As a grocery manager, not only do you have superiors and subordinates, but you also have hundreds of customers coming through your store every day. This is a predicament that's common in retail positions, but no other store is exactly like a grocery store with such high product turnover and short expiration windows.
Grocery managers have a lot on their plates, but it's possible to be a leader, please their many bosses and create a safe shopping atmosphere every day. Here are a few tips for grocery managers to hone their skills and improve their work success.
Never stop learning
Grocery managers can come from many backgrounds. Some people work their way up from a bagger to manage the store at an early age, while others may transfer from other areas of retail. No matter how experienced they may be, there's always more to learn about the position, The Houston Chronicle reminded.
"To be in your position, you had to learn about grocery product, pricing and people," the newspaper wrote. "As the department manager, you are still learning and responsible for seeing that your buyers, stockers and assistants learn too. Support your staff to get training in margins, categories, new grocery products, customer service and teamwork. Read industry publications such as 'Progressive Grocer,' and study the traits of senior managers who have excelled in the grocery industry."
Learning new managerial or merchandising techniques can not only be a great way to keep climbing up the ladder, but it's also fun. Try getting everyone on board with learning about the business and the future.
Be a leader
Some people are afraid that they aren't a "leader." But the truth is they don't have to try and fit a preconceived notion of a leader. Most people do best by being themselves. Training consultant group The Developing Company advised managers to carve out their own path and not emulate other managers they've seen. This sets a solid groundwork that they'll be able to keep up in stressful times as well as during relaxing day-to-day tasks. If you're a nice person, don't try to be unnaturally tough. If you're very particular, don't pretend to be laid-back. These may only set people up for frustration.
Put a premium on safety
Safety in any workplace is important, but grocery managers have a bigger job than most. With frequent travel between the office, the aisles and the warehouse, there are countless dangers one can encounter. Stylish slip-resistant shoes are always smart so that you can dodge spilt milk while dealing with another crisis, for example. By wearing work shoes, you can set a trend that will ripple through other employees and promote safety. When workers are safe, they'll be thinking about customer safety as well and can help keep the store injury free.
Follow the industry trends
Grocery managers wear a lot of hats. In addition to pleasing customers and wrangling employees, they have to deal with the inventory, ordering, advertising, merchandising and anything else that may go wrong at any given time. On top of all this, business provider Revel Systems recommended that grocery managers follow some of the biggest industry trends to increase store traffic and improve revenue. Regardless of the store's size, organic food, prepared food and in-store coupons are a few hot topics that may help business.
Keep striving for improvement while maintaining the basics of leadership, customer service and safety, and you'll be sure to grow!
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