Workplace Culture Struggling? Here’s How To Fix That.

Workplace Culture Struggling? Here’s How To Fix That. One of my absolute favorite things about blogging is that I get to interact with new people every day. I get several emails a day about different articles or topics I’ve written about, I have been having some wonderful improptu Skype video calls with industry colleagues…it has been amazing to network and connect with people who share interests and those who bring a different perspective to some of the topics I write about. I have also been hearing about companies that do things extraordinarily well and who put their people first and conversely, those that struggle in that area. Earlier this week I received an email from someone who has seen their great company cultureRead More

How To Be Great Retail Coworker

How To Be A Great Retail Coworker   In a previous article I have written about Toxic Employees In Retail and how difficult they can make a work environment. I have been putting some thought to the other side of the coin and how great a work environment can be when people are genuine, kind, transparent and approach the business as a partner and supportive coworker. Here are some qualities of great retail coworkers (1) Be a great listener: Listening is one of the most important and underused professional skills to have. Listening for full comprehension is critical to be a great business partner and solution-oriented. Great listeners are empathetic, interested, accessible, and supportive. (2) No hidden agendas: This is a big oneRead 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

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

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

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

Employee Engagement Trends 2016

Employee Engagement Trends In #Retail Quantum Workplace released their 57 page report on Employee Engagement Trends Report waaaayyyy back in June and now that I am on vacation for the holidays, I have an opportunity to read, digest, and understand the information they reported on. In 2015 Employee Engagement was at an 8 year low. In essence, what that means is that employees feel undervalued and they aren’t willing to do what it takes to produce and deliver greatness, because they don’t see a benefit to it. There are lots of reports out there on “Employee Engagement” but this one is particularly valuable because of the detail it provides to the areas that employees are most “uncertain” about. At the conclusion of 2014Read More

Retail Resolution: Use Your Accrued Vacation (All Of It!)

  2016 Retail Resolution – Use Your Vacation Time…All Of IT! On December 10th, Globoforce published a great blog post, ‘Tis The Season To Use Your Vacation. I have always read how important it is to use vacation time and step away from work but this article really quantified and qualified the importance of this. Here are some of the biggest takeaways: –“Americans are taking less vacation than at any point in the last forty years–just 16 vacation days today, down from an average of over 20 days taken 15 years ago.” This ‘lost week’ of vacation “is wiping out vacation traditions and taking a heavy toll, particularly on children.” –“Working parents may think they are shielding their children from work stress, butRead More

Toxic Employees In Retail

Toxic Employees In #Retail The New Year is synonymous with change and a fresh start both personally & professionally. In several of my previous posts I mention separating ones self from negative influences in your professional life. Working to align yourself with people that will make you better, support your growth, inspire positive results and productivity…that is fundamental for your personal brand and professional reputation. What, exactly, is a toxic employee in retail? A toxic employee is someone who deliberately inflicts harm to a company’s morale and productivity through intentionally subversive behavior. According to a recently published Harvard study, “The data suggests that toxic people drive other employees to leave an organization faster and more frequently, which generates huge turnover and training costs,Read More

You Don’t Have To Be A Jerk, But You Do Have To Be Honest

Retail Feedback: You Don’t Have To Be A Jerk, But You Have To Be Honest One thing I learned early on in my career is to give pointed, focused feedback. I, probably like a lot of retail leaders today, had to learn the hard way. I first started in retail leadership when I was 18 and was made a District Manager by 19 and wanted to be adored by my team and I had not the slightest clue on how to coach, develop, or lead anyone. So, when I had to address issues it was in generalities and I apologized, A LOT, throughout my schpiel. Clearly, that was not the way to go: So…as I upskilled my development in leadership and shored upRead More

How To Find Happiness At Work

10 Ways To Find Happiness AT Work It is very easy to feel “stuck” in retail. To feel stagnant and caught in a “groundhog day” routine. But, there are definitely ways to shake off that uninspired feeling. Here are some ideas to find happiness when you feel like need a infusion of HAPPINESS: 1. Do Something You LOVE Every Single Day -If you love getting lost in visuals, build in 30 minutes to an hour to reset an area of the store or tweak your windows (a) Perfect storytelling through your visuals/create moments for your customer to “surprise & delight” (b) Create a great concept fixture and measure the results of product movement (c) Work on improving the swing area (fixture placement) forRead More

Recruitment, Employer Branding, and Creating A Best Place To Work

Retail Recruitment, Employer Branding, and Creating A “Best Place To Work” Retail Recruitment & Employer Branding I don’t know anyone in retail who doesn’t speak to hoping to be able to attract and recruit “top retail talent”. Everyone wants top talent. Here’s the thing, top talent wants to work for great brands and great leadership. Top talent wants to be invested in, valued for their contributions, and provided the opportunity to grow their employment into a career with a “Best Place To Work”. Top talent wants a company to meet them half way, they will give you greatness but they expect the company to invest in them and to give them development, education, and a future. There are so many buzzwords and thingsRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Gossiping

Retail Career (Killer) Obstacle: Gossiping With the New Year quickly approaching I thought I would cover some topics that are opportunities in retail as professional resolutions for 2016. The first topics I have written about are Retail Career Obstacle: Defensiveness; Retail Career Obstacle: Unwilling To Self-Develop; Retail Career Obstacle: Excessively Ambitious and Arrogant; Retail Career Obstacle: Inabiity To Think Strategically; and Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team. Now I want to cover another growth hurdle I have seen during my career in retail: Gossiping. Retail has lots of “yentas”…and in retail gossiping is an equal opportunity sport. According to Susan Ricker, “Nearly half of employers say they would think twice before moving an employee who participates in office gossip up theRead More

Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team

#Retail Career Obstacle: Cannot Build An Effective Team On my list of Top 3 disheartening phrases I heard last week was “I just need to hire some bodies”. These words are the kiss of death for a store’s productivity and profitability. I have previously referenced a quote by Eric Ryan that I think is fabulous “Mediocre hires are like empty calories. They make you bigger, but less healthy.” This is incredibly true of field teams and something that I am constantly managing with my Store Managers when I am in the field. I have implemented Stay Interviews in our business to be able to identify common areas of opportunity on teams through feedback and dialogue with each and every team member in eachRead More