My favourite season of retail is upon us.  Christmas stirs up all my fondest memories of my start in retail; working alongside my Dad in his stores, back when I was too young and naïve to truly appreciate all that he did for his staff to make the season special…and highly productive.  Now when I’m out in stores and see the beginnings of this awesome holiday start to pop up, I can easily identify the many “gifts” he gave to his team to set them up for success, not just at Christmas, but the entire year through. 

Now if you’ve read my past blogs, you know I always admired my Dad’s retail mind and quite honestly, I think he was way ahead of his time.  He’s been gone over 20 years, so you’d think we would have caught up and caught on by now to some of the basics of leading a retail team.  Yet, when I visit stores today, I know we can all still benefit from some of my Dad’s wisdom and his human touch that always made Christmas the most wonderful time of the retail year! 

Here’s some tried and true gift ideas that you can wrap up for your staff this year:

  1. Confidence: A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities

How do you instill confidence in people?  Easy.  It starts by helping them develop the skills needed to do what they do with certainty and heart.  What is your development plan to get your team to a point of sureness as they enter into the busiest selling season of the year?  Many retailers feel that it’s too busy to train and just drop it altogether.  How well will your team perform if they don’t know how to navigate the crowds at Christmas?  Will they remember Christmas in retail fondly or only be left frustrated? 

  1. Purpose: Have as one's intention or objective. The reason for which something is done.

Why do you love retail?  Or do you?  As humans, we need to find purpose in the work we do.  If your staff doesn’t have purpose, they will scrape by, just barely showing up for their shifts on the schedule.  If you love retail, you’ve likely had a leader at some point who helped you identify and understand your purpose.  If you don’t love it (and especially if don’t love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season in retail), it’s because you don’t have purpose in what you do inside the store as a part of the retail team.  This is a big miss by many leaders. 

  1. Inspiration: The action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.

Are you inspiring your team?  If you are a Store Manager, District Manager, VP of Store Operations or a Store Owner, you are supposed to give your team the gift of inspiration all year long, not just at Christmastime.  We teach Influential Leadership at Graff Retail.  Inspiration is not strategic.  It’s more deeply rooted and comes from the heart; positively affecting behaviours and actions of the people around you through their emotions.  If you don’t think you are an inspiring leader, here’s a little early Christmas gift from the team at Graff:  Download our Influential Leadership Webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/9102639445323141123

I am always looking back at the retail lessons I’ve learned from my Dad, and likely, that’s why I’ve ended up on the team at Graff Retail.  I am proud of the work we do at Graff; picking up where my Dad left off and helping retailers flourish with retail teams that love this industry as much as we do!  If you missed our ‘famous’ webinar A Retailer’s Guide To A Successful Christmas yesterday (#WebinarWednesdays), here’s another little stocking stuffer to make your holiday even more special: https://www.graffretail.com/retailers-guide-to-a-successful-christmas.html

Mary Gordon and Kim McCutcheon have been supporting retail front lines for as long as they can remember. A dynamic duo, Mary and Kim understand what it takes to make training work at store level and know how to inspire, coach and support retail teams in all of their training endeavours.

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