Unfortunately, great leaders are hard to find, and this has a direct impact on the motivation (or lack of it) of their teams. Much has been written about how poorly our teams are engaged and this results in less productivity, more absenteeism, higher staff turnover and poor customer service.
Just when retail is coming under huge competitive pressure, we need our staff to stand out and create memorable experiences for our valuable customers. This is not going to happen if they are managed and lead poorly. I believe that great store managers and franchisees are the keys to a successful business. They need to lead with enthusiasm and find ways to motivate their team to be the best they can be.
I recently came across an article that highlighted three essential leadership skills that we all need to possess. Of course there are many skills to being a great leader, however, these three resonated with me and I wanted to share them with you.
The article covered research carried out by US Company BetterUp, who provide coaching skills to companies like Facebook, Salesforce and LinkedIn. When asked to define the top three skills they providing coaching on to new and mid-level managers these were the three identified.
- Set goals for your team and communicate them clearly. Provide clear direction, so your team knows what is expected. It’s also important they know how to get there, so some training of gaps may be required. They also need to be kept up to date on how they are tracking individually as well as how the team is progressing.
I’m a strong believer in publishing goals so all the team can see how they are tracking. However this is not enough, each day the team need to be coached to review their own performance and have a conversation with their manager on their results. The manager needs to provide ongoing follow to support team members in their improvement.
- Build a culture where everyone feels they can contribute. This is all about finding out what others know, what they can bring to the table and what they can add. When people have an opportunity to provide input and they feel they have been heard, this inspires trust, motivation, and creativity.
Managers need to ask questions and listen closely to embrace a culture of contribution. Ideas that won’t fly still need to be heard and then reasons provided why they won’t work. When team members feel that their opinions and ideas count, they feel part of the business which increases ownership and buy in.
- Embrace failure. Managers need to have a “growth mindset”, and therefore need to embrace challenges with an attitude of giving it a go. This will result in some failures along the way, however, this is where the best learning takes place.
This also applies to their team. Managers must delegate for their own growth as well as their team and this will result in mistakes being made. Being a supportive manager in these instances is essential if you want your team to continue to step up and take challenges on board.
It’s an ongoing challenge leading and motivating a team. I hope these three skills will help you become that inspirational leader that everyone wants to work for.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.