When I was an Area Leader, my monthly Store Manager meetings were the greatest source of problem-solving and strategic planning for the month ahead. It was also an opportunity for my Team Leaders to build community and connection.

Yes, these meetings could be time-consuming to plan and execute, but I always considered them one of the most crucial investments of my time and effort.

I often hear resistance to having store manager meetings as they are costly, taking leaders out of stores and requiring their shifts to be covered. I  have always found the benefits of having your Team Leaders focused on the results they need to achieve – and a plan for how to get them – far outweighs the cost of having each of your store managers out of stores for a few hours.

As the primary conduit between the organisation and its stores, Area Leaders have a vital role to play as filters. Sifting through the information from support functions to determine what your store managers need to know – and need to know now –  and how best to communicate this information is vital. Now is when you can refine and demonstrate your positive influence as an Area Leader.

You need to get the right information, to the right people, at the right time.

The flow of information

Great meetings don’t happen by accident – you need to plan ahead.


  • What positive results do I need to acknowledge and celebrate in front of the group?

  • What preparation do store managers need to do for the meeting?

  • What do I want my store managers to know by the end of the meeting?

  • What results do we want to achieve for the month ahead?

  • Where does our focus need to be to achieve those results?

  • What do store managers need to communicate to their teams?

  • What are your expectations following the meeting?

  • How will you provide an opportunity for feedback?

This last point is essential for several reasons, including acknowledging and celebrating progress and identifying issues, and because communication is a two-way process. Area Leaders also need to provide feedback to the support functions, letting them know:

  • What’s working?

  • What’s not?

  • Where are expectations not being met?

You are best placed to take the pulse of the business! With your store visits now established as a time when strategy and expectations will be communicated, you have everything you need to maintain an efficient flow of feedback.

Embrace your meetings as an investment and a crucial part of delivering results. The more you put into your store meetings, the more you will get out of them.