Team motivation, a key to success

Teams motivation could be the most important single manageable key to success and business profitability within a retail environment. It is far too important to be managed without consistency depending on the personal characteristics of the manager or the person in charge. To add value to your business and your consumer experience in the end must be embraced and managed on a day-to-day basis. The effect on the business profitability can be extraordinary. There are many effective ways of motivating and engaging employees. Of course, there are also innumerable ways to demotivate your teams and it is mutually important to identify the root causes of this that most of the time lies in poor practices that once identified can easily be avoided. 

 A dissatisfied employee is unlikely to welcome in a positive and proactive way a potential consumer.

Some managers prefer to drive being in charge rather than leading teams to success and this reveals itself in a edgy and unpleasant store atmosphere for both co-workers and customers alike. Anxiety destroys confidence and pride of each employee towards its job; its effect on productivity is harmful and destructive in the end.

Management of course should be highly enthusiastic, articulate, and lively although each person has its own personality and comes across in a different way, it is also true that it “is not one’s personality that affects others but how this person is perceived in the group context”.  Honesty, impartiality, and openness are essential.  True empathy in your employee’s problems is valuable.

One of the very best ways to motivate is to intentionally try to help bring out the very best in your staff and to do everything in your power to develop leadership talent and knowledge.  It is also an amazing development opportunity for yourself in being able to point to successful people knowing that you contributed to that success.  This kind of environment comes through to all your people and enhances the perception of your retail unit.

Motivation, training, and coaching are closely related.  They should start from the day of onboarding. Regulations as well as rewards are part of the motivation path.  All should be thoroughly and constantly explained to be effective and make an impact on your teams performance.

Loyalty and pride are infused by making people feel valued, and they are important to the business; that their opinions count and listened to; that they are respected as persons and treated accordingly and that they will share the success if the business is successful. This means keep your people involved. Involved people will do their best.

Another general area of motivation relates to competitions within the store team itself. These add interest and excitement to the day-to-day routine. Contests on productivity or achievement of certain KPI can be planned, whilst sane competition within the business is alive; managers are also achieving goals and targets trough team effort.


Employee turnover within retail group, what is it and what the causes might be. Have you ever looked at it in a different way?

In a retail environment or within the HR context in general, turnover or staff turnover or employee /labor turnover is the rate at which an organization loses employees. Simple ways to describe it could be “how long employees tend to remain in their position?”  Turnover is measured for individual companies and their business as a whole. If a company or business is said to have a high turnover relative to its main competitors, it means that employees of that company have a shorter average tenure than those of other companies in the same industry and this can obviously be for a variety of reasons. High turnover may be harmful to the company’s productivity ratio if skilled workers are often leaving and the employee’s population contains a high percentage of un-skilled workers. Companies also track turnover internally, across departments as Internal turnover involves employees leaving their current positions for new positions within the same company. Clearly in both cases positive (promotions, further responsibility etc.) and negative (demotion, project failure or budget cuts). Internal turnover is usually controlled by a variety of HR tools and mechanisms, such as an internal recruitment policy or structured succession planning

What are the causes of high turnover?

High turnover often means that employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, especially when the job market is open to new opportunities and experienced employees can with ease transfer to different organizations. It can also indicate unsafe or unhealthy conditions or a not people oriented business culture or that too few employees give satisfactory performance (due to unrealistic expectations, inappropriate processes or tools, or poor candidate screening). The lack of challenges, dissatisfaction with the job-scope, and conflict with the management have been noted as early signs of high turnover. Each business has its own unique turnover drivers so companies must continually work to identify the issues that cause turnover in their business. Further, the causes of attrition vary within a company such that makes for turnover in one department might be very different from the causes of turnover in another department.

Companies can use exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving and the problems they encountered in the workplace. The HR department can also re-look the recruitment process and mostly the talent acquisition side of it.

Another factor that might affect turnover lie in the selection of the best fit talent for the lack in choosing valid candidates from the outside, in fact, hiring the right talent might work well towards solving the turnover problem, on the contrary choosing employees whom values are not fit for the organization, or those employees with a not value based background might only increase the potential of a costly issue for the organization.Low turnover instead indicates that none of the above is completely true: employees are satisfied, healthy, and safe, and their performance is satisfactory to the employer, and mostly the selection, professionalism and competency of the HR department in acquiring the right talent can be the key.

Other indicators of low turnover are   obviously career opportunities; salary, corporate culture, management’s recognition, and a comfortable workplace seem to impact employees’ decision to stay with their employer. Is your company management team looking at labor turnover this way? Or your business just looking to save the bottom line on the P&L where personnel cost are always having a great deal of impacts, which remain the question.


Please share your experience, as employee or as HR professional


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What kind of team can we find in the retail workplace?

The kind of team that an organization can set up among employees depends on that team’s assigned tasks and the aimed goal. By team in the organization we mean a group of employees who are working together on either a temporary or a permanent basis to achieve a common objective that will ultimately link to the business unit specific targets. The most common kinds of workplace teams can be identified as follows:

Project team: A project team is a group of people selected to work together to accomplish a particular project. Very often, when the project ends, the team has no longer reason to be. 
Not every task or assignment requires senior managers to create a dedicated team. For a project team to succeed, leaders need to ensure that the task is appropriate for that group of team members to work on together and the right tools and the information are provided, and the end desired result is clear.

Cross-functional team: A cross-functional team is made up of employees from different departments or areas of the business, in order to bring different approach and experience background to the project, or merely because the project might involves different business areas and requires different specific skills or expertise.

Self-directed work team: is identified in most cases as a team that determines how it will get the tasks done and has the authority and expertise, and often the budget accountability, to make decisions that will impact the project in the short term and the business goal in the short-term. 
Being a self-managed team does not mean that the group doesn’t need a senior leader or manager, It simply implies that the team is responsible and accountable for its decisions, as opposed to proposing action that will be approved or denied by someone in charge that manage the project from above. 

Have you been involved in a project or been involved in one of the above groups? Share your experience and feedback

Why is so hard to give and receive feedback following a job interview?

During these uncertain economical times of most retail context especially within the European market, always more professionals, from different working sectors and with the most various experience background are actively job seeking. Almost everyone is relooking at their resume, updating their social network page, and creating new and more attractive profiles on LinkedIn to land the so called “dream job” or just a new and interesting challenge to transfer their skills, develop the existing ones further and learn new ones.            It is common knowledge that the resume itself will only create the opportunity for a job interview, given that the objectives and what the candidate is seeking, and the summary on the top of the resumes will impress the recruiter or at least create interest for further information.

In most cases candidates will obtain their first interview, either face to face or as it is happen lately, with the workforce-increased mobility via Skype.

 Once that happen, if from a candidate perspective is mandatory to research the company the brand and its core values and of course their target market and products, the recruiter should identify trough some structured questions if there is a match between the candidate and the company values and objective and obviously the skills and expertise match the position to be filled.

What is coming from the field seems to be slightly different.


First most candidates will not review their resumes, we are talking about spelling mistakes, incorrect phone numbers, objectives that are far from the targeted company and even not so professional email addresses and will not do the appropriate research about the company moved in most cases just from the need of landing a job, on the other hand most recruiter will follow different templates and interviewing techniques that are just not good enough in most cases to identify and attract that much sought-after talent.

Talent cannot be summaries in ticking few boxes, or not trying to understand what the candidate is like, talent can be found in many different ways sometimes easily however not merely with a paper exercise.

Once all the above obstacles that might occur or not depending on the cases, each candidate and recruiter alike will select the approach, behavior or technique that they see fit, the common issue seems to be another one: The feedback.

This word has been used, learned, and at the same time abused for years in the retail industry, in training rooms, interviews or questionnaires but most employees and employers just admire the sound of it or like to fill phrases without seeing the real power and meaning of it.

As result following an interview where the candidate was maybe not the right fit for the company, which is absolutely normal, natural and professional if you like, why don’t give a structured feedback? Is there anything to lose? We think there is not. It might actually be a missed opportunity.

Few examples of the positive impacts of a structured feedback can have:

▪   Professional image of the company in the outside world, a company who cares about individuals and appreciate effort and interest.

▪   Will retain interest in the candidate towards the company or brand for the future and create loyalty regardless.

▪   Will create a positive general free advert for the company in the job seeker world.

▪   Will make the candidate feel valued and appreciated, and not treated in an unprofessional manner.


However this seems to be in a very high number percentage wise not the case.

So this begs a very hard question to answer

Are people ready to receive feedback even before being able to give one?

The answer seems to be a grey area.

 Feedback are in most cases, this might be due to inexperience or inappropriate training, only associated with negative news, and is believed to be just a reprimand or to highlight something just not right, in fact if you ask us there’s no such thing as the most heard: Negative Feedback

Most candidates will feel the feedback to be personal and not appropriate, as result the culture of just in most cases ignoring all the form of communication between companies and unsuccessful candidates has become unfortunately a common practice with all the non-positive impact on both retail organization and job seekers.

What are your thoughts?

Share your experience!