Among the duties of any retail manager include recruiting the right candidates and training them according to the policies and working environment of the store. In addition to that, he or she is responsible for scheduling employees and ensuring everyone is doing their duties efficiently, and not creating problems for the store and co-workers.
The store manager is also responsible for motivating, coaching, and counseling workers. They are also in charge of disciplining the workers, maintaining leave and pay records, holding inventory, preparing the annual budget, scheduling expenditures, and analyzing variances among many other responsibilities.
So, what are the traits of a great retail store manager?
1. A Great Retail Manager Creates a Happy Workplace for Their Employees
An unhappy employee makes an unproductive employee - that goes without saying. On the other hand, a happy employee is not only productive but loyal as well. Employee satisfaction is one critical secret that many leading business organizations and industry leaders, such as Apple and Google, have already taken advantage of, and are already reaping enormous benefits.
How do you create a happy working atmosphere for your workers? Greet them cheerfully and wish them well - a “good morning, have a nice day!” from the boss is enough to brighten anyone’s day instantly. Praise them and recognize them publicly for a job well-done. Remember their work anniversaries, respect their work-life balance, or take them out for an occasional lunch. Doing so will show them just how much you appreciate them and will encourage them to give you their best in terms of productivity.
2. A Great Retail Manager Develops Their Employees’ Career Skills
Today, one of the major factors employees seriously consider when looking for employment is employee development - is employee development part of the hiring package or not? Knowing their potential employer is willing to use company resources to see them develop makes them feel important and appreciated. Doing so also gives the company advertising the vacancy a competitive advantage over other companies that advertise similar positions.
Not only does the initiative of further career development help employers’ attract the right talent, but it also helps them retain their best employees; this is because employees who know they are valued are less likely to quit.
3. A Great Retail Manager Encourages Employees to Communicate Their Suggestions
A good retail manager should not only aim to help their employees grow but should also be willing to create an environment where everyone feels free to make suggestions they feel could help improve the company’s bottom line. Remember you don’t have to be the only one trying to solve problems or looking for solutions. Take advantage of the skills and knowledge of your employees, and you might be surprised at what they have to offer. In turn, your employees will feel like they are a part of the business, which could increase their loyalty.
4. A Great Retail Manager Sets Goals for Their Employees, and Rewards Accomplishments
Setting goals for your employees and rewarding their accomplishments, when done correctly, can be a great way to motivate them. The first thing you should keep in mind when setting employee goals is to involve the employees from start to finish. Doing so will inspire commitment and allow a sense of ownership in achieving individual goals.
The second thing to keep in mind is to link individual goals to business goals and objectives. When employees see how their performance impacts the company’s bottom line, it encourages better performance and accountability.
The third thing you should consider is to develop SMART goals. SMART, in this case, stands for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACTIONABLE, RESULTS-ORIENTED, and TIME-BOUND.
Once set, make it your responsibility to follow up; if it appears as if your employees are not meeting their goals, investigate why, and sit down together to try and find a solution.
5. A Great Retail Manager Mentors Their Employees
The fact that you are now a retail manager shows you have a lot of knowledge and experience; so, don’t be shy to share all that you've learned along the way. Becoming a part of a formal or informal mentorship program is important, as doing so can help connect different generations and experience levels.
When knowledge is shared continually in a collaborative nature, a learning culture is created where employees are more likely to reach their full potential; this leads to greater job satisfaction, which, in turn, helps create a more positive work environment. A positive work environment, on the other hand, creates a lower employee turnover rate among many other benefits.
6. A Great Retail Manager Shows Interest in Their Employees
Showing interest in your employees doesn’t mean you should start aiming at becoming best buddies with them. Instead, it means seeing your staff members as real persons, not machines. For example, offering flexible employee work schedules, or implementing retail scheduling software with a free mobile app download, shows your employees you understand they have lives outside work and that you care about their well-being. Addressing employee time-off requests in a timely manner is also a good way of showing an interest in them. When your employees have reason to believe that you care about them, it increases their motivation and dedication to the business.
7. A Great Retail Manager Leads by Example
As we conclude this post, it goes without saying that a great leader leads by example. A good leader is a role model who inspires their employees on a daily basis. Are your workers getting a 1-hour lunch break? Take a 1-hour break as well, not two because you are the boss. Lead by example, and everyone will follow suit.