I work with many Retail Area Leaders who are passionate about their roles, stores and people. At the same time, they feel exhausted and burnt out. They feel like there needs to be more hours in the day.

Area Leaders can spend a lot of time on the road. I know from experience that this amount of travel can be isolating, lonely and exhausting. We neglect managing our own morale because we are so focused on that of our managers and stores.

So, how do you manage your morale so that you are energised for store visits?

If you are a regular reader of my posts or have completed the Ultimate Area Leader program you can probably guess that I’m going to start with PLANNING!

I cannot overestimate the role of planning and prioritisation in successful time management and Area Leadership. In my book, The Essential Guide For Area Leaders in Retail, I detail the traps for Area Leaders, including not planning for store visits but also over-scheduling and the (incorrect) belief that the more time spent in stores, the better.

Here are my top tips:

1.    Quality, not quantity, every store visit should have an outcome. Ensure you are taking the time to prepare.

2.    Allocate time each week to plan and prepare and get clear on what you want to achieve from every visit.

3.    Communicate to your stores ahead of time when you are visiting so they can prepare for your visit and make the most of your valuable time.

4.   Avoid putting yourself in the position of having to dash from one location to another. There is no correlation between the number of store visits you do. It’s about having purposeful outcome-based visits.

5.    Not all stores are created equal. Prioritise the stores that need the most attention. Use this template to prioritise your stores.

Area Leader morale improves when you know you are making a difference to store managers and the results they are able to achieve.