Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Be on the shop floor and connect with your team

What happens when your team (good and bad) are allowed to run things for themselves?

I ask this question because it's something I've experienced recently and the medium to long term consequences can be quite devastating.

It's a large team that I've done some work with and got quite close to. It can probably be broadly split into two factions - those that work really hard and have the wellbeing of the store and customers at heart, and those they don't. I think anyone that has worked in a large store has had a similar experience. In this case it's the long-standing team members that take care of everything and this half of the team carry out approximately 90% of the work. I'm some instances it's because they just get on with it, in others it's because the newer colleagues have t been trained. Many of the symptoms of this divide are amplified due to the fact the management team spend so much time in their offices and have no presence on the shop floor. The shop floor is where a management team should spend the majority if their time, and is where standards are set and policed. Without this management presence, this particular retailer has suffered in areas.

The established members of the team that were happy in the short term to pick up the pieces have started to become resentful of their extra duties and the lack of support from management and colleagues. It's created a lack of respect for the management team and two separate teams in the same store.

Now for all you owners and managers out there, a simple solution has probably already occurred to you. It's so often missed by retailers. Far too many managers spend far too much time away from their teams and their customers. If you don't want to spend this time out there then retail management or ownership may not be for you.

Communication and support of your team is of paramount importance and without it you won't succeed. Knowing exactly what is going on with your team, particularly having seen it with your own eyes gives you the opportunity to set the agenda, train effectively, gather customer feedback and get the support of your team. All of these factors not only make your team a success, it makes the job 100 times more interesting. Of you're not doing it already then give it a try.

Not everything can be bought on the High Street-

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