Lessons in Retail | Delegate
We have all been there in Retail…our workloads are piling up while our time is diminishing by the second. New Planograms, Store Visits, Flyer Set Up, Price Changes and there ever loving useless Meetings tend to erode our time.
So what do we usually do, we continue at a frantic pace, stay all hours at work, over caffeinated, swear, sweat, pace, eat and bitch.
Well what if I were to tell to that there was a solution to all of this that could reduce your workload and cut back your hours. If I am going to share this solution you need to promise that you will let go of one thing, the one thing that kills Careers, Customer Service and Succession Planning. Let go of your EGO….NOT YOUR EGGO as one is tastier than the other.
Start delegating. Start delegating. Start delegating.
When you start to delegate you free yourself of the shackles that you put on yourself so don’t blame others. Yes, delegating can be scary because you are giving up control which may raise your anxiety levels for the first couple of weeks, but believe me you are still the Captain of your Ship and you are still in steering it.
You are actually have MORE CONTROL now because your are able to flex your schedule to now include more shoulder to shoulder time with your Teams.
Giving up control to areas that you once took care yourself will lead to questions:
What happens if they screw up what I gave them to do:
- Well first of all, when you first started in this Fabulous Soap Opera I can tell you right now that there were many things you fucked up, but hey you are still around, right?
- They made a mistake? Great as now is the perfect time to validate their understanding of the task at hand. Please ask yourself if you were clear in your directions, that you checked for understanding and you spoke to the Employee in a language that they understand. Not everyone has the same experience or passion for the industry that you have.
What happens if they do the task better than I ever have?
- Really, really? If you are actually worried about this than you are in the wrong position. One of the principle jobs of a Retail Manager is to breed (not with) other Superstars. If they do the job better than you, HIGH FIVE as you found yourself a rare Diamond and now don’t stop polishing it. Also, congrats for hiring that Team Member, good catch!
What happens when I am on Vacation or on my Day Off?
- Well actually nothing, since YOU ARE ON VACATION AND DAY OFF. Believe me, in Retail there is enough of a support group that if any problem should arise, there are others Stores and Partners that can be called on.
Now get on with planning and indentifying the Employees and Managers that you can delegate tasks to. Just remember that not everyone has the same skill set, so try your best to match a task to a set. Or, you can shake it up and gently push your Team outside of there comfort zone, which is not a bad thing. Please though, baby steps to start.
Once a task is delegated the following five points are key to continuing this process and buy in from your Teams:
- Explain to the Team Member why you will be starting to delegate more of your tasks to them as this is not an exercise in dumping so you can leave earlier or have longer breaks. Let them know that delegating will allow you to spend more time developing them and spending time on the floor with other Associates.
- Ask the identified Team Member or Manager if there is a specific task that they would like to take on.
- Set the expectations, Coach the actions needed, give access to the tools that are required for success and continue to check for understanding throughout this process.
- Follow up, Follow up, Follow up.
- 12 weeks later (a fiscal quarter) flip around the tasks from one Team Member to another and have the Team Members teach each other what they have learned, what they have done and any other information that is necesssary for success.
Wow! If this works out and believe me it will (with time and you allowing yourself to seperate from your old tasks) you will find that you are starting to
GET MORE DONE, SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOUR ASSOCIATES, AND ACTUALLY TAKING PROPER BREAKS AND VACATION TIME.
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