It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine as a retail manager. Managers make all the decisions and use the associate to do the simpler and/or specialized duties. Managers base their decisions from years of experience or from management education. Despite their years of experience, it is easy for a manager to get lost in the shuffle and forget how their decisions, actions or inactions affect the average hourly associate. Some things that seem insignificant to a manager may cause some of their best workers to quit.

Attributes of a Good Manager

There are several things that a manager should do to keep the trust of their associates. Trust is the most important factor of any relationship yet may easily be overlooked by a manager.

Keep Your Word

One of the most important attributes of a good manager is honesty. The better manager will always keep his or her word with the associate. It can be difficult to keep your word as a manager because situations always change - so plan. Here are several examples:

  • If you promised an employee full-time hours at the time of hire, give the employee full-time hours. If you know that you will not give them full-time hours at some point, hire them as part-time. Or if you wish to hire them as full-time, make them aware that their hours will eventually be dramatically cut.
  • If an employee asks for more hours and you tell them that they can have more hours, let them work the hours. If you can, adjust the posted schedule.
  • If you told the employees that you will post the schedule every Wednesday for the following week, post the schedule every Wednesday.

Respect the Associate's Time

Most associates value their time. Some associates work two jobs and try to fit as much work into their day as possible. If you want these associates to respect you as a manager, you must respect their time. If you don't respect their time, it will cost the associate time and money.

Here are three things that a manager can do to respect an associate's time:

  • Post next week's schedule well in advance. If an associate must call out a day in advance, it is reasonable to post the schedule early. Post it mid-week if possible. Do not wait until the last-minute. Posting early will allow the associate to plan their week.
  • Allow the associate to work the hours you scheduled him or her. If they completed all of their work, give them something else to do (if possible).
  • Never tell the associate that the amount of hours they are given is too much. The associate will only get aggravated.

Provide the Associate with Feedback

Feedback is the most important thing that an associate can take away from a job. Feedback molds an associate's work ethic and skills. Do not save all of your feedback for the associate's quarterly or yearly review. If an associate is doing something wrong, let the associate know the proper way to do it.

Keep in mind that many jobs are entry-level, and in these jobs they learn how to complete the task while they are completing their task. If you let the associate know the proper way how to complete their work, they will do it more efficiently.

This is somewhat like using proper form while exercising. You will gain more muscle if you do exercises with proper form.

Follow the Same Rules

Obviously a manager is conscious of more rules than an average hourly associate. Government and corporate rules all taken into account. But within the facility, a manager should follow the same rules which puts an associate into hardship. When an associate sees a manager go through the same aggravation, the associate feels closer to the manager.

At one restaurant I worked at, management required all associates to leave their jackets in their cars because of limited space (no coat storage area). So all the associates had to walk across the parking lot in rain, wind, and snow in mid-winter. Managers wore their coats inside. How do you think the associates felt?

So keep these attributes in mind and keep up the trust between you and associates. If you, as a manager violate an associates trust, the associate may just stop showing up to work. If you keep up the trust between you and the associate, the associate will do the work for you because the associate will not want to let you down.