Retail Training Tip: Don’t Ignore Your Field Managers
“Companies that employed training on a regular basis posted shareholder returns 86% above firms that didn’t increase training and 45% higher than the market average.” Now that is a powerful statistic that comes from a recent study by the American Society of Training and Development.
But don’t take just their word for it. Another study found that other than optimizing supply chain and inventory, the most effective investment for then was building their people through retail training programs. Some programs improved their team members’ ability to drive improvements in Key Results Areas by as much as 45%!
But many retailers spend the majority of their training efforts on front-line retail sales representatives. Given high employee turnover rates, changing product lines, and the need to drive short-term results, this often makes sense. But in our retail consulting practice we have found that focusing all of your efforts on the front-line troops may not be the best use of your retail training budget.
District and Regional Managers Are Your Key Players
Think about it. If you are like most retailers, your field managers are the most influential people in your organization. They are responsible for:
- Recruiting and hiring new retail sales associates
- Implementing and tracking training
- Handling customer service issues
- Promoting and mentoring high-potential employees
- Protecting the company’s assets
- Ensuring operational issues are identified and rectified
- Inspecting and improving visual the image of your stores
It is also likely that they have the largest span of control in your company with 10-40 direct reports and maybe hundreds of indirect reports. They touch every one of your sales reps and exert more influence on your retail stores than anyone else in your organization. In fact, a well-trained and highly skilled field manager can impact your results by plus or minus 20%!
So don’t ignore your field management team. Instead invest in their training and development to get the biggest bang for your buck!
Invest in a Retail Field Manager Workshop
Retail Training Services offers one, two, and three-day district manager retail training workshops that are focused on improving key skills like recruiting quality team members, interviewing skills, coaching skills, time management, how to conduct store visits and other key skill areas these workshop yield tangible and real results. Contact us for a free one-hour consultation and needs analysis today!
– David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group. As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers while operating hundreds of retail locations on behalf of some of the largest retailers in the United States.