Sympathy vs. Empathy 

Sympathy vs. Empathy 

Sympathy involves identifying with, and even taking on, another person’s emotions. A sympathetic response is, “I’m really angry about those centerpieces, too.”

Empathy means acknowledging and affirming another’s emotional state. An empathetic response is, “I can understand why that makes you angry.”

 When a service provider steps into a customer’s unfortunate condition , there are two victims instead of one. As a service professional, you need to see the clear difference between what happened and who it happened to—and work on the former to bring things back to normal.

So What’s the Difference?
Responding to customers with sympathy—getting as upset as they are—puts you on an emotional roller coaster and can leave you worn out and frazzled at the end of the day. The trick is to be emotionally aware and sensitive without becoming too emotionally involved. When you respond with empathy, you stay calm and in control of yourself. Only then you become at your absolute best: ready, willing, and able to help your customer meet his needs or solve his problem.
Showing empathy for customers allows you to be professional and caring at the same time. It also makes customers feel that they are important and what they are saying matters. Empathy cannot be handed out by a machine; it’s something one person does for another.

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HR Planning: a key part in the company’s growth plan


 HR Planning: a key part in the company’s growth plan


  • Outline the company mission statement.
  • Identify the purpose of business.
  • Establish clear goals and objectives.
  • Plans for the long-term period / targets to achieve.
  • Assess the current human resources.
  • Profile of current employees including existing skills and ones that can be developed.
  • Estimate the labor supply and demand.
  • Assess and analyze the HR needs of the organization.
  • Match labor demand with supply.
  • Satisfy current HR needs or recruit and attract potential candidates.


The planning process starts with the mission statement of the organization.

Organizations need to know what the purpose of the business is before taking any further steps in planning all the other strategic parts of the long-term plan.

Once a mission statement is outlined and developed the company determines the business they want to be leader in and what are the action that will help reach this aimed goal. The importance of a mission statement is paramount, because is the pillar of every decision being made.



The next step is to establish the goals and objectives of the company, because it usually outlines the plans over the long period.

This step also establishes goals the company wishes to achieve with assigned timelines to achieve them.

From an HR planning perspective this is important because the planning process becomes more detailed when the goals and objectives are defined and the tools, investment and resources needed can be identified with more accuracy.

HR will then analyze the human resource part of the company structure to move on to the next step in the planning process.


Assessing the current HR situation, means profiling the current employees of the company, the HR management team will then have an idea of the skills the company has at their disposal, and which talents can be developed to match the needs of the company’s growth plan.

This step will give HR an idea of the skills available compared to what is needed to achieve the organizational goals.

HR will at this stage, continue the planning process to align with the strategic plans of the organization.


Estimating the supply and demand of labor is the next step in the planning process for the HR department, after assessing the current human capital, the future needs of HR will be estimated.

Employees may not have the mandatory skills and competencies to fulfill the company’s strategic plan, therefore this step is crucial to know what skills are needed, and need either to be developed within current employees with tailored development plans or recruited externally in respect of the strategic plans.

HR must know trough an accurate forecast the specific skills and the number of employees needed to keep the company’s plans and objectives on track.


Matching labor demand and supply is also important because the company needs to know the timeframe, the specific targets, and the measurable metrics that is needed to achieve organizational goals as they are highlighted in the growth plan for the company.

The Company may have too many or too little of the needed skills, in this case assessing the current situation and forecasting is necessary because if specific skill sets are needed in the future, HR must estimate the company’s human resources to match the demand and supply for labor in respect to the organization’s goals or implement changes that may need to take place to keep the company’s goals on track.


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The Single Biggest Difference Between Leaders and Managers

I’m not dogmatic when it comes to distinguishing the difference between leadership and management. In fact, I think the difference between leadership and management is often over-exaggerated.…

Source: The Single Biggest Difference Between Leaders and Managers

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Why an amazing manager on duty will make your retail store the best in the business. 

Why an amazing manager on duty will make your retail store the best in the business 
The importance of the M.O.D – Manager on duty

The required Skills of MOD

The MOD must demonstrate and execute the following skills to set an enthusiastic and energetic tone for both the Consumers and the associates in store:

  • Leadership abilities 
  • Excellent Customer Service 
  • Strong Communication skills
  • Good Decision Making Abilities
  • Ability to delegate to the wider team  
  • Ability to influence and motivate store team
  • Ability to set priorities and follow up
  • Ability to set the store for success
  • Ability to foresee opportunities for the business

The business day of the MOD

The Manager on duty should be responsible for the following 

 Start of business day

  • Set the Direction and the daily priorities ( stockroom and goods receiving area setup, relevant  marketing and or products initiatives Implementation, Promotion roll out) 
  • Create the Daily briefing and share the info with the morning team 
  • Complete the Zoning Chart and Time Zone 
  • Check and follow up from previous day tasks ( Replenishment , Shop floor Standards )
  • Review messages from previous day closing manager on duty.
  • Set the store for opening ( cash and system management procedures)

  During the business day

  • Drive the Consumer experience 
  • Observe associates’ performance in delivering company’s customer service model 
  • Be in constant motion and be present on the shop floor
  • Be the link between shop floor and back of house
  • React to store trends as needed: re-zoning team members, address needs of specific areas or dept. of the store (i.e. fitting rooms etc.)
  • Monitor the Checkout Experience
  • Ensure standards of housekeeping and Product presentation Standards 
  • Address specific customer needs or emergencies or issues as they arise. 
  • Update the store team on business results ( vs. target ) KPI and revenues 
  • Share information with the team and share feedback in real time ( link behaviors to results)

 End of business day 

  • Update Business Results 
  • Ensure store is set for next morning
  • Communicate key info for morning team
  • Close the store ( cash and system management procedures)

Main Task: Set the store for success

Set the Direction

The objective of setting the direction is to gain insight into progress towards the Weekly Objectives and plan to identify the day’s strategy and communicate it to the team through the daily briefing.

Create the Daily briefing :

  • The Briefing communicates the KPI’s and behaviors the team will focus on throughout the day. 
  • Information to be included in the briefing : Store Metrics (Yesterday , Budget ,vs. LY , Conversion, UPT)
  • Review performance of the store WTD to identify patterns or opportunities to deliver results ( i.e. Work on promotions or leverage CR)
  • Product Info
  • General Store news
  • Promotions 

Complete the associates zoning Chart :

Strategically place Team members within a zone of the store to ensure a premium consumer experience and achieve Business Results. Consider the following factors when creating the zone chart.

  • Review coverage/peak hours to determine the best time to schedule breaks periods.
  • Assign relevant HRS to back of hours operations to guarantee products processing and replenishment standards and effectiveness.
  • Prioritize which zones need to be covered first on the shop floor 
  • Match ability level of the Team members to the zone assigned
  • Assign Operational tasks and checkouts coverage.

The MOD will answer management phone calls, check-in deliveries, check-out associates be accessible to consumer’s requests and requirements at all times, and manage the cash related operations ( employee discount, till handover, etc.)
Observing Behaviors and Sharing info with team 

Observing Behaviors  

While the MOD is in constant motion, they are observing behaviors and asking themselves questions to ensure a premium experience is being delivered to the consumers. 

  • Are associates displaying a sense of urgency around consumer satisfaction at all times?
  • Are associates providing a premium consumer experience through the company’s service model ? 
  • Are team members effectively working with multiple consumers?
  • Are the Visual merchandising standards maintained consistently during the business day and looked after only during down time?
  • What are the zones where consumers need the most assistance?
  • Is the store being replenished according to the business trend ?

Share information with the team 

  • Ensure that associates are aware of store’s Sales, Conversion, and other KPI goals
  • Hourly Sales, Conversion and KPI’s are updated and communicated to team
  • React to Business Trends and needs
  • Ensure that associates are aware of New Products and current promotions and initiatives
  • Communicates replenishment needs to back of house team 
  • Maintenance and communication of zoning within the store
  • Be accessible to customers’ requests at all times
  • Prioritize customer needs/interaction over assigned tasks 
  • Manage breaks according to the associates schedule 

What a successful MOD should aim for ? 

  • Create a culture within the store to ensure that the team is focused on:
  • Providing Premium consumer experience through the execution of the company’s service model, conveying company’s values.
  • Delivering Premium Product Presentation and Operation Excellence
  •  Achieve Financial Results by driving Sales, Conversion Rate and other KPI’s, and maximize store potentials 
  • Strong floor presence at all times, be an example for the team  
  • Coach the store team : Inspire, Motivate, Challenge and Teach associates.

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The 5 retail functions you actually need to know

“The 5 retail functions you actually need to know”
It all starts with Planning 
Planning is the basic function within every management environment It deals with outlining and forecast a course of action and deciding in advance the most appropriate actions and steps for achievement of goals and targets set in advance by the organization. 
Planning will support any gap analysis, in common terms highlights where the organization is,where it wants to be and how it gets there.

An outlined plan is a future course of actions. It is an interesting exercise in the process of problem solving and decision making. 

Planning is outlining the of courses of action to achieve desired goals. 

Given that planning is a systematic thinking about ways and means for accomplishment of pre-determined goals. Planning is of paramount importance to ensure proper utilization of resources.

A correct and thoughtful planning will support other process and will let the organization overcome with less difficulty times of confusion and uncertainty, will definitely help in taking calculated risks and why not reduce waste on both intellectual and economical terms for the organization.
Let’s get Organized 

Organizing is the process of bringing together the different aspects of the business on the same intellectual level, and the process of a productive relationship between them and let them work as mechanism that aims to one goal : the organization pre assigned targets and long term goal. 
To organize a business involves assessing and providing both human and non-human resources to the organizational structure.

The Organizing process may involves:

  • Identification of needed activities.
  • Classification of activities carried out by groups.
  • Duties assignment.
  • Delegation and creation of responsibility and accountability
  • Coordinating the relationships amongst the groups involved in the process.

Staffing : the art of assigning manpower to the main goal in the perfect way.
Staffing is the function of providing workforce to the organization structure and keeping it manned in the best and more productive and cost efficient way. 
Staffing has assumed greater importance recently this mostly due the advancement of technology, the increase in size and volume of business, the more complexity of human behavior and the more complex needs of the consumer to be satisfied. The main purpose of staffing, is to allocating the right resources to the the right jobs to achieve the company’s long term goals. The function of staffing involves manning the organization structure through proper and effective selection, hiring and development of personnel to fill the roles designed in the organization structure.
Staffing might involves:

  • Workforce Planning.
  • Recruitment and selection process of resources.
  • Training and Development of resources. 
  • Remuneration and benefits for the workforce.
  • Performance Evaluations.
  • Career progression.

It is that side of the managerial function which put into actions the organizational methods to work in an effective way for achievement of organizational purposes.
It is considered the fuel of the whole organization which sets it in motion the action of the workforce because planning, organizing and staffing are the mere preparations for carrying out the work. 
The efforts of the organization need to guided into the right direction. The importance of Direction 
Direction cover those aspects of management which deals directly with influencing, guiding, supervising, motivating and delegating for the achievement of organizational goals. 
Direction covers the following elements:

  • Supervising the workforce.
  • Motivate the workforce. 
  • Lead the workforce. 
  • Establish clear communication channels: Communication is the key.


Implies  overseeing the work of peers and direct reports by their direct superiors. It is the act of directing, observing work and workforce behaviors.

Means inspire,stimulate and/or encourage the team.

Positive, negative, monetary, and non-monetary incentives may be used to fulfill this purpose.

Could be defined as a process by which manager leads and influence the work of his team in the desired direction.

Is the process of sharing information, experiences ,feedbacks and data based opinions from one person to another. 

It is a bridge of understanding among the team.

Let’s be always in control: the importance of Controlling

It implies measurement of accomplishment against the performance indicators and correction and actions if any to ensure achievement of organizational goals.
The purpose of controlling is to ensure that everything occurs in line with the standards and following the processed and the procedures outlined by the organization. 

Having an efficient system of control in place will help to predict deviations before they actually occur. 

Controlling has following steps:

  • Establishment of performance standards and benchmarks.
  • Measurement of actual performance vs. targets and benchmarks.
  • Comparison of actual performance with the standards and identify actions for improvement if needed.
  • Corrective actions.

Thanks for reading, 

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