How to build trust with your team if you are a Retail Manager.

April Sabral

/ Leadership

Trust and employee engagement
I love retail, and the reason why I love it so much is that every day I get to build genuine, trusting relationships with  customers.
If you work in retail or any sales you know this is true when your customers trust you they buy from you. This is because people buy from individuals they know like and trust!
We all know this, but sometimes it is hard for us as leaders and managers that have to deliver sales results to apply the same theory to our staff.
I think as retail has got tougher and the world of online shoppers keep growing we believe we need to know everything our employees do with every customer like a play by play if the results of every interaction don’t yield a sale.
Today coaching is focused on what was great and what was wrong and what could be done differently. We continuously want the play by play as if we can change and control the situation. Coaching should be a tool to allow our team members to find their own answers, guide their solutions and ultimately build their confidence.
But too many times I see managers asking for every detail. So, managers, I am telling you to set clear expectations, clear accountability and then trust team members to perform.
When I started in retail leadership, I was given the expectations, provided the development to meet or exceed those expectations and then trusted to deliver and guess what I did because my boss at that time gave me the thinking space to do it. I made mistakes but learned from them, and that’s what built my problem solving, courage with decisions and the confidence to let go and let others lead.
Here is what I have learned over my 25 years of retail. Trust is one of the most significant things you can do for your employees, managers that get the best results are those that trust their teams to deliver and for any reason when the results are not there; they continue to believe they did everything possible.
How do these managers do it? Here’s how:
1. Believe in people until they prove your otherwise and still believe in them again until they show you otherwise the next time.
2. Put decisions to a vote with your team, not everything can be put to the vote but encourage them to feel part of decisions so that they feel they have value this teaches confidence and decision making skills.
3. Don’t micromanage, when you have taken a vacation or a day off, trust them don’t call or send emails. Show that you trust them. You might think you are doing them a favour, but you’re not. This is a hard one, but I promise you your team will so appreciate that you trusted them to run the show while you were off.
4. Don’t be the answer person, first of all, you will be tired out, but secondly, it teaches them that you don’t trust their judgement on things.
5. Share personal successes and mistakes. There is nothing more valuable than a leader with humility that can show mistakes and laugh about them it makes you more human which increase a level of trust between you and your team members.
6. Walk the talk and be consistent people trust actions, not words, so make sure your actions speak louder than your words.

7. Ask them what they would do if you were not available? This is one of my favourite ones, easy to forget but so powerful when you do use it.

I have learned that without trust engagement is lost. When engagement is not improving, it is declining. So next time sales are down instead of having a play by play of everything that happened and rehashing it- why don’t you ask, What did you learn from the experience? And how will you apply those learning’s?
This sounds very different than ” Walk me through what happened, and then let me tell you what you should do differently” Follow these steps and you will see your results grow and grow, stop talking about the poor results and how you got them, start talking about great results, while trusting your team to achieve them.
Trust = Empowerment = learning = confidence = results
If you like this and find it valuable share it with other retail leaders you know!
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