The road to achieving a fully-functional modern retail business with an empowered workforce is not an easy one to take, or a simple one to execute. Success comes through addressing a wide variety of issues and activities.
Encouragement and empathy are a good start but they will only ease the journey, not get you to the desired destination. This requires collaboration & integration throughout the business.
To make the most of your workforce, ‘from the boardroom to the stockroom’ you will need to address your fundamental people proposition, your ‘brand passion supply chain,’ the organisational structure, your inclusivity & diversity, the flow of people processes, the integration of teams, the injection of innovation, combining people with technology and the integration and inclusion of your remote workforce, at home and in shops.
Here are some of my key areas to consider and activate…
The New Landscape for Retail Business Communities.
The ‘Age of Disruption’ has had profound implications for how retail businesses should be organised and structured. The physical and emotional heart is shifting from the ‘buying powerhouse’ to ‘brand proposition communities’
The Organisational Structure.
Organisational structures on one level mean little. They show hierarchies, they reflect the balance of power. But they must now embrace the future strategic, collaborative, and ethical focus of a business, not its heritage & origins.
‘Intelligent’ Retail Intelligence.
Retail intelligence must be placed at the heart of every retail business. Using a combination of technology and people to combine consumer research, individual customer data mining, and personal profile building.
The Data Intelligence Department
Data needs to become ‘sexy’ to gain traction within a business. Data needs its own marketing offensive to avoid the same impassive and disengaged badge that so many IT departments have acquired.
A Revolution of Retail Processes
The linear pumping of products from factory to customer is no longer valid. Adding value requires new thinking and working laterally at strategic parts of the linear delivery process. From ‘Linear to Lateral’ retail processes.
The ‘Digital-first’ retailer.
Digital-first is about coordinating human creativity with data technology, creating deep customer relationships, the ultimate customer connections, and about planning the supply and distribution process in rapid time.
The Perpetually Active Retailer.
Successful business are always improving, always energetic. ‘Damaging dynamics’ improvise, irritate and interrupt due to isolated planning. Retailers need to synchronise, to evolve, to enrich and to expand.
Employees: The Balance of Diverse Excellence!
Some people are good at change, others are good at ‘doing the same.’ Some embrace the excitement of tomorrow, others savour the reassurance of today. Retail businesses need a good balance of people skills.
The Retail Business Funnel.
Bring together the stability of an organisation, with the dynamics of retail markets and customer behaviour. Build every step of the retail business correctly with strength and order and balance to accommodate change.
Retail has a chequered history of human resource management, to say the least.
Thankfully, we now generally live in more enlightened times, where retail leaders appreciate that successful companies are not galvanised through a culture of fear, but through a cooperative and collaborative approach where all employees are appreciated and encouraged.
Ensure that you are you one of those retail leaders?
In the meantime…
How to structure & galvanise your retail workforce is featured in the new book – ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness – How to be an Essential Retailer’
If you’d like to read my book for many more retailer insights and best practice. And to here my thoughts on retail’s future, then that’s an excellent idea.
I hope that the sections on how to flourish in the ‘The life and times of the Essential Retailer’ how to evolve ‘Agile Organisations’ and excel in ‘Astute Strategies’ may be a source of inspiration and guidance. You will also find 70 action plans and 90 retail best practice insights that may help you to assess your current weaknesses and opportunities.
Enjoy your read.