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Three must-have critical skills for retail managers

Managers have the ability to make or break a team.

They’re a crucial hire in any retail business, so it makes sense to equip them with the skills and leadership training they need to perform the job well!

The global pandemic has meant it’s now more important than ever to invest in your managers, to ensure they’ve got the skills they need to nurture and grow a high-performing team.

Here are three critical skills that all retail managers must have:

1. The Ability to Make Difficult Decisions

Most retail managers are required to make tough decisions every day. It’s a necessary, though undesirable, part of the job.

Knowing how to make difficult decisions is a challenging part of leadership, regardless of the industry you work in. 

These decisions often involve people, money or risk (and sometimes all three) and when the stakes are high, pressure can mount.

Here are three tips that can help when difficult decisions need to be made.

  1. Ensure there’s a process to follow for making decisions – this will help remove feelings and biases.
  2. Always communicate decisions clearly – it can be easy to avoid explanations when making difficult decisions, however, being transparent helps to build respect and trust with your team
  3. Take time to consider the impact of your decision – it’s important to weigh up the options and consider all outcomes. Good leaders will never make snap decisions.
Related: Three sales coaching tips for retail managers (ebook)

2. Strong Interpersonal Skills

Possessing great communication skills is crucial for a manager. 

Being a great communicator can determine how effectively information is shared throughout a team, ensuring that the group is unified. How well a manager communicates with the rest of their team also determines how well they perform. When a manager communicates well it is easier for procedures to be followed and tasks and activities to be completed which, in turn, contributes to a successful organisation. 

Having excellent interpersonal skills, which are the skills necessary to interact, work or relate effectively with people, means a manager will collaborate with their team, work to prevent conflict and proactively resolve issues when they arise.

They make use of human potential and motivate their employees towards better results.

3. The Ability to Give Feedback On A Regular Basis

When you provide consistent, actionable feedback, your team gets better insight into their successes and understands where they can improve.

It’s important to remember that positive and constructive feedback should be given more often than negative feedback. 

In fact, studies have shown that less than 30 per cent of employees receive regular performance feedback. Yet, 70 per cent say they would work harder if they knew their efforts were being recognised.

Positive, constructive feedback is essential because it increases team morale, promotes a sense of purpose and encourages performance improvement. 

Understanding how crucial your managers are in the success of your business is key to growth. So it stands to reason that investing in their development should be a no brainer… right?

For a lot of businesses, the decision to invest in leadership training isn’t always so clear-cut. We often get asked; “What happens if I invest in my team’s development and they leave?” To which we always answer with; “What happens if you don’t and they stay?”.

If you’re looking to grow your retail business and develop high-performing teams, leadership training for your managers is a must-have.

RedSeed is Australasia’s leading end-to-end training solution for retailers. For a free trial of the RedSeed Learning Management System click here, to check out the full library of ready-to-deploy courses click here.

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  • Unlimited access to news,insights and opinions
  • Quarterly and weekely magazines
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  • Exclusive masterclass access.Part of Retail Week 2021