Hiring the right people can make or break a business. In retail, this is no exception and particularly important when hiring for a retail manager.
It’s critical to consider the wide range of responsibilities that management oversees. To name just a few, store management is responsible for:
- recruiting, training, supervising and appraising staff
- maintaining statistical and financial records
- dealing with customer queries and complaints
- overseeing pricing and stock control
- maximizing profitability and setting sales goals
- motivating staff and more
It’s clear retail managers have a lot on their to-do lists. Therefore, it’s also critical for head office to recognize how it can better support store managers to carry out these responsibilities.
Here are 3 tips to help head office better support retail store managers.
1. Encourage a team-effort environment
From upper management to frontline retail associates to behind-the-scenes retail operators, creating a work environment that is fueled by a welcoming team spirit is among the best ways to show your retail management some TLC. The reason for this is simple – when working together as a team, retailers achieve greater success… plain and simple.
The reasons for this include:
- Teamwork can improve just about every aspect of performance, including customer service, inventory management, merchandising and marketing, and even strategic store decisions.
- Teamwork helps to raise levels of morale, efficiency, creativity, and the quality of overall work performance. This is thanks to the earned trust among employees that they have each others’ backs should they need guidance, have questions or simply want to gain reassurance in their efforts.
- Teamwork helps to produce more motivated employees which in turn creates stronger day-to-day efforts and leads to greater success – including stronger profits – for retailers.
A note for management – leading by example can help fuel a team effort environment. But the real reward comes full circle when retail managers feel their team supporting them from a team perspective and as a result, easing their responsibilities and helping to create a stronger performing store and a more enjoyable work environment.
To help do this, management should keep this team-effort perspective in mind when they make new hires for their stores. In fact, with the Rockefeller Foundation reporting that the number one consideration for employers to think about when interviewing potential employees is whether or not they fit within their company culture, it’s important for managers to remember that every employee impacts their team-effort environment!
As a recent article from Compliant IA explains, “work culture plays an important role in performance. While there are many strategies you could implement to improve the work of your team, understand that boosting your associates’ output starts with having the right team culture.”
The boost achieved from a team effort environment is just what management may need to reduce stress and feel they are receiving the support they deserve.
2. Lead with communication
With technology readily available communication between head office and stores as well as store managers and employees is easier than ever. Equip your store managers and teams with trackable, two-way communication so they can stay in touch or monitor performances.
While technology-assisted communication is helpful, this type of communication alone is not the only way in which management can gain some stress-relief and support. Combine technology with traditional communication strategies so store associates and management alike can have an open, ongoing dialogue that delivers clarity to all store issues happening at any given time.
From technology to face-to-face team meetings, below are a variety of ways in which management and store staff can stay connected while also helping to streamline store operations and communication:
- POS systems
- Inventory management systems
- Customer management tools
- Employee management platforms
- Task management tools
- Retail analytics solutions
- Communication tools
- Team meetings
- Peer-to-peer reviews
- Social events
- Team building events
- An open-door policy
With countless avenues to communicate among management and employees, a store manager should feel relieved in knowing that there are no excuses for a lack of communication. Likewise, employees can feel the same when management encourages an open-door policy. A bonus result – management will gain some ease in knowing they are in the know concerning what is going on within their store.
Use tools to help manage underperformers
Just like there is slow-moving inventory or strong-selling items, there will be under-performing staff and over-achieving employees. Keeping this in mind, management benefits from having a clear understanding of their team’s strengths and weaknesses in an effort to better delegate and manage store responsibilities. To help achieve this, store checklists offer ease to management and employees alike.
When allocating tasks, monitoring performances and reviewing overall efforts of employees, it’s easy to overlook details that need to get done. Retailers are busy and without a roadmap to help direct each step in the store operations process, details often get unintentionally overlooked. Additionally, sometimes underperforming employees do not understand what is expected of them. A checklist can put their to-do-list front and center and encourage them to get their efforts into gear.
Managers gain confidence and alleviate their own stress by introducing a retail audit checklist into their management tools. Checklists alleviate their employees’ stress as well because it’s always clear what they need to accomplish. Collectively, this is a winning scenario for management and employees alike. To learn more about how retail checklists may benefit your store, click here.
Retail store managers excel when their management supports them in all aspects of their role. From inventory knowledge to customer service expectations to store operational procedures and more, no detail should be ignored. Empowering store managers to have confidence in their store efforts then delivers a domino effect that benefits head office as well.
About the author:
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder of RetailMinded and a published author. She is a frequent contributor to The Today Show, Forbes, and countless B2B publications. Reyhle is the Spokesperson for American Express’s Small Business Saturday and writes regularly as a retail thought leader for various industry resources and is recognized as a Top 10 retail thought leaders from Vend and a retail “futurist” for IBM. Finally, Reyhle is also the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference.
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