Qualities of Unstoppable Retail Teams
The success of retail businesses boils down to relationships. After all – that is the business we are in. We build relationships with our customer through providing an exceptional experience for them. We do this most effectively by creating and supporting a culture of great workplace collaboration to achieve business goals and objectives. In great places to work – retail leaders support their teams by providing inspiration and motivation, empathy, and involvement to support career growth and development of career capital.
The secret to success for any retail team is the ability to understand the, mostly, unspoken needs that each employee has of their business partners, colleagues, and peers. There is a huge opportunity to drive collaboration and partnerships at the Store Leader and District Leader level inside retail organizations which are primarily positioned to produce results based on an unhealthy competitive culture. How did “I” do – versus – how did “we” do. However, through communication and a culture of sharing – we can leverage innovative ideas that work to drive results and elevate the customer experience.
Great teams don’t just happen. They are created through thoughtfully inviting the right people to join that complement each other in enthusiasm, team spirit, and a passionate drive for results. These committed team members share the vision and values of the organization and the team and contribute to the signature relationship practices of the group. There are some very specific and identifiable behaviors that support beneficial collaborative outcomes for phenomenal business teams. The willingness of senior leadership to support the development of these critical behaviors would serve as a benefit to each business unit in the company. Your employees need to know each other to be able to understand the behaviors and qualities that each person needs to feel supported and to show their colleagues they possess those qualities. Once teams realize they are all in the business to share in the success of the group, they become unstoppable [and highly-accountable]!
Qualities of Unstoppable Retail Teams
- Supportive: For a retail partnership to be successful each team members needs to feel a sense of support and anticipation about the collaboration. When partnerships are supportive they are infused with confidence. What sustains motivation is the belief that through collaboration things can only get better and there will be learning and growth involved. When people feel supported through a strong partnership they become inspired to more clearly embrace the process of achieving the goals and objectives – not only of their area of responsibility but also – for their colleagues results and for the aggregate organization results. It is essential that the partnership be grounded in an unwavering belief in the integrity of the goals and values of the desired objectives.
- Rewarding Relationships: Each member of the team must see the reward involved in coming together in partnership. In successful partnerships rewards are based solely on each team member’s contribution and significance to the bigger picture. There is nothing that more deeply inspires continued motivation than to make another person shine in their own area and addition to the team. Members of totally awesome and unstoppable retail teams take the time to thank and recognize each other for their effort and results based on their determined criteria for success.
- High Level Of Cohesion: Trust and authenticity are basic needs for a successful business relationship. All partners need to know the relationship is collaborative, loyal and critical to success. If the partnership is in need of support or guidance, the partners trust they can come together to identify solutions to obstacles or proactively plan for any challenges seen on the horizon. Truly phenomenal partnerships are made up of people who view each other as necessary equals and display mutual respect for each other’s differences. These types of partnerships also demand results from all team members and tend to weed out anyone who doesn’t meet minimum expectations of the collective team. No hidden agendas, no gossiping, no jealously – just honest and transparent relationship practices.
- Openness: Successful team dynamics require business partners who are consistently attuned to what is happening within and outside of the team relationships, and the possible impacts on the collective unit. All members listen intently to their colleagues with an open mind. They set aside preconceived ideas about the other partners and see each person for who they are and for what they bring to the relationship. They don’t compare and measure other’s success based on their personal standards of quality/quantity of work but instead based on progress made toward the team goals and objectives. Solid partnership’s respect that constant interruption and intervention will block their process and slow progress towards their goals. A certain amount of openness and personal autonomy is what makes these teams rise to the top in their business.
- Protective Of Each Other: Collaborative relationships thrive when members feel protected by their colleagues. The team members feel a level of comfort that they are in an team environment that will not let them fail. Each team member is aware that any threat to the progress of their work undermines their success. The growth of any great partnership has to come from each employee assessing, throughout the experience, what works and what doesn’t, and – without ego – making adjustments to deliver maximum results. This type of culture allows each person to grow within a safe environment, mistakes and all.
- They Challenge Each Other: Successful collaboration promotes healthy competition, recognizes accomplishment, and rewards achievement. Workplace relationships that are competitive in nature and support exceeding business metrics crave more challenge. Healthy competition brings an element of fun and camaraderie into the relationship and it often results in celebration for hitting milestones. This type of climate increases the desire in each member to keep proving themselves and their significance to the team. These moments test the mettle of team dynamic. The more a multi-unit team is forced to bend and flex to the evolving demands of their retail reality, the stronger it becomes from within. Partnerships that thrive under challenging or chaotic circumstances can weather every storm and come out extremely successful.
- Catalyst: Exceptional collaborations act as a catalyst for each member to grow and deliver excellence. It provides the space for each member to generate their own innovative ideas, support their team members, recognize individual success, and inspire and contribute to team success. Whenever a partnership suppresses the creative energy of its members and is rigid, it extinguishes the spirit of innovation. Wherever creativity flourishes there must flexibility, diversity, and inclusion. It is amazing what impact the sharing of ideas and fresh perspectives can have inside a stale or moldy retail environment.
- Morale Building: It is essential for each team member to be completely in touch with the emotional pulse of the other team members, and always seek to elevate it. Exceptional collaborations create an environment of positive morale. Each contributing person must be open and honest with all others regarding behaviors that aren’t resonating well with the group, including their own, if it is potentially hurting the morale of the team dynamic. Each contributor is wise to pay attention to the silence and empty spaces in the relationship because that is the the tone of the team environment.
- Detox: A great team understands it only takes one toxic person to destroy the entire relationship and thwart real progress and ultimate success. With forethought, good judgment, and quick decision making, effective collaborators weed out the weak links. A partnership cannot be successful when the behavior, manipulation and poor attitude of one [or possibly more] person[s] continues to create obstacles and challenges for the group.
- Selflessness: Successful partnerships are based in service and selflessness, not selfishness. No one person does all the work, nor is any one member seeking more recognition than the others. The collaborative effort comes directly from the efforts of each individual partner contributing to the aggregate. Being in the mind of service, in supporting others, keeps the team members humble and appreciative of each person’s contribution.