“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

How To Have A Great Start To The Week

Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays? Most people dislike Mondays. It just seems like the thing to do when Monday rolls around. I actually love Monday…I am one of those people that can separate themselves from work on my days off but Sunday nights I start brainstorming how I am going to attack and conquer the week starting Monday. It the pedestrian thing to do to moan (literally for 12 minutes the average worker moans about Monday – yikes) and groan about the start of the work week. Why though? Here are some interesting facts about Monday: -According to The Telegraph UK: “Most of find the start of the week so demoralizing that we can’t even bear to crack a smile untilRead More

The Power Of Gratitude In The Workplace

The Power Of Gratitude In The Workplace One of the first things that came to mind when I was thinking about implementing our “Wall Of Kindness” during the holidays at our work place was this article I read on Huffington Post that states: “expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being. Being grateful also impacts the overall experience of happiness, and these effects tend to be long-lasting”. Who or what workplace couldn’t use more of that? Here are some interesting statistics from a survey conducted by Greater Good: -93% of people agree that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed -18% of workers think gratitude make bosses seem weak -60% of respondents said they “either never express gratitude at work or do soRead More

Successful Retail Organizations Create Supportive Work Environments

Successful Retail Organizations Create Supportive Work Environments I read an interesting article from Skip Prichard – Leadership Insights titled, Detect and Root Out Behavior That Undermines Your Workplace. There were some very helpful thoughts on various ways workplaces set themselves up for unproductive behaviors and/or behaviors that undermine the organizational health and development including, being counterproductive to the organizations vision and values: (1) Sabotage By Meetings “Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” –John Kenneth Galbraith -Ineffective meetings are productivity killers and according to Time Magazine, “Americans sit through some 11 million meetings every day — with the unproductive ones costing companies $37 billion a year.” -Without a plan and a resolution focus – useless meeting are damaging to theRead More

Performance Appraisal Time, Yay!! (Said No One, Ever)

Performance Appraisal Time, YAY! (Said No One, Ever) So…it is officially that time of year again. Performance Appraisal time. In the Retail Industry we are profoundly stuck in the past in this area. Here are some interesting statistics about Performance Appraisals that are important to know as you prepare your appraisals for your team: According to Globoforce: “Only 37% of employees believe that performance reviews are a true indicator of performance” According to SHRM: “90% of HR professionals don’t believe their companies performance appraisals provide accurate information” According to OfficeVibe: -“1 out of 5 employees think their bosses don’t even think about the appraisal until they’re in the room” -“44% of employees don’t think their boss is honest during the process” -“Only 8%Read More

It’s The New Year…Now What?

I think the perception is that the retail business comes to a screeching halt in retail post-New Year’s Day. The pace and momentum absolutely are altered, but it is certainly not “slow”. There are lots of things that need to be done and can be done. Some of the most common retail activities that organizations are prepping for in January are: –Performance Appraisals -Inventory –Post Holiday Wrap Up Meetings -Fiscal 2016 Accountability Communication These are the company driven initiatives that just, cyclically, occur. What I want to talk about today [I will cover the performance appraisal process and how you can make it more effective in another article] is what you can do to have an impact on your workplace culture and howRead More

Retail Onboarding Best Practices

Retail Onboarding Best Practices Effectively onboarding new hires is definitely an opportunity in the retail industry. The assumption being, a lot of times, that the team member is a “revolving door employee” and quickly jump ship if recruited by another company or continue looking for a job that pays them slightly more. Did you know though that “Only 12% of employees leave a job for more pay” (Source: TalentWise). Therefore, the opportunity to create a career-focused environment that delivers meaning & purpose is missed and there is no compelling reason for them to stay. If you have a program for engaging your new hire from the candidate experience while interviewing through the training process you stand a greater chance of retaining your newRead More

Understanding Your Team

Understanding Your Team We are heading into an exciting New Year and it is the perfect opportunity to review the holiday season with your team, provide guidance on their areas of strength and the opportunity areas to work on and improve for the new year. In several posts I have covered some of the common areas of opportunity with team members and leaders for improved development, as well as individual and team growth and maximized productivity. For example: 2016 Key Focus Items: These are the 8 most common areas that references state as a candidate’s greatest opportunity areas. Deadly Sins of Retail Communication: Which identifies the frustrating communication misses of senior leadership to their teams. Fostering a Culture of Employee Advocacy In Retail:Read More

What I Learned As a Retail Business Owner

  What I Learned By Having My Own Retail Business I have been in retail for many years, in the Summer of 2015 I opened three pop up retail locations and one semi-permanent location. I soft-opened Cotton Candy Fashion’s Home Store on June 1st and opened three true pop up locations the following week. The three pop-up’s closed the Tuesday following Labor Day. My Home Store will be closing on January 7th 2016. I made this investment for a couple of reasons: First: I have very limited apparel experience on my resume. Most of my apparel experience revolves around children’s apparel – which, to me, is mini-grown up apparel but, unfortunately, adult retailers don’t see it that way. I wanted to infuse someRead More