From managing staff to reordering stock, retail managers have a widely varied list of responsibilities, and while most excel in a few areas, a manager that shines in every area is hard to find. But, by recognising their weaknesses and learning the tricks of the trade, retail managers — and employees that one day hope to step up to fulfil that role — can become great leaders. Here are five tips for retail managers to build their skills.
People are led, not managed.
Sure, “manage” may be in retail manager, but leadership is a more appropriate term to the way managers should interact with their team. Avoid only pointing out mistakes and make sure to compliment employees when they do a good job. Offer constructive criticism that’s coupled with ways to improve, instead of straight negativity. Be wary of becoming too close to your employees as well, or directing staff becomes difficult when those staff members are close friends.
Embrace a flexible schedule.
Like it or not, most retail management positions require odd hours and occasionally being called into work on short notice. Learn to embrace the flexible work schedule, or you’ll wind up frustrated and distracted. Find the positives in your new schedule and put on the same attitude you want your staff to wear to work everyday.
Expect change and grow with it.
Retail is continually changing. As seasons change and sales trends adjust, retail mangers that embrace the change will find new ways to grow the business, instead of being held back by unexpected curve balls. Instead of resisting change, expect it and lead the team through the adjustment.
Earn the respect of your team.
Leading is impossible without respect. Retail managers need to set expectations and stick to them. When an employee makes a mistake, discuss the issue and how they can improve. Drawing on your own experience is also helpful. Give employees reasonable time to correct. Besides just correcting mistakes, good retail managers will also recognises changes in the industry and keep staff informed. Maintain a positive connection on a regular basis and staff will feel like part of a team, not just employees.
Learn how to best manage your time.
With so many tasks, retail managers need to develop solid time management skills. Learn how to prioritise which tasks need be completed first. Identify repetitive tasks that could be streamlined, like creating email templates for the most common correspondence. Leaders also need to be able to identify which tasks should be assigned to another team member and which ones shouldn’t be divvied up.
Managing a retail team isn’t an easy task. Retail managers need to be adept at a number of different skills, from leading team members to managing time. By learning to build up those areas, however, retail managers can grow to become even more valuable assets to the team. Employees eyeing a management position can also note the skills of successful retail managers and work to build towards that position.