Being in a managers job is a lot of responsibility, and with so much to do it can sometimes feel like you’re in the middle of your own circus, you even get to work with the odd clown. Among the juggling, it can be easy to forget what your priorities should be and it’s tempting to focus soley on profits, but we’re sorry to tell you, that won’t work in the retail sector, money isn’t everything, your team is.
It's all about the team
To be a good retail manager, the key to a successful company revolves around keeping your team happy. If you constantly focus on figures and don’t engage with the staff and how they feel, you might find your team becomes less supportive and no longer share your vision, no matter how good it might be.
To keep the retail business moving forward, the staff need to be engaged. If the team feel there’s a shared vision, they’re more likely to respond to your ideas and support you all the way.
The Work Foundation conducted a survey of large companies that included Tesco and Unilever, and found that the most successful business leaders used a people-centred approach in their work.
“Outstanding leaders focus on people, attitudes and engagement, co-creating vision and strategy”, says Penny Tamkin, whose team conducted the survey.
“They manage performance holistically, attending to the mood and behaviour of their employees as well as organisational objectives. And instead of seeing people as one of many priorities, they put the emphasis on people issues first.”
So how do you make sure that your management style is people friendly? Here are some things you can do to make sure your team is as important as your profits:
Create company objectives people can relate to - Your employees won’t necessary care how much money the company is making, not unless they’re shareholders. But if your company is reliable, honest and hardworking for its customers, that’s something employees can relate to and be proud of.
Understand what motivates people – Not everyone is the same, so don’t pigeonhole them. Some prefer to be challenged, others like to feel supported, find out what works for them.
Talk with your employees – Employees don’t want to talk about work all the time, they have a life outside it, so find out about it. General chit-chat is important as it helps build a positive and trusting relationship, so when the work begins to pile up, it’ll make life a little easier for you both.
Give people their space and time - Trying to micro-manage people when they just need to be left alone will not make their lives easier. In fact, it could raise their anxiety and that may lead to a drop in work quality.
Set communal long-term objectives – If you want your team to embrace long-term goals for the company, then make them a part of the decision making.
“At the end of the day, leadership is all about attracting, retaining and motivating people to actually perform for you, and to deliver against goals”, as one respondent puts it.
“It’s almost about giving people something that they want to believe in, and to make them feel that what they’re doing is worthwhile. It’s also about ensuring that people enjoy what they do and have a sense of fun in what they’re doing.”
It can seem like a big task being in management jobs, but if you respect your team and keep them happy, that’s half the battle won, everything else will follow.
Merchandiser & allocator jobs
Store management jobs
Visual merchandising jobs