Updated: Jan 11
Managing people and managing tasks are completely separate things - you probably know this. A great task manager keeps you safe in the knowledge that all stocks are correctly processed, audits are consistently high scoring, the shop floor is well run and stock shrinkage is exemplary to other stores.
This type of manager will create detailed trade reports, always contributes to team calls and overall, they are well respected as they run a tight ship.
Great people managers are next level.
They are the ones who have the ability and intuition to motivate and light fires up the backsides of teams when the going gets tough!
They know when to dial up the energy and when to have a heart to heart conversation.
High performing managers are incredibly hard to find - but here is the great thing, you can develop almost anyone into a high performing manager when you invest time and effort into the process.
High performing managers cannot be created through a few conversations or standardised check-points in their probation period. This is too simple and something so easy will not yield the best outcome. If you put in average effort, don't be surprised when you get average results.
Think about this, you buy all the ingredients for the birthday cake, so you have all the tools. However, you don't know the measurements and you have no method either.
Recipe for disaster? Probably yes!
To help you develop leadership in your retail stores, here are 3 ways to get started:
1. Start with Why (Simon Sinek; must read for all Managers)
At The International Retail Academy, we put the team experience above everything else.
Why is that? Creating raving team fans will serve you much farther than just chasing customer loyalty. A high performing leadership role is to instill a sense of pride and a love of work so much so, that the team will actually want to make your customers happy.
Inspiring a 19 year old who is in the job primarily for a monthly pay-check may seem a nearly impossible task, possibly pointless as you tell yourself "not worth it, they'll be off in 2 years, they're impact is minimal"
But what if the leaders inspired that person so much, that they stayed?
That they grew in your company and got promoted?
That 19 year old who started out as a part-time associate COULD become one of your greatest assets - and one of your best stories at those corporate dinner awards..!
2. High performing leaders need to know how and when to give (all kinds) of feedback
"Can I give you some feedback" is so 2010. Stop it now, just don't do it.
No-one wants to hear that, it triggers people, gets their backs up and before the conversation even starts, you've lost them.
"Let's have a chat, is now ok for you" try this. Give the team member a choice, respect them, show them that you care. This is much better and the team member will come to be curious, probably open-minded too.
High performing managers need to know how to best match their communication style to different personalities too. This, in some cases, will take years of mastery.
3. Confidence creation through autonomy and recognition
High performing leaders are a confident bunch of people. But this doesn't happen after a promotion or when the sales are good. Confidence is created, over time - through continued autonomy and trust from you AND through reinforcement of certain things; such as recognition.
Just with children, if you praise something enough, the good behaviour becomes a habit - which is then passed onto peers etc.
This doesn't mean you are cheerleading them everyday, but you are taking notice and thanking them regularly.
If you have promoted or hired a new manager, one of your first priorities is to gage their level of confidence. A confident high-performing manager will do number 2 (above) very very well.
They will also have the ability to influence at most levels, up and down the business - to ultimately, move the needle and make sure your store performs to the maximum.
Knowing how to develop high performing managers is key for any retailer.
Attitudes and behaviours of the masses are a reflection of the leadership.
High performing leaders will grow your teams and your business.
If you haven't invested in a plan for this, visit our coaching servicing or workshops to discover how we can accelerate your store leadership from good to great.