What are Retail Managers Seeking these Days?

Retail Managers are always looking for someone different - someone who is more than average. Someone who they can rely on and trust. Someone who they know has great decision-making skills. Without great decision-making skills in retail, you are just average.

Once or twice a year, you will sit down with your manager and they will tell you how well you have done and how well you fit at your company. If you're lucky, they will even give you a numeric score.

On the range from one to five, average is a three. A two means that you do not belong in your position. A five means that your work performance is perfect. If you place at a four or five level, that means that you belong in a more advanced position, which equals more responsibility and more pay!

Work Your Way Up the Ladder - Get a Promotion
Credit: Richard Thomas | 123rf.com

Managers Look at Your Ability to Make Decisions

What is the purpose of being a manager? They are there to analyze the work environment, and based on whats going on allocate their human resource (you) to meet store goals. In other words, they are the decision makers.

To become better than average, you need to earn the manager's trust. You need to show them that you can make all the decisions in your department - that you can manage yourself.

This doesn't happen overnight. It is a learning process. You are still in a protective bubble where the manager has most of the decision-making liability. Let me break down decision-making into average and above average.

Average Decision Making

Average decision making is the usual norm for employees. When you are hired, you perform  regular department tasks and make only the most basic decisions. But when you have to make a decision that is out of ordinary, you ask the manager what you have to do. The manager makes the decision and you do what the manager tells you to do.

If you complete a project or task that a manager has asked you to do, you ask them what to do next.

As an average employee, you take absolutely no risk when it comes to making decisions.

Above-Average Decision Making

As an above-average employee, you are less reliant on your manager when it comes to making decisions. You know your department and the required work in that department. But still, your manager has complete control over what you do.

How do you get to this point? How do you make decisions but your manager makes decisions too?

When you start your shift, walk through your entire department and write a to-do list. If you see anything that you should do, write it down. Break this list into different priorities. What do you need to do right now? What can you finish by the end of the day?

Show this list to your manager and tell them that these are your priorities and that you're going to work down this list unless they have something more important for you to do.

Listen to your manager. This is the most important part of the learning how to manage one's self thing. They will tell you what your priorities are. Adjust your list for the day and note his/her priorities. Repeat the same process the next day using what you learned.

What are Some Patterns to Observe?

Daily patterns related to:

  • Weather Conditions
  • Daily Replenishments (fill the shelf with excess)
  • Daily Filling/Straightening
  • Live Stock (watering plants)
  • Signage (price drops, clearance)
  • Etc.

Weekly patterns related to:

  • Shipments
  • Weekly Advertisements
  • Signange (weekly sales)
  • Who is Working?

Quarterly patterns such as:

  • Certifications
  • Inspections
  • Inventory Audits

You Can Get a Four Out Of Five

Getting a 4 out of 5 may seem impossible or a waste of time, but with a bit of work you can get there. Even if you don't stay long enough to get a 4, your new decision-making skills are valuable.

Just remember the following: LPFT. List, Prioritize, Feedback, Time Management. Write out the list, prioritize your tasks, get feedback from your manager, and lastly use time management to complete all of your tasks (to the best of your ability).