It’s almost time for the ridiculous season! That’s right, no matter what industry you work in you will soon start feeling the effects of Christmas. End of year for the Tech businesses, ramp up for the Retailers – as a consumer, you will be force fed adverts and offers (by businesses and your children) trying to entice you to spend your hard-earned cash on their latest gadgets, toys and tasty-oh-so-tasty food.
It got me thinking, at this busy time of year do we expect people to walk through the door and spend money or do we need to work for it? Who is responsible for how much your customers spend? Who is responsible for how much profit you make over this period? It’s easy to say it’s the buyers, the depot, the directors – they matter of course. But they aren’t talking to your customers, they aren’t relaying information back up the chain on what’s working and what’s not. It’s your Store Managers, acting as that conduit between customer and head office, influencing your workforce and driving the right behaviours to reflect your brand and drive the right results.
“Do your store managers know what will make the difference this Christmas?”
I was thinking back to a great store manager I used to work for. I was a Night-shift Manager at the time. He was really good, he absolutely knew how to get the best out of us as a management team which showed up in our incredible results. I have of course also worked for some really terrible store managers which believe it or not, also showed up as sub-par results but let’s not talk about that…
“What made this store manager so different?”
Why did he stand out? Being young and naive I just assumed ‘we got on’ but on reflection, I think it’s a lot more than that. He spent the time to understand his managers. I remember on my first day of management training we spent a couple of hours sweeping the warehouse together. What? Really? Yes, seemingly a pretty easy task but we spent the whole time talking, getting to know each other better. He coached me on the standards he expected in the warehouse, showed me how to interact and engage with other members of the team. Explained his vision for the store, asked what I thought we could do differently (I had already worked there 2.5 years) and what am I bringing to the team. He taught me about visibility, about culture and the importance of getting shit done.
For me, this demonstrated a couple of things.
Capability – hey, this guy knows how to sweep the warehouse, he must have had to really work his way up in this company, I can go to him if I need anything. He is now in a position of trust for me if I need help bridging the knowing/doing gap.
Management Practices – I am fairly sure that the ‘induction to store management’ for said retailer doesn’t include ‘how to sweep the floor with your new department managers’. He has created time in his priorities for the day to accommodate and support my change.
Mindset – Rather than come to me with an internal set of beliefs and assumptions, he took the time to learn for himself.
At Blue Sky we absolutely believe that these 3 areas change behaviours and the culture within your teams, ultimately affecting team performance. I know first-hand from my time in retail, that was the hardest I have ever worked and that was because of the culture he created.
Ok, so back to the original question – do your store managers know what will make the difference this Christmas?
I bet some of them do, but I also bet you have many who could use some serious help. If you are sat thinking ‘I know a couple of my stores that are not performing’ please do get in touch for a chat – we do this stuff every day and have the awards, results and case studies to prove it!
There is still time to make a difference this Christmas and give January a boost!