5 best practices for a newly promoted grocery store worker

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Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and you've been promoted to a position that requires some managerial skills.

This is an exciting change, but you have some concerns. More likely than not, the people whom you now have to manage are your friends. You used to work closely together at the same level, but now the roles have shifted. How do you instruct them without impacting your friendships?

Learn to prioritize
If you've already started with your new responsibilities, you probably realize how much of a juggling act it is. All the customer questions that you used to bring to your supervisors are now brought to you, and you're expected to resolve the issues on your own unless they truly require input from higher up. Additionally, you're in charge of helping ensure that the store is operating at optimal levels.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with all your tasks? Here are five tips to keep in mind. 

1. Ensure overall safety: Slips are some of the biggest hazards in grocery stores. Wearing slip-resistant shoes can help protect you from any spills. If you've been promoted to stock manager, steel-toed boots may be preferable. Check the floors frequently and look out for any spots that guests appear to be avoiding – this might be due to a spill.

2. Guests come first: It can be easy to get caught up in other tasks, such as cleaning or stocking. However, as the manager, you're much more client-facing than associates. Therefore, it's essential that you put guests first. If someone has a question at any point, always help him or her out as soon as possible. If you're in the middle of stocking, set the items safely out of the way and return to them.

3. Delegate: When you first start out, you may fall into the habit of doing mundane tasks. This isn't to say that cleaning and stocking are now below you, but you're expected to tend to other issues, such as guest satisfaction. Delegate smaller tasks to associates, but don't avoid them altogether. It's important to show everyone that you wouldn't ask them to do something you wouldn't do or haven't done yourself.

4. Keep an eye on foot traffic: A grocery store is a fast-paced workplace. As an associate, your supervisor always ensured that you weren't overloaded with responsibilities. Now that you're a supervisor yourself, it's your job to do so. For example, if there's a long line and a guest who's taking up time by asking questions, you have to step in and politely answer all of his or her questions while steering him or her away from the register. Also, keep an eye on the prepared foods section, where spills often happen. Nonslip shoes will help keep you safe while you clean up the mess. 

5. Communicate with everyone: When the store gets busy, it's vital for everyone to communicate. Ask associates to check in with you before stepping off the floor. This way, you won't waste time searching for them if you need an extra cashier or stockperson. You should also communicate with guests. There will be times when you have to prioritize one task over another. Always let guests know that you need to tend to something else first and will return.

All of these tasks may be daunting at first, but practice makes perfect. Once you get the hang of it, managing the store will be a breeze.

Brought to you by Shoes For Crews, the trusted leader in safety footwear to foodservice employees for more than 30 years.

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