Hey Corporate, Your Stores Need Your Help
Being in charge of a frontline team is a fantastically difficult job.
Every day you head to work, read through various memos, and try to implement whatever your corporate office has directed you to do.
Someone, somewhere, has decided to add some task to your department. You have to figure out where to put it and how to make it work with no additional help.
Also, three people called out sick today. There is no backup.
I ran retail stores for twenty years, and I understand what running a team on the frontline of customer service is like.
People with customer-facing jobs are faced with enormous challenges every day. They have to manage many tasks with little help, and leaders in upper management or corporate positions are nowhere to be seen.
This causes the frontline leaders to bear the weight of a tired and cranky general public with crappy pay and no support.
This is not new, but it’s now worse
There is a massive disconnect between the people who run companies and what happens at the business’s frontlines.
The majority of the people that are sitting in corporate offices have never worked in the field. They couldn’t do those jobs. That’s okay, but they need to understand them. They need to listen.
The people at the top are creating policies and new departments. They’re rolling out special teams. They’re making a hiring freeze. They’re pouring over spreadsheets.
They must stop and listen to their store leaders — at all levels. Department and support leaders, too, not only the store leaders. Ask them questions and listen to what they need.
Listen closely because some things are not working. Stop guessing. Stop talking to the person in the office next to yours and go work in a store.
Get out of your office and into the field.
Work in stores for a week every quarter. Hell, even a day. Make it happen. That’s not a lot to ask. Shift your priorities and make time for it, or else you will not get anywhere. You’re…