Be An Original Retail Leader

Be An Original Retail Leader Groucho Marx once said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member”. I was never a huge fan of the Marx Brother’s movies but I love their story, especially Groucho’s, and how phenomenal he was at adapting to the new mediums available to bring his unique and charismatic persona to a new audience. He was, truly, an original. He was a pioneer. He was fearlessly ambitious. When I think of the context (as I interpret it) this quote was, likely, delivered in; I think about someone who is so innovative and driven that being around a group of individuals that were stuck with a particular mentality (people that all agreed with him) wouldRead More

Happy Employees = Happy Customers [And Higher Sales]

  Happy Employees = Happy Customers [And Higher Sales] There is no big secret as to the Top Reasons why people leave their jobs – if you don’t know them, you can read my article on it here, but these are the Top 5 in a nutshell: (1) The Supervisor (2) Workplace Relationships (3) Work Culture (4) Rest & Relaxation (aka: Work/Life Balance, Vacation) (5) Opportunities For Growth I don’t know anyone who doesn’t understand the concept that if you invest in your employees and create a “best place to work” for your team, you are encouraging a level of service that they will pass on to their customers. What is lacking in the big picture is the ability to execute. The financialRead 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

The 3 E’s – Engage, Enchant, and Energize

My 3 E-nitiatives For 2016: Engage, Enchant, and Energize One of my commitments to my teams this year is to create and share only content that will: -Engage -Enchant -Energize I am calling this My 3 E-nitiative For 2016. Most of us who have spent time in Retail have been through a multitude of training modules, programs, seminars, and orientations in our retail background that have been redundant, or our skill set exceeded the material, or…even better…we knew more than the person training us (How annoying and ineffective, right?). This immediately creates a risk of disengaging your audience. Since such a big part of my job is training and development and my audience is entry level to executive, it is so important forRead 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

Learning To Love The Good, Bad, and Ugly Of Your Job

Learn To Love The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Your Job Happy New Year! I have a feeling 2016 is going to be an amazing year for our retail industry. Lots of change (which I love) and lots of growth. As I was desperate trying to go back to sleep this morning at 5:00am (my boys wake up sooooo early!), I was thinking about having to step out into the job search market on Monday (Here is my shameless plug link) and kind of talking through the description of my roles, companies, and experiences in my head as practice. The title of this post is a little misleading…of course you’re going to love the good. That’s what we all hope for, right? IfRead 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

Finding Your Passion In Retail

Finding Your Passion in Retail It took me a while to find my true passion in retail. I have always been a strong field leader and found a high level of satisfaction leading a team to top performing status. I am relatively competitive so, if it was measured, we wanted to be the best. If it was used as an example, we wanted to set the bench. I enjoyed my job (or at least could find joy in my job) as a District and Regional Manager because I could teach others to be voracious in their pursuit of great performance results. But, then there was all the other “stuff” that role requires that made development time just a small fraction of the week.Read More

Excellence In Retail: Top 5 of 2015

Excellence In Retail: Top 5 of 2015 I just want to start off by saying “Thank You” to everyone who has supported my blog. Starting a blog was on my “to-do” list for 2015 and I finally got to it in late July. It has been such a fun endeavor and I get to write about my experiences and my passion for the retail industry. So, “Thank You” to everyone who has read my blog, sent me feedback, liked, shared, favorited, pinned, and retweeted my posts. It means a lot. Since it seems to be “a thing” in the blogging world – I wanted to share my most popular posts of 2015. Here they are: 1) Retail Workplace Happiness 2) Supporting and InspiringRead More

Recruiting Top Talent

Recruiting Top Talent In 2016 There are 5 type of “candidates” in the recruitment market: 1. Active Seekers 2. Semi-active Seekers 3. Passive 4. Happy with their current situation 5. Boomerang (employees that have left the company but are willing to return) Recruitment and Employee Advocates As we all know recruiting is the best method to hiring talent that has a higher potential of fit for both the role and the company culture. Recruiting also is an area that, I have found, requires a lot of training and development, especially at the store level. In my post Fostering a Culture of Employee Advocacy In Retail I shared the fact that “93% of employees say they will make good advocates for the brand”. ThatRead 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

Inspiring Action in the New Year

  Inspiring Action According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, here are some very interesting statistics about New Year’s Resolutions: Top 10 Resolutions of 2015 1. Lose Weight 2. Get Organized 3. Spend Less, Save More 4. Enjoy Life To The Fullest 5. Staying Fit & Healthy 6. Learn Something Exciting 7. Quit Smoking 8. Helping Others In Their Dreams 9. Fall In Love 10. Spend More Time With Family Statistically Speaking…How Will We Do? • 45% of people make New Year’s Resolutions • 38% of Americans never make resolutions • Only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions • People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions •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

Retail: What To Expect In 2016

#Retail Leadership: What To Be Prepared For With the New Year only weeks away, the internet is rife with information on what to expect in business in 2016. Having spent so much time in field leadership roles, as both a District and Regional Manager, I found that our Human Resources “partners” in our industry tend to keep lots of relevant and essential information to themselves as opposed to developing their leaders to proactively handle potential issues before they become true “HR Issues”. HR has also been a responsibility of mine in my career so I have been able to manage challenges proactively and I am passionate about documentation of great performance and performance improvement issues. Using common sense and book smarts as roadRead More