Retail Management: Leading by Example

There are few business that are as “people intensive” as the retail industry.  There is constant interaction between the store manager, store employees and the customers.  As retail consultants one of the things that we often advocate is the importance of field leaders and store managers setting a great pace and an even better example.

Many of our retail clients use reams of paper for printing memos and store operating manuals.  They post signs and hang motivating posters in the break areas.  And they send email after email telling their team members what they should and should not do.  Yet many of they still struggle with achieving great sales results and building a base of dedicated repeat customers.

Practicing What You Preach

You probably don't allow your employees to take excessive breaks and you likely have attendance policies that speak to store scheduling.  Likewise, you likely don't want employees taking products home to “try” (otherwise called stealing).  On the other hand, you do want your people engaging customers and selling them related products and upselling customers to better products.

But managing retail employees  involves more than a “do as I say” mandate.  Successful retail management  requires setting a positive example.  The way you interact with employees and customers sets the example for what is expected and permissible.   So if you want your employees to be friendly and service oriented, you and your managers need to be the same.

Becoming a Role Model

Becoming a living example requires managers to be conscious of their activities at all times.  Our consulting team encourages retail leaders to make an honest self-assessment and to grade themselves on a  scale of 1-5 in the following areas:

·         Customer Service

·         Selling Behavior

·         Completing Tasks

·         Time Spent on the Floor

·         Attendance

·         Work Ethic

·         Policy Compliance

Making Changes in Your Leadership Style

After completing the self-assessment the real work begins.  Now, you as the leader, need to take action to ensure that you are providing a great example to your team members.  By being a good role model, your high expectations are more likely to be rewarded with soaring results.

If you would like the Retail Training Services team to help you become a great leader contact us for a free one-hour consultation where we will help you to analyze your business opportunities and challenges.