Working in retail is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. When individuals are also responsible for managing retail departments, the difficulty grows exponentially. Understanding the ins and outs of retail management, while employing effective management strategies, will aid any retail worker in a management position.
Retail managers – also known as store managers, department managers or directors – have many duties to perform. Such individuals are often responsible for hiring or firing new employees, while organizing employee workshops, meetings and trainings. They are usually the prime mediator in disputes or conflicts, whether regarding employees or customers. Managers can also handle pricing changes, product ordering, profit and loss management, facility maintenance and security concerns. All in all, managers have a lot on their plate, and they need to ensure the strategies they employ are adequate in handling these diverse tasks.
The first and most important strategy retail management should use regards employees. Managers are directly responsible for inspiring work ethic in their employees and maintain high employee motivation. Without a dedicated and enthusiastic staff, sales are likely to suffer and customer satisfaction decreases. Managers can keep employees happy and motivated through goal-orientation, fair treatment and setting a positive example. This kind of friendly, supportive attitude should extend to customers as well. Customer service is of utmost importance in the retail world; managers should not only teach employees good customer service skills, but also personally employ them.
Another key strategy all managers should employ is general organization. By keeping financial records, purchases and other documentation well organized, managers can avoid confusion in the workplace. This also ensures they are able to catch any abnormal activities (such as money laundering) before they become an irreparable issue. Managers should also be very secure and thorough in their work. As the leaders of their branch or store, they are accountable for nearly everything that happens in their workplace. Employing safety protocols and policies can not only protect them from harm and misuse, but also their employees and customers.