Retail operations are increasingly filling job openings with workers from the generation born between 1981 and 2000 (aka, millennials). Baby boomers have aged and are retiring. Generation X, the group falling between boomers and millennials, is smaller in population—only about 40 million compared to 80 million millennials. So millennials will constitute the main source of workers for some time.
There are different ways to lead teams—perhaps as many ways as there are leaders. And a given leader might manage with a different style in a different set of circumstances. While there isn’t a single accepted way to lead or manage, the “right” way should be defined as the one that works to achieve the goals of the organization.
Everyone is familiar with the old expression, “Don’t just stand there, do something.” The original context of the saying was very likely an admonition to help a person in distress—to toss a line to a drowning man, for instance, rather than watch him go under—but over time it has come to be used by leaders in all fields to express a preference for action over inaction.
With the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour now likely to hold steady for the foreseeable future, retailers might be tempted to breathe a collective sigh of relief regarding the impact of compensation on their bottom lines. But 29 states have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, minimum wage standards higher than the federal rate.
Money talks, as the old saying goes. But in the lower-wage world of the frontline retail workforce, since dramatic pay increases are unlikely to materialize, managers have to look for alternative means of motivating employees. And while there are plenty of perfectly justifiable reasons for not increasing financial rewards for frontline retail workers—tight margins being just one example—supervisors and managers must try to shape specific jobs and tasks in the retail workplace to carry their own intrinsic motivation.
You’ve trained your workers in the classroom. You’ve even modeled how to perform a task safely on the floor, but accidents still keep happening. What else can you do to help your employees understand just how important it is to follow safety policies and procedures? How can you keep safety top of mind and reduce injuries?
Engaging your frontline workers is the key to driving a positive safety culture and increasing worker performance. Numerous strategies have been launched to engage workers over the years, but choosing the right approach is not as easy as you’d think. Establishing the best approach for your organization must be based on current culture, logistical opportunities, and identified gaps in both worker and leadership knowledge.