There are any number of management text books on how to successfully lead a retail team at a large organisation, but on a fundamental level there are three basic rules that should help you get the best out of your staff.
It goes without saying that there are plenty of more sophisticated strategies that will produce results and
the value of experience as a retail manager cannot be underestimated; however, anyone who has taken charge of a group of employees can agree to certain simple guiding principles.
What it comes down to is valuing the contribution of each of your staff as if it was smaller team, although you must back up this approach with your own organisational efforts; so you must know how many staff you need to look after a store and understand how the management of attendance impacts your success.
#1 Make the chain of command clear
It is crucial that your staff know who is the boss, but beyond that they should also be clear of the structure of the team. Unlike in smaller organisations, the main boss will probably not be on floor all the time in a
larger retail operation, so it is line managers and deputies that provide the support that is so essential for employees to do a good job.
The chain of command is important in another respect to; if staff in a large team believe they are not being monitored then they might slack off, whereas if they know who is going to be looking to maintain standards, they may be less tempted.
#2 Champion great work
One big challenge when managing large retail team is that entry-level employees as much as more experienced staff can lose sight of how their work impacts on the firm’s success, since they get paid either way. By championing great work you add an element of satisfaction to doing the best job possible, rather than just showing up and switching off.
It is hugely demotivating for an employee who is trying to get ahead to not see their effort recognised, so do your best to look out for those individuals who really want to help push the company forward.
#3 Care for your employees
In the world of big business it can be easy to forget that all of the members of your team are individuals who
have their own anxieties and problems to deal with. They are being paid to do a job, but it does not hurt to look out for them as people; this means understanding when they are struggling with something major and being sympathetic to personal circumstances.
The worry is that staff can take advantage of you if you are a soft touch, but there is a huge difference between listening to people and indulging exaggerations or excuses. When you have a large team it is common for people to be forgotten to some extent, yet one of the best ways to get people working hard is to make them feel engaged – regular catching up could lead to better results on the sales floor.
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By Work Place Systems leaders in Workforce management systems