Improving the commitment and know-how of retail managers
Should managerial know-how in retail let itself be overtaken by the changes in new generations and their relationship with work? It is now very complicated to recruit and retain employees. There is also a lack of motivation for assuming responsibility and management. A general lack of interest in work, a lack of know-how and a loss of reference points: managers are running out of steam and the teams no longer really have confidence in their management. It would seem that our contemporaries have forgotten the intrinsic meaning of the job of manager, and the values linked to their managerial duties. We are talking here about the manager’s commitment to the teams, the customers and the store. A real constraint admittedly, but which is, firstly, the condition for winning the support and involvement of their employees and, secondly, the key to legitimising the position of manager. The challenge for the manager is to be aware of, and (re)gain confidence in, what their job represents and to act accordingly. But how?
- By putting the original values and skills of their job back in the spotlight
- By finding their place within the decision-making process and chain of command
- By using tools that provide technology to carry out their managerial role aptly and fairly.
Below is TimeSkipper’s expert advice in order to revive the willingness to manage and restore harmony in people management.
The original skills of the manager’s job to create employee trust and develop team spirit
- Commitment: a managerial attitude is essential where the manager serves the employees, teams and store.
- Giving meaning and transferring know-how: to bring together employees and develop their self-confidence.
- Listening and consideration: to involve employees
- Unifying and creating mutual assistance through management routines and appropriate soft skills: to make the team and each employee as autonomous as possible
The manager: legitimacy is to be acquired and it is a position to regain
- Update the role: a conduit for communications and a decisionmaker
- Redefine the scope of responsibilities: the turnover of a department or section and the implementation of resources to achieve objectives
- Conditions: access to correct information and the right tools
The TimeSkipper solution to facilitate the manager’s role
- Calculation and fair allocation of the workload to the available resources
- Automated daily and weekly timetables
- Transparency of communications and information-sharing with everybody
- Assistance with decision-making
With the help of TimeSkipper, the manager regains their effectiveness and establishes their leadership. Employees develop their skills and increase their responsibilities and autonomy.
Skills required for the job of manager
The notion of commitment is significant and inherent in the qualities of transfer, especially as the environment is marked by a loss of reference points. It is by serving their employees that the manager gains employees’ trust and embodies the team spirit. The manager must try to adopt the principle of the French novelist, Balzac “In every case, we receive only that in proportion to what we give”. A demanding approach which is practised with courage and humility.
Building employee trust: individual recognition
Trying to build employee trust is the first essential step.
Firstly, this is achieved through the manager’s ability to give meaning to the work of each individual:
- How their work is part of the company’s projects and strategy
- The usefulness of all the tasks under the employee’s responsibility
- An interest in development opportunities, for their team and themselves.
Listening skills and being considerate are also essential qualities for involving employees: it is in this way that they will listen to their manager’s advice, in order to progress personally and within the team.
The manager is effectively positioned as a “conduit for communications”. Firstly, the manager helps employees gain self-confidence, and, secondly, the manager conveys trust in the management.
Developing team spirit: recognition by the group
Group support materialises through the manager’s ability to unify, establish a benevolent expectation, and create mutual assistance within a team whose members regularly interact during the day. The ultimate goal is to make the team and each employee as autonomous as possible by establishing reciprocal relationships based on trust.
So that this works, the prerequisite is as follows: each employee must be familiar with their position, what they need to do, why they do it, and what they can bring to other members of the team.
The manager must then put in place management routines, which are the foundation of the group’s existence. Examples:
- Daily briefing of the team to share the day’s priorities and adapt to unforeseen and unexpected events.
- A weekly review to share the week’s results with the team’s successes, highlight the performance or initiatives of a particular employee, or give feedback to identify what could have gone better, etc.
- More formal meetings during which the scope of the team’s responsibility, its contribution to the smooth operation of the store, and the objectives set, etc. are emphasised.
Finally, the manager must ensure that their “position” remains compatible with their duties:
- fairly distributing the workload
- taking into account the opinions of each employee
- stimulating the desire to take on responsibilities
- being objective in assessing and remunerating performance
- ensuring that there is always an honest, exacting and generous discussion.
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The need to re-legitimise the manager’s position
In recent years, the evolution of the manager’s job within the store has not always been accompanied by an update in the manager’s role and responsibilities. It is common to no longer know how to clearly and coherently state what the manager is responsible for, which decisions they are entitled to make and what resources they have to exercise their responsibility.
Although it is understood that the manager must achieve the target sales for a section or department, their responsibility for the resources to achieve these, and in particular optimising the allocation of resources sometimes tends to be vague. Is the manager responsible for the volume of hours needed to cover the workload to meet their sales targets and ensure the upkeep of a department’s aisles?
Answering this question makes it possible to establish the legitimacy of the manager in respect of their teams and facilitates the manager’s involvement in the team’s management.
It is also necessary to ensure that the manager is able to access reliable and objective information to help them organise their team’s work and assess with their employees, but also their direct management, the effectiveness of their decisions.
It is not always easy, after listening to and analysing all the opinions, to decide to keep the focus on the common good … at the risk of frustrating certain others. For the manager, relying on objective and transparent information and analyses, facilitates decision-making, the understanding of these decisions and their acceptance by team members.
TimeSkipper, a managerial support tool
TimeSkipper helps to establish the legitimacy of the manager by facilitating the managerial organisation of their team and helping them to make decisions to make every hour count.
Experience shows us that through routines such as the presentation of the timetable and common tasks to be shared, the tool strengthens the manager’s position and helps increase their ability to create transparency and accountability. Providing genuine managerial support, the platform makes it possible to calculate the duration of tasks and distribute them fairly within the teams, while developing the skills and autonomy of each employee. The tool facilitates the organisation of teams’ professional soft skills and know-how: the employees are aware of their manager’s expectations and accept the manager’s informed decisions. In this stimulating environment, the teams’ involvement increases, and the manager’s leadership is strengthened.
The importance of the manager is not debatable, that is a fact. Concerning the manager’s legitimacy – which is not always a given – they have a duty to demonstrate it in order to gain the support of their co-workers by creating trust and helping these co-workers to progress so that they become increasingly autonomous.
The TimeSkipper platform is completely in line with this process. The tool supports the manager’s performance by providing a reassuring and unifying decision-making framework, to ensure a return to managerial effectiveness and collective commitment.