct a lot of research on retailers and identify organizations we would be really thrilled and proud to work for/with and those that we wouldn’t consider in a million years. As I mentioned in a previous post, “20 years ago, it was absolutely possible for organizations to create an image that was manufactured by the marketing departments, but now…everyone has a say [and super fast, too]. Retailers are no longer what they say they are but what others say they are.” This has become so absolutely true. People gladly share their experiences and stories about the retail brands they are familiar with either through employment orRead More

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams

Bringing Out The Best In Our Retail Teams When it comes to hiring talent, there are two elemental strategies that work. The first is to hire the very best talent on the market; the second is to hire decent talent and help support them by bringing out the best in them. Since most retail organization are unwilling to make the investment in recruiting and retaining the top tier of talent, most of us have to go with door number two. As retail leaders we enjoy taking control of the room and leading our team. However, that doesn’t help support the growth and development of the talent that we work with. As a retail leader you’re intelligent. But your job is not to beRead More

Company Values, Done Right, Help To Drive Retail Engagement

Company Values, Done Right, Help To Drive Retail Engagement I write (and talk) a lot about company values and hiring people who share and are aligned with most, if not all, of the company values. I have only worked in three companies that spoke about their values. One of them was Disneyland and one of them was my own seasonal pop-up business. These values, combined with a compelling and energizing Mission Statement, were the driving force of the workplace cultures, delivering an exceptional customer experience, and fostering amazing workplace relationships. When you hire people in who share values on a personal level with the company, you create a foundation of understanding with which to shape other guiding principles and business practices. “The voiceRead More

Involvement In The Retail Workplace

Involvement In The Retail Workplace TinyPulse asked the question – “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your ability to make an impact here vs. at a prior employer?” The industries with the happiest employees gave a score of 8.15. The industries with the unhappiest employees gave an average score of 6.95. Then they asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much opportunity do you have for professional growth in this organization?” The happiest industry employees gave this question an average score of 7.12 for their current company. The unhappiest industries assigned this question an average score of 6.15. Finally, “On a scale of 1 to 10, do you feel like you’ll have the opportunity to reach your fullRead More

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail

Be Happy! To Be Successful And Productive In Retail Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work“, gave an incredible Ted Talk in 2011, “The Happy Secret To Better Work”: Shawn Anchor is a great presenter and delivers a truly compelling reason why we need to focus on our happiness and happy things in order to be successful and productive in the workplace. This psychology philosophy is directly counter with what we typically believe and what we are fed, daily, in life. If you don’t have time to watch the presentation – here are some of my favorite parts: If I asked a question like, “How fast can a child learnRead More

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail

The Social Exchange Theory In Retail Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with some awesome “emerging adults” about the retail industry – how it is evolving and the incredible opportunities that exist within it. It was a great time and the group was extremely smart and engaged in the topic as 52% of them were currently working in an entry level position in retail. My 60 minute presentation ended up being an almost 120 minute presentation with the Q&A portion. There were so many great questions and lively dialogs, I left them with my contact information. Over the last several days I received some great texts and IM’s from the attendees…most of them about the social exchange theory that I brieflyRead More

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team

How To Support A Collaborative Retail Team For the past three months I have been very involved in some really exciting retail consulting projects. This is a unique experience because I am learning a lot and getting to experience and identify collaborative efforts and that tools that work and some practices that do not. Two of my projects are very easy and the programs we are working through are areas that we are very much aligned and things that I am extremely familiar with. The third project is a little more complex for a few reasons, (1) There are more people involved [13 of us], (2) Our priorities/passions are not aligned, (3) We are functioning in our own silos. This project has ledRead More

“Human Leadership” In Retail

Human Leadership In Retail I am a strong believer in investing in employees. Investing in training & development. Investing in recognition tools that make people [especially top performers/contributors] feel valued and appreciated. Investing in career path planning that is aligned with the company objectives and ensuring that we have the right people in the right places and ensuring that they have the tools and resources to deliver amazing results. I have always aspired to be an accessible and involved business partner to my team members. As a retail leader, I have always felt my job is 90% how my team feels, how I support them, and guide them to find their success. Recently, I read an article from the amazing and always brilliantRead More

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead It’s nearing that time again. On the cusp of seasons changing, winter flurries are having me dreaming of spring, so start putting away those winter jackets and keeping an eye out for the hottest bathing suits. Think it’s a little premature to start considering springtime? Says who? It is never too early to start looking ahead, as it holds many benefits. Getting a mental escape from your surroundings is one way of taking a break. This should not be something that takes up hours, but every once in awhile, a pleasant thought of warmer weather is sure to bring a smile to your face. Always always always have something to look forward to. People who deal with depression and even thoseRead More

Seasonal Employees In Retail

Seasonal Employees In Retail Sitting in my home office this morning working through some business strategies, I heard my kiddos in their room talking about summer break and all of the things they want to do, places they want to go for fun over the summer. It made me realize that the summer season is, indeed, almost upon us. Much like holiday time, it is a great time to reinvigorate and infuse your team with support staff for the peak shopping season(s). There is a frequently unacknowledged reality in retail that seasonal employees are the embodiment of revolving door employees and that we need not invest in them as we would permanent employees because “they are only here for a short period ofRead More

Stop Tolerating Bad Retail Employees (That Means Leaders, Too!)

Stop Tolerating Bad Retail Employees (That Means Leaders Too)! There are two completely frustrating truths in the retail industry that have always been a little bit of an irritant: Some retail organizations still believe that length of employment is a legitimate reason to promote someone in lieu of readiness or talent or ability [another topic for another day]; Retail organizations tend to hold onto toxic employees and take a hand’s-off approach and use hope as a strategy that the people will fix themselves. First, hope is not a strategy…it can never be a strategy unless you are determined to fail. But there has always been an approach that the organization has taken that shows fear as it relates to actually cutting ties withRead More

How To Fall In Love With Your Retail Job Again

How To Fall In Love With Your Retail Job Again During this time of the year it’s hard not to reflect on love and how it makes us feel and how it excites us. Because it is Valentine’s Day I wanted to draw the correlation between how it feels to connect romantically with someone and how it feels to connect with a job and an organization that inspires and motivates us to be amazing. There isn’t a whole lot of difference, after all…they are both types of relationships. Heather Jensen writes, in  the article 7 Emotions You Feel before You Fall in Love, that the following feeling bubble ups when we start to feel…a connection: Butterflies Awkwardness Coyness Rush of Feelings You craveRead More

Fun Facts About Valentine’s Day: Retail Edition

Interesting Facts About Valentine’s Day: Retail Edition That time of year is upon us again. Yes…it’s Valentine’s Day! It’s such an interesting shopping holiday [majority of shopping is done in the six days leading up to and including the day of], stores are bleeding pink and red everywhere you look. I thought I would share some interesting and fun facts facts about this unique holiday some of which directly impacts our industry: -There are various stories about how where/when this “holiday” originated, but the most popular – from what I can find is…Valentine’s Day started from a story is about a young Roman priest named Saint Valentinus who secretly performed matrimonial ceremonies of the soldiers belonging to Claudius II. Claudius II had forbiddenRead More

The Power of Employee Happiness In Retail

The Power of Employee Happiness in Retail “If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people look forward to coming to work in the morning.” –John Mackey, Whole Foods Market The brilliant people behind TinyPulse recently published an interesting article about what job satisfaction looks statistically speaking. You can view the infographic here. But…here are the amazing findings: • Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%; • Happy employee are 12% more productive than their miserable peers [who are 10% less productive] • 67% of full-time employees with access to free food at work are “extremely” or “very” happy [this was a big benefit for our company as well, you canRead More