If there is one thing that will cause a manager to lose the respect of subordinates faster than anything else, it is dishonesty.
Highly Successful Retail Managers (HSRM’s) tell the truth.
They may have to keep certain things confidential, in which case they say openly that they are not at liberty to discuss certain things and they may, sometimes, have to put a different spin on something in the best interest of the company and the employees overall, but they do not lie.
Occasionally, as human beings, managers find themselves in situations where saying nothing is easier, and more comfortable, than saying something.
After all, that is not really lying, is it? But these are the times when the HSRM sets himself apart.
He does not ignore a situation which can be misleading by him saying nothing. He is not afraid to comment for fear of becoming unpopular.
The HSRM finds a diplomatic way to comment in order to ensure he has not mislead someone and to ensure the record is set straight.
For example, an employee might say something like “Michael mentioned that there is a new rule from Head Office and it’s going to cause us so much more work”.
The HSRM may have fully agreed with the new rule, and, if he did then he responds to the employee making it known that he agrees and the reasons why.
He is not afraid to make his support for the new rule known.
Because this new rule is clearly unpopular, it would be much easier for the manager to shrug and say nothing. But the HSRM does not look for the easy way out.
By saying nothing he implies that it has nothing to do with him. In fact, the HSRM may have been the champion for the new rule. He must state this.
HSRM’s do not hide behind any cover.
They have the integrity to make it clear, in this case, that they stand in favor of the new rule.
Another example might have something to do with a promotion of an employee.
If one employee did not get a promotion and feels that it was unjust, he will try to find out why.
A manager, in this situation, may try to use the company hierarchy to get him out of the uncomfortable conversation.
He may imply that it was not up to him and that someone at Head Office made the decision.
Certainly, that might be the easiest way out but, as we have mentioned, the HSRM is not looking for the easy way out.
In addition, the HSRM would not want to give the impression that he is not involved in these important decisions.
The HSRM will take the time to explain, again, the reason that this employee did not get the promotion.
In fact, the HSRM would be surprised that this question would even come up because, during evaluations, he would have ensured that the employee was very clear about his status long before any promotion took place.
Employees who work for HSRM’s usually know where they stand as far as promotability goes.
And they also know who the next promotion will go to; that’s just part of the HSRM’s strategy of internal promotion – everyone knows where they stand.
When it comes to employee performance, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to lie. HSRM’s know, above everything else, honesty is the best policy.
Being truthful, and tactful at the same time, is the only sure way to encourage improvement.
Telling an unproductive employee that they are doing well is just inviting problems down the line.
Some managers may do this because they fear confrontation or because they simply lack the skills to deliver negative information.
That is something that the manager must work on and correct if they are to become a HSRM.
An HSRM must be, and be perceived to be, above reproach. They must abide by every loss prevention policy, just as all employees are expected to do.
Some retailers have a policy that requires employees coming off shift and leaving the store to open their bags for inspection at the lease line.
Refusing to follow this policy can be grounds for termination of employment.
Unfortunately, though, when more senior management members visit the stores they are not necessarily expected to submit to the same inspection.
This sends a very clear message that this particular Loss Prevention policy is only intended for store employees and not for senior management. What does this imply?
It implies that store employees are more likely to steal and less likely to be trustworthy than senior management members are.
This is definitely a wrong message and the HSRM will see to it that, in his store(s),any and all company employees are following the company Loss Prevention policies.
HSRM’s make sure that they, themselves, conduct all business in accordance with company policies.
They do not offer company employee discounts to friends and family members; they do not use the company telephone to make personal long distance calls; anything that store employees are not allowed to do – the HSRM does not do even if there is a tolerance for this type of thing elsewhere in the company.
Again, HSRM’s are above reproach.
HSRM’s do not make promises they cannot deliver on. If they need to check on something before answering a question then they check.
It does not diminish their authority. It ensures that once they answer, or make a promise, that they can follow through with it.
This is what enables the HSRM to keep their word and that is something that will help them in the management of people as it becomes a very important part of their reputation.
Remember…When you break your word, you break something that can’t be mended. –Anonymous