Some will argue that there is no need to even leave the couch in order to acquire anything and everything our little hearts desire. There is quite a bit of truth to that and many feel that you can’t beat the convenience of it as well. But consider this question; how inconvenient is convenience? The answer to this question also answers the bigger question; do we even need retail stores anymore?Read Article
Take the time to read this true, short story of how a work experience has been transformed from the mundane to the inspiring.Read Article
Thirty years into this business. That can make me feel old … and maybe I’m getting old too! Just think about all the good things we’ve all likely learned over the past 30 years. Some amazing things. Some scary things. Some useless things.Read Article
Summer is just around the corner, and depending on the nature of your business, you may be in full-force seasonal hiring mode. So, let’s say you’re already on track with finding and hiring the best people for the job. Equally important is having a training plan in place so when they do start, you’re sure to get the most out of your seasonal staff. After all, if it’s important enough to put them on the sales floor, shouldn’t it also be important enough to train them?
So, the question is, do you have a training plan in place for your seasonal staff?Read Article
Summer is just around the corner, and depending on the nature of your business, you may be in full-force seasonal hiring mode. So, let’s say you’re already on track with finding and hiring the best people for the job. Equally important is having a training plan in place so when they do start, you’re sure to get the most out of your seasonal staff. After all, if it’s important enough to put them on the sales floor, shouldn’t it also be important enough to train them?Read Article
I often get asked if Inspirational Leadership can be learned. The short answer is ‘yes’, however, it requires a change in mindset as much as it requires an advancement in skillset. And, that’s often the biggest stumbling block.
Many leaders are promoted based on their abilities, work ethic and proven track record of results. However, what we all know is that achieving sustainable results proves to be more challenging the higher up you go in an organization and the more people you must influence. Getting results in one store is one thing … getting them across a territory of stores or an entire company is quite another. Just think of how well a store runs when you’re on site, but then drops off the moment you leave.Read Article
There’s no doubt that the growing popularity of e-learning has made it easier for retailers to deliver consistent, cost-effective training to the masses. More and more, retailers are reaching frontline staff by way of video modules hosted on their own Learning Management Systems, interactive modules and even apps designed to keep staff informed, engaged and motivated out on the sales floor. All positive steps for retailers, but it does beg the question, “Have you lost the human touch when it comes to training your frontline teams?”Read Article
I have to be honest; I don’t like looking inside myself. Being introspective can be a very scary thing. It’s much easier to play the blame game; blame my team, blame my boss, my co-workers, other departments. There’s no shortage of people or things to blame if you really want to.
But, this is the thing; when we blame we lose power. We become victims. Where do you go from there? I’d rather place myself in a position of control rather than being a victim.
A few weeks ago I was speaking to a group about leadership; one of my favourite subjects! One of the characteristics of effective Leadership we focused on was Enthusiasm. I’m not talking about running into the office or your stores and high-fiving everyone, every day. I’m talking about the type of enthusiasm that inspires people to want to achieve their goals.
At this conference I had the opportunity to speak to front-line leaders as well as the store operations team from Head Office. I truly enjoyed working with these teams; however, I’d like to share one of my observations with you.
Get Your Head Out Of The Sand!
The sky isn’t falling on brick and mortar retailers (even though the media would like you to think so). But, the horizon is far from certain for many. We’ve seen thousands of stores close (yes, just as many new ones are opening … but hey, thousands still closed!). Online continues to grow and eat away at traditional retailers’ shares of the pie. For grocery it’s only 2%, but for fashion it’s as much as 20%.
The world as we know it for brick and mortar retailers has forever changed. The question is, “how many will change with it … and change fast enough to survive?”
Linda Montalbano (VP, Graff Retail, and key speaker on our #WebinarWednesday events) said something in one of her recent #WebinarWednesday talks that really stuck with me. I have spent about 30 years in retail; close to 20 of those years with Linda, so you can see that she continues to inspire even after all these years! Her statement was so simple, so honest, and yet I’ve never heard it before. This is what she said…are you ready for it? “Approaching a stranger is one of the most difficult things to do, and yet, we expect our staff to do that each and every day out on the retail floor; typically, with little to no training.” Never talk to strangers…oh, except in retail, we want you to do that each and every day! Let that settle in and really think about it. If it resonates with you the way it did with me, this simple, honest statement is about to change the way you approach training and development with your frontline teams.
Our parents all told us from a really young age to never talk to strangers.
Today I saw this quote, ‘If SERVING is Below You, Then LEADERSHIP Is Beyond you’. I have a lot of favourite quotes, but this one makes my top 10 list. When I reflect back to all the great leaders I’ve had the opportunity to work with, they all had one thing in common; their understanding that leading is a privilege, not a right.
It still shocks me how many leaders today feel they’ve more than just earned their positions. In fact, they believe they deserve their positions. They believe their teams work for them. They represent (and seem to love) the old pyramid style of leadership structure. Someone forgot to tell them times have changed.
Across most of this country (Canada, that is) and many parts of the world, minimum wage rates are going up drastically; in many places by as much as 30%. That’s a big chunk out of anyone’s bottom line.
For retailers, it’s about finding a way to maintain profitability and at the same time maintain the brand experience. That’s not an easy task when one of your biggest expenses goes up … a lot!
As we prepare for our upcoming 2-Day Retail Leadership workshop, I cannot help but think about the question that I am continually asked in regards to getting an entire store or region to do exactly what they are supposed to be doing with commitment and passion. I’m committed to helping people succeed and feel good about what they do in this industry and I truly believe that there are several things that are critical to inspirational leadership.
Attention all Store Managers!
It’s time for some “Spring Training” in your stores!
Everyone knows how satisfying it is to do spring cleaning around the house; the same can be true about spring training for retailers! The winter blahs are almost over and it’s time to get the cobwebs out and get back to the basics.
You might be thinking that this is something that a millennial might say, however, quite frankly we all think the same thing as employees. It doesn’t matter what generation you are from.
How great would your workplace be if all your staff had positive attitudes, confidence, determination, and loyalty? What would it be like if they worked with meaningful purpose and provided mutual support for each other in the work place? Sounds like utopia? This is not an impossible achievement.
A study conducted by Microsoft, showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to 8 seconds. Goldfish, meanwhile, are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds!
Yep, we’re being outdone by that beautiful orange fish in the aquarium.
If there’s one thing retailers are typically good at it’s Store Operations. There’s a checklist, process map or log book for just about everything. Heck, the industry has even created task management software that resides in the cloud! In a nutshell, retail is very good at the A + B + C = D stuff.
Another thing retail is very good at is promoting people from within. It’s one of the great things about retail. You can start out as a salesperson and before you know it you’re running a store or even a territory of stores. Most of the VPs come from the stores too. That produces a lot of consistent know-how across the organization when it comes to running the stores.
Therein lies the problem though.
What does it take to roll out a great training program at store level? Better yet, what does it take to sustain a great training program at store level? Do you have the answer on the tip of your tongue? Don’t fret, from what I can tell, the majority of retailers out there don’t have the answers to these questions either.
Ok. Here’s an easier question. What gets in the way of training success at store level? I bet you can rattle off a bunch of ‘retail realities’ that interfere with training.