In my day to day role as a management consultant and trainer for the retail and consumer industries, I am exposed to a plethora of companies, executives, operational staff, retail managers and frontline staff. Some of the companies I work with are performing extremely well financially and are looking to capitalise on their results and grow them further. Whereas, many other companies are struggling financially and are looking for strategies to keep their neck above water.
When I sit back and analyse the differences between these companies there is one key difference that sets the strong performers apart from the rest. It simply comes down to the top companies prioritising and valuing their people.
These companies have a culture in their business that recognises that their people (especially their store managers and frontline staff) are the key drivers of their business. They see their people as their biggest asset and recognise that engaged and happy staff drive customer loyalty.
A company that values their people isn’t one that promotes this on their website or tells you they do it. But it is one that acts on it.
These companies are often prepared to invest time, resources and money into training their retail staff, even in tough times. If they do not have the budget to train externally, they will look for alternative options like a blended learning approach, online learning or even having the general manager train the team (which one of our client’s has done).
A culture based around valuing people starts with the leadership team. The retailers I’ve worked with who are experiencing growth are the ones where the executives and managers are modelling leadership behaviours and recognise, support and challenge their people.
If you work for or manage a retail company which isn’t performing, consider the company values and whether you are investing in your people.