How To Energize Your Retail Team

How To Energize Your Retail Team

As Retail Leaders, we have all been there – knowing that we are at a point in a project or process where our team has lost it’s momentum, enthusiasm, and direction. The general mood is not negative…it’s just…blah.

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Bring The Energy Back To Your Team

Here are some ideas on how to bring energy back to the business and rally the team around regrouping and conquering the project when the pace slows down:

  • Give the project a fun and inspiring name – if the project to be done is somewhat dull and uninspiring, the action to complete it will be as well.  Get the team to think of titles for the process that generate some excitement and bring it to life. Use imagery, color and icons to give some character to the various teams/people involved.  Use it to build a competitive element into the project and help colleagues understand more about what each contributor does.  Build personality into the project and they will want to participate;
  • Say these five invaluable words “I’m So Proud Of You” to show consistent appreciation while the job is getting done;

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  • Clarify frequently how individuals involved will make a difference to the aggregate outcome of the process and how their contribution is critical to it’s success;
  • Have frequent mini-milestone “Employee Recognition” meetings, share success, next steps, and encouragement;
  • Support your team to see set-backs as opportunity for learning and growth;
  • Implement Spring/Summer Fridays – Spring is just around the corner, if you are on-target with all deliverables let the team can leave at 1:00pm or 2:00pm to get a head start on their weekend (you will be stunned at the productivity they deliver during the week);
  • Practice positive leadership – Set the tone through motivating and inspiring your team. Be involved and empathetic to their frustrations or challenges and support them to overcome obstacles;
  • Tell Energy Vampires It’s Time To Get On The Bus….Or Off The Bus” – these are employees that suck the energy and life out of everyone around them. Their presence pollutes the waters and can have a highly detrimental effect on the team’s morale, confidence and overall performance. [Source: Reliable Plant];

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  • Schedule in some free time with your team during the day to step away from the project and to re-energize through a shared juice/coffee/Red Bull break or mental health moments;
  • Plan in 3D: Be creative and turn your plan, milestones, risks, and progress into a practical 3-D model of some kind to bring your journey to life…when the team sees they are getting closer to the success and fruition they will want to drive to deliver it and make more productive progress;

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  • Forbid complaining: According to Jon Gordon; Speaker, Consultant and Author of: The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change – “successful organizations with great cultures focus on solutions, not on complaints. The rule is simple. Let your employees know that they are not allowed to complain unless they also offer solutions. Remember, banning complaints is tough love for the good of the whole organization,” reminds Gordon. “When you boil things down, complaints are just noise and nothing more – but each one does represent an opportunity to turn something negative into something positive. Turn your employees from problem-sharers to problem-solvers – it’ll make an unbelievable difference in your office’s atmosphere and it will lead to new ideas, innovations and success!

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Additional Tips From Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt: Author of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, believes there are five ways to effectively energize your team:

  1. Assume others are smart and working hard. [I this]
  2. Listen intently and ask thoughtful questions.
  3. Acknowledge the sacrifices others have made on your behalf.
  4. Express gratitude for their effort and their results.
  5. Remind them why their work is so important and the difference they are making.


Identification is critical to the process. Leaders have to signal to the team that they identify with what it is that the team is doing and the sacrifice(s) that they are making. Remembering that outside of the work each and every one of us has lives of their own, dreams that they too want to achieve. If they don’t get the sense that their leader cares about what they’re up against they will not be motivated to deliver great results.

Ask yourself these questions when you are providing your team with status updates:

  • “How do I want people to feel when this meeting/update is over?”
  • “If I want people to feel this way, then what must I do/say to ensure this is the outcome?”
  • “Does what I am communicating directly support the goal I have for this conversation/meeting?”
    • If you cannot answer this question with a resounding “yes” – don’t share the information – too much information can muddy the waters. Clarity is key to energizing and communicating expectations with your team.

Remember…”At the end of the day, everyone is a volunteer.”  This is the reality.  A healthy, high-functioning team is made up of volunteers who choose to give their best every single day and a great retail leader is one that can support and inspire them to want to do so!


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail. Published writer. Frequent Podcast Guest. Speaker. Twenty year [oy vey!] retailer. I am passionate about leadership development and workplace culture. 646 246 1380 | [No Sales Contact, please} But it you want to call just to say hello or have a question - that's awesome!

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4 thoughts on “How To Energize Your Retail Team

  1. Great ideas especially about dealing with complainers! Agree that expressing gratitude is important and builds team morale and input. Thanks for another great article Beth!

    1. Thank you, Andrea! I agree…when we start to build consistent momentum around the positive behaviors and practices (and “forbid complaining”), it creates team spirit and a culture of collaboration. Teams become unstoppable! Enjoy the rest of your week and have an excellent weekend!

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