As brick-and-mortar stores start to reopen all over the country, an immense amount of pressure is put on retail managers to lead their teams to success — especially with the challenges brought about by the health crisis. Indeed, U.S. retail sales are on a continuous downward trend, so managers need to change their approach to fit the current and future consumer landscape. Retail stores have evolved from exclusively transactional spaces to in-person experiences that are representative of a brand’s vision, values, and principles. As such, retail managers have to step up and find ways to help direct the business to success.
With that said, we’ve listed five tips that can help you become a better retail manager in 2021.
Build a Strong Company Culture
Establishing a strong bond and relationship between your team members plays a large part in directing the whole organization to success. So, you should strive to build a strong company culture that motivates your employees to perform their best at work and collaborate effectively. One way to do this is by making sure that you emphasize employee wellness through tools, resources, and on-site healthcare opportunities. In addition, you should also foster social connections through simple team building programs such as weekly team meals, game nights, or even after-work happy hours.
Encourage Open Communication
By encouraging open communication in your workplace, you allow your teams to directly discuss with you any concerns, feedback, or opinions that can help your organization achieve success. During staff meetings, introduce a segment where your retail employees can reveal any issues, insights, or industry updates that might be of use to the management. Additionally, you can also invest in a mobile workforce app that allows your frontline employees to directly connect with anyone from your organization. This nurtures open communication between teams, departments, and branches, which will allow your whole retail organization to stay on the same page and be in sync.
Pursue Upskilling Opportunities
If you feel like there’s a certain skill or knowledge needed in retail management that you lack proficiency in, it might be time to look at upskilling opportunities. Indeed, a Udemy survey notes that at least 84% of U.S. workers think that there is a skills gap which needs to be solved by supplemental education and career advancement opportunities.
As a business manager, you can choose to go down the academic route and get yourself an online bachelor’s degree in business administration, where you can learn new technologies and strategies to help you better manage your team. The great thing about online degrees is that you can simultaneously work to complete them while still keeping a full-time job. In retail, managers can work towards executive positions with median salaries around the $99,310 mark in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aside from that, having an online business administration degree can also help you become a more well-rounded manager, as today’s universities include finance, human resources, and analytics topics in their business administration curriculum. Moreover, if you feel like you need to improve your communication skills, you can opt for online communication degrees and workshops that teach you the most effective and efficient ways to command your team.
Delegate Tasks Wisely
As a manager, you have to be smart when it comes to handling your staff’s strengths. By delegating the right tasks to the right person, you can significantly improve the efficiency of your retail organization. So, be sure to review an employee’s resume and find what they excel in. This ensures that you won’t get overwhelmed with brainstorming sessions, inventory management, and other important retail ventures. Additionally, it’s also crucial that you strategize and plan when it comes to assignments, as you don’t want your employees to over or under-work.
Utilize Reliable Forecasts
The thing with retail is that there are data-driven insights and analytics that can significantly improve how you handle your teams, business strategy, and marketing approach. Even information as simple as the revenue generated by each department can already provide you with learnings on how to enhance your organization’s value. To utilize the data generated by your store and workforce more effectively, be sure to consult data analysts and scientists who have the know-how for using programs that produce reliable forecasts for the betterment of your organization.
Submitted by Ruth Jeanne