Engaging & Leading An Inherited Retail Team

Engaging & Leading An Inherited Retail Team In retail we are incredibly lucky if we have the opportunity to build a team from scratch, usually, – however – when we enter into a new business we inherit an established team. Sometimes, especially for the most ambitious and determined retail leaders, this can be a very challenging scenario.  Stepping in as the leader of an existing team must be approached with sensitivity and patience, especially when you are new to the company and team. Here are some thoughts on how to get to know, successfully engage, and lead an inherited team to amazing results: Avoid coming in with a preconceived, detailed plan: Chances are you’re being hired to fill a void and address currentRead More

Strategies For Handling Lying In The Retail Workplace

Strategies For Handling Lying In The Retail Workplace Most people lie. It just is a fact. A depressing fact. We working in an industry where hidden agendas, covering up errors, assigning blame, and outright lying is an unfortunate daily activity –  throughout the the entire hierarchical structure of the retail organization. According to Pamela Meyer, CEO of Calibrate, “Two-year-olds bluff. Five-year-olds lie outright. They manipulate via flattery. Nine-year-olds, masters of the cover-up. By the time you enter college, you’re going to lie to your mom in one out of every five interactions. By the time we enter this work world and we’re breadwinners, we enter a world that is just cluttered with a deception epidemic — in short, what one author calls aRead More

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them

Bad Days In Retail And How To Minimize Them As I was writing the article “Retail Productivity & Morale Killers“, my objective was to – in that same article – provide some ideas on how to turn challenging cultures around and deliver a greater level of happiness to your team when morale starts to erode or your team hits a rough patch in their path to deliver excellence. Turned out there was too much to write about with JUST the causes for the issues so I thought I would dedicate another post to this topic and share some statistics and ideas on how to minimize this productivity killer. As a senior level retail leader I force myself, though I may want to denyRead More

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers

Retail Productivity & Morale Killers The other day I wrote about Retail Leadership Credibility Killers, these were specific unfortunate things that retail leaders do that erodes their ability to earn and/or maintain trustworthiness and credibility with their colleagues.  One of my favorite and most rewarding parts of this blog is receiving messages and emails from incredible retail leaders with comments or questions that spark an engaging dialog. One of these conversations around the credibility killers got me thinking about other behaviors we exhibit or choices that we make that not only reflect poorly on our leadership brand but that can really injure the culture of the business. Common Issues That Hurt Morale & Productivity In Retail Lack of training & development opportunities ChaoticRead More

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 two 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 Talent In Retail

Seasonal Employees In Retail 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 our permanent talent because “they are only here for a short period of time”…BUT… if you are seeking to fill your store(s) with amazing, loyal, dedicated, and productive talent – you have to maintain your standards for ALL talent. Seasonal people can be a fabulous asset to your business. If you treat them well, they are enthusiastic and appreciative of opportunity because a lot of retailers don’t see this as a role that brings value. Organizations use the ‘bodies’ they bring on to plug in scheduling holes, they don’t investRead More