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GUEST POST BY BRAD RICHARDS! Good stuff Brad and thanks for contributing. If you are interested in writing a guest article, please contact me at

1) Everything begins with the person you hire. If you want outgoing, engaging, friendly, energetic people then you have to hire it. These are non-negotiable for anyone interacting with customers.

2) The opening manager will set the tone for the day. They must ensure that they give a high energy kick off meeting with all employees. The first and last topic covered should be goals and customer service expectations for the day. The to-do list should be in the middle of the conversation and not over power the goals or customer service standards for the day. You should ensure they also get feedback at the end of their shift.

3) Effective use of headsets to keep team focused will help keep the energy moving. Some examples are listed below of effect use of the headset:

  • Giving hourly reads and follow up on store goals. Again the tone and energy of the hourly reading must be done with high energy. Ensure you add stretch goals if needed to make the day. You can also increase the goals if you are doing well.
  • Take time to acknowledge great performances from the team. Everyone loves name recognition.
  • When the store gets busy the manager must give direction to control the selling environment. If you see a customer not being helped and there is an available associate — call it to their attention. You can service customers and run the floor at the same time with effective communication over headset.
  • Never give negative feedback to anyone over the headset. If needed, do a one on one with them.

4) Follow up with associates on individual goals. Acknowledge positive results and challenge for a higher result. Coach your under performers throughout their shift. Do some role-playing with them. Be sure to give real time feedback on performance.

5) In store contests are always fun. They do not have to be big. It could be as simple as pass the buck. You could also let someone write their schedule for the next week. Employee of the week/month (let the staff have a say as well).

6) Ensure the music is at the appropriate level. Music creates lots of energy.

7) Have you picked an item of the day? It is a fun way to create some friendly competition. Friendly competition is important when doing in store contests. You do not want to divide your team. Keep it fun and rewarding for all.

8) Let your associates help you make decisions. Ask for their feedback when possible so they feel a part of the bigger picture. Let them help present in meetings when possible.

9) Employee suggestion box. Review in manager meetings and see if you can meet the request.

10) Educate and empower them with knowledge. Teach them new skills and product knowledge. Talk with them about the latest fashions, new products, and trends. It will probably be beneficial for both.

11) Consistency amongst all managers with standards and expectations will create a solid selling environment.

12) Keep your associates in the know. They don’t want to be left in the dark. Share the communication you are receiving from corporate. Only confidential information should be withheld from them. Knowledge is power!

13) Biggest mistake that brings down a team is gossip. Ensure all managers lead by example and shut down any gossip they hear. If someone has a problem, encourage them to talk it through with that individual. If they can’t work it out then the SM should step in and speak with both of them. This is the most deadly mistake managers make. Keep all conversations confidential.

14) DM’s should create daily voicemails with top performers from the previous day. Set the tone for opening managers and focus. Call each store when possible to congratulate them or challenge them based on yesterday results. DM should send a card at the end of every month to every store who beats plan.

15) DM’s should acknowledge the top SM, ASM, and Associate each month. Send a card and take them to lunch.

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