I’m privileged to work closely with my clients — retail senior leaders, area leaders, and their teams. Getting their real-world perspectives fuels my passion for helping them grow their people and business. Over the years, I have seen many unique situations and also some scenarios that come up repeatedly.

This week I’m sharing three of the most FAQs (frequently asked questions) that I hear and my responses.

FAQ #1
My workload has increased, but my time has decreased! How can I stay on top of everything?

I often hear this from area leaders as they find themselves stretched, with increased recruitment and retention challenges on top of ambitious targets. Firstly, I would say, take a good look at how you spend your time:

  • Is your week planned and structured to prioritise your store visits and still have the capacity for more focused, strategic work?
  • Have you factored in time in your weekly structure to allow for the unexpected?

Quality over quantity

It is crucial to plan and prepare for store visits where you set expectations, provide feedback and give support if needed. Go into these visits ready to listen and recognise what’s going well, not just troubleshoot problems.

It takes discipline to structure our time, but the productivity gains will soon become apparent.

FAQ #2
We’ve had many new people join the business, and I’m struggling to create connection in the team — how can I improve this?

Undoubtedly a challenging situation to be in and one that will be familiar to many leaders, especially in the wake of COVID and the limitations on connecting with leadership teams in person.

If you are struggling with team dynamics, it’s useful to look at your recruitment strategy and prioritise 
great hiring and onboarding processes. This will help ensure you are recruiting the right people and not recruiting out of desperation to fill roles.

Once your team is in place, it’s all about relationships and expectations. Get your people on board and excited about the bigger picture — what are your area goals and targets? Identify how they can contribute.

What gets rewarded gets done

Recognising and celebrating small wins is crucial to success — especially when everyone is stretched. This is great for team bonding, bringing a sense of fun and accomplishment. It is extremely motivating for future wins.

FAQ #3
I’ve always loved working in retail, but I feel I’ve lost my ‘spark’ recently. How can I get it back?

This one I connect to on a personal level, having had a long and happy career in retail that, of course, had its bumps along the way. I learned that it is essential to recognise how you are feeling and understand why and what you need to move forward. Our ‘spark’ — or sense of purpose — is essential to our performance.

Remember your purpose

Go back to the source — what are the values of the business? Are you still living them? If not, why not?

Are your own needs for growth being met? Identify whom you need to talk to about developing your skills. Look to your professional networks, read, listen to podcasts, go to events, and get inspired.

A great way to get excited about your career again is to make a difference to someone else. Share your stories and insights with those at the start of their career, and you’ll remember why you love your job!

Do you have a question for me? Drop me a line, I’d love to answer it.