Retail Management Tips
Here are some retail management tips that I learned in my 15 years plus experience in managing retail.
Theft is a plaque that eats away at a company's profits. Theft strikes many areas of a business and in retail that is particularly true. A manager is aware and vigilant. A little bit of paranoia never hurts when dealing with theft. Managers tend to think that shrink comes from two main areas - employee theft and customer shoplifting. They also realize that shrink is sometimes created by negligent paperwork. But, there is an area they often overlook: vendor theft.
One reason that vendor theft is overlooked is because vendors are taken for granted. The manager does not always have contact with vendors. In a smaller setting, like a convenience store or drug store: a manager can deal with and monitor a vendor. It is much harder in a box store.
The one thing to consider; when thinking about vendor theft is to keep in mind that these guys are salesmen. They often have charismatic personalities is critical to success when being a salesman. This trait can also aid them in stealing from your store. In many circumstances, a vendor is in a location so often that he may feel like he is part of the 'retail family.' Always keep in mind, though, that he does not have a stake in the success of a store's inventory. In a convenience store setting, as an example, a crew and manager may eventually be replaced if the inventory is consistently short. The vendor just keeps right on delivering his product regardless of who the manager or crew is.
A dishonest vendor may try to collude with store employees. This is a way that a vendor can do the most damage. A grocery store I used to work at used to rotate back door receivers to avoid collusion. Every few months they would put a different checker in charge. Nowadays though, many receivers hold this position for years. Over a period of time, human nature kicks in and a receiver begins to view a vendor as a co-worker or even a friend - instead of someone who makes money off them. They tend to forget they are the vendor's customer. They may start off talking about sports and over a period of time a friendly relationship develops. Then, a dishonest vendor may see an opportunity to make some extra cash. Here is an example of a situation that may arise:
VENDOR: What's up, Joe? RECEIVER: Another bad day, Bob. One step up; two steps back. VENDOR: What's wrong? RECEIVER: The transmission went out on my car and it couldn't have come at a worse time: VENDOR: I hate to hear that man. That's tough. Money is hard to come by these days, it's always something. RECEIVER: Tell me about it. I just got a new hot water heater last week and it ate up any extra cash we had laying around. VENDOR: I may have an idea to help you out. I mean if you want. I'd mainly be doing this to help you but I think we can make some extra cash. Instead of bringing in twenty cases of red pop, I'll bring ten. You just check in like it's twenty like it says on the bill. I'll take it down the road to one of my cash customers and sell it to them and bring the money back and split it with you.
Collusion can damage even a big box store's inventory over a period of time. In a smaller setting, it can even take place in smaller does like trading a vendor's product such as chips for a store's product like cigarettes or beer. Also, when a vendor feels that he is being trusted it is easier for him to slip items in his pocket. In many box stores there is not any type of security scanners on the back door. Vendors can easily stick items in their pocket or work materials then leave without being the merchandise being detected. It is very important that any boxes the vendor is carrying are broken down when they leave. If they are carrying a work case or even binder, it needs to be checked. Many stores watch vendors on security monitors. Employees need to be aware of where a vendor is going and is at and a store should have areas where vendors are restricted from going. A grocery store I worked with caught a cheese rep sneaking cheese out in his brief case. If this happened over a period of time then the store lost a lot of inventory. It is likely that this was the case, because the rep was an ex-employee of the store who got a job with the cheese company because they knew him from working at the store. So it was likely that this was happening awhile before someone by chance, got a glance of him in action. He carried the brief case in and out of the store every day without being questioned.
A few years ago in my area a problem struck convenience stores. Many stores were finding empty beer cans in their coolers. Because it happened in many locations and the locations did not communicate with each other, many managers thought their employees were the culprits. It turns out that there was a beer salesman that everyone loved. This guy was energetic and possessed charisma. He pretty much had free reign over a lot of stores. It was not generally recognized but the salesman had developed a bad drinking problem. One store manager started being suspicious because it seemed like the cans appeared after the salesman left. So one day, they hid by the beer cooler doors. Another employee was with them. They waited while the salesman was in the cooler then opened up one of the doors. They got the salesman taking a big swig from a can of beer. The salesman was later fired and entered rehab.
Salesman may make 'mistakes.' Granted it does happen, but if it is happening too often it could be a problem. Many stores will keep records of vendor mistakes and if it appears to be more than just carelessness or an accident they will ask the salesman's company to send another rep. If a salesman is bringing in hundreds of cakes on a visit and is a couple short, it looks like a mistake and if he is caught he will just apologize and run out to the truck and get the cakes he 'forgot' to bring in. Again, it is easy to make a mistake but the vendor does need to be careful and check his order before bringing in. A rare occasion may not mean anything but if it happens regularly it could be a signal that he is stealing. A couple of cakes over a period of time can hurt your inventory. Also, if a vendor makes several stops they can make extra money this way. Many vendors sell to mom and pop stores and can make up a ticket and pocket the cash. Their trucks will not be short because your store was charged for them and they never made it into your store. Many stores will limit the amount of vendors that can come in a store at a time. If many come at once, it creates a confusing atmosphere for the receiver and easier for him to miss a few items. If a receiver is very busy, he may not fully check a vendor he trusts. He will then miss a mistake made by a vendor or a theft attempt. Some vendors like to come when it is busy and then act like they are in a hurry. They know the receiver trusts them and that the receiver will not check their orders properly and then the vendor will slip a few products by them.
A vendor should never have access to an invoice once it has been checked and signed. In one of my stores I worked, a pop vendor asked for the bill back to check something and then changed the invoice. He was caught and fired. It was easier to do in the 'old days' when pens were used but it is still possible to alter invoices these days even though most invoices are computer printed.
Vendors also steal by throwing away their credits so they do not have to deduct them from the invoice. In the grocery store I worked at in the 90's, a prominent ex-local college basketball star was a wine salesman. He was caught throwing out of date wine down the dumpster. I have known of several other vendors who have done this. This is why cameras are set up in several backroom areas. Salesmen gain the trust of the vendors and then when no one is looking they take advantage of a situation.
Here are some red flags to watch for:
Be careful if the vendor is too friendly and appears to be developing a close friendship with a checker.
Be careful if a vendor is giving away samples because he could be doing this to obtain the trust of the receiver.
Watch out for vendors who do not crush boxes when removing them from the store.
Be suspicious of vendors who want their invoice back after it has been checked, they may be altering it.
Watch out for vendors who hold the invoice while you count. It gives vendor the opportunity to give you the wrong quantities.
Be aware of vendors with helpers because it is easier for them to create distractions.
Be aware of vendors who always show up during rush hours or when there are other vendors there. Their goal may be to create confusion.
Watch out for vendors who may mistakes. They may make them in your favor every now and then to make their other mistakes more 'honest' and to make you think that their mistakes are accidents.
Be wary of vendors who deliver after the manager has left or deliver when they know that the person checking in is more inexperienced.
Watch out for drivers who put credits on same invoice as incoming.
Watch out for multiple invoices, could be charging twice for same product.
Watch out when they park their trucks where you cannot see what they are doing. They may be taking things out of your store and putting it into their trucks.
Watch out when there is not a unit price for the product, they may be charging you a higher price than they should and pocketing the rest.
Be wary of vendors who want their order inspected outside the store. They can put it in their trucks when you are not looking.
Here are some tips for preventing vendor theft:
Make sure each invoice is separate. For example, a separate sheet for incoming products, a separate sheet for credits.
Make sure the credits are checked first before he brings new product into the store. This way they do not become mixed in with the incoming order.
Never allow multiple deliveries at once. Make sure the receiving area is organized and only accept one delivery at a time. Only a few vendors should be allowed in the store at the same time so they can be sufficiently monitored.
Do not allow the vendor into the sales area with his order until the order has been checked. This way he cannot add to the order from your stock.
Do not let vendor count it himself.
Do not let vendor swap out product. They may not be bringing in proper size. Make sure there is a record of each product that leaves and each that comes in.
Make sure the order is brought into one area and checked in at one time instead of allowing the vendor to 'wheel' the order in and cross it off the bill. It becomes more confusing when the vendor has it checked while he is bringing it in. It is much easier to check once it all in the store and in one area.
Never leave the area once you begin to check an order in. No matter what problems arise. This allows the vendor to alter the order.
Have select delivery times that drivers can bring in their product and make sure the checkers are properly trained in checking in orders.
Make sure all vendor boxes are broken down when they leave and all brief cases are inspected.
Regularly rotate checkers to prevent becoming too friendly with venders and colluding.
Never leave a store stamp or store checkbook where the vendors can get it.
Create a vendor log which is a record of when the vendor came in the store and when he left.
Make sure all boxes are opened to insure they are full.
A security poster in Kmart’s backrooms estimates that 49 percent of inventory loss is due to employee theft. There are many ways for employee’s to steal. A manager needs to have total awareness of his employees and surroundings to prevent employee theft. It is not always easy to tell who will steal off of a company. Not all thieves wear masks. Sometimes managers get a good sense of who would steal but sometimes it can be the person they trust the most.
An employee who feels justification can steal without remorse. Some employees do not feel they are doing something bad but just getting what they have coming to them. They feel like they have been passed over for a raise or promotion so they are just getting what they deserve. They do not see it as harming the manager or the team but a faceless corporation. These kinds of crooks are often opportunists. They may not look for ways to steal but if it is presented to them, such as unguarded money, they will take advantage of it and be able to justify in their minds that they did not do anything wrong. They may think that the company owes it to them and someone should not have left the money lying around. So they pocket the money and walk away with a clear conscious.
Some employees may not feel they are actually stealing when they are. I have seen convince store employees scratch off lottery tickets until they win and then they pay off what they scratch and pocket the rest. This is stealing and one way to prevent this is to make a policy that disallows employees playing lottery while working. Employees often give away fountain drinks food that is not regularly inventory. Managers need to make policies very clear regarding these items and often communication in these matters can prevent such items from being given away. Regular communication and follow up coverage on store policies can prevent employee theft.
Smaller stores such as convenience stores often conduct inventories once a month. Although it can be expensive and time consuming, a store can see if they have a problem before it becomes too costly. I have seen convenience stores lose 3 to 4 thousand a month. Once, they become aware of the inventory loss, they can trap the rat. Convenience stores need to have tight control systems in place. They need to lock up valuable items such as cigarettes. C-stores count cigarettes on every shift. If a shift comes up short, it is easy to track the reason. It is also necessary to inventory beer once a month. Not only do inventories make it easier to catch thieves, but it deters employees from stealing. If they know that a manager is aware of what is going on and is checking the store’s inventory, than it is likely they will not risk it. It is less likely that employees will try to steal from an organized store. If a store is sloppy they feel like the manager is not aware but if it is organized they feel like something they take may be missed.
Employees colluding together can hurt an inventory quick. Sometimes, employees will work together to steal by covering for each other. Other times employees may have outside help. Smaller stores that have single coverage need to be vigilant in stopping employee theft by having management stop by the store unannounced. This way the employee is off guard and never knows when the manager will stop by. Employees steal in single coverage by ways like giving products to friends, carrying merchandise to their cars, or putting the merchandise in the trash and having someone pick it up. Managers should be aware of employees that have friends loitering. They can discover this by watching films and making random stops.
Employees can steal more with a cash register than they can carry from the store. They often do this through fraudulent voids. They will sell an item then keep the receipt and make a false void and then keep the money. Managers should watch this by tracking each void. They can see on the detail tape if there was an attempt to re-ring the item. For instance, if they attempted to ring up a 99 cent item and rang it for 999, then right after the void there should be a re-ring for 99. Most fraudulent voids occur when the employee says the customer did not have enough money. These transactions should be matched with detail tapes or have a policy where customers fill to a form with their name and phone number for verification. The same should be done with store returns.
Employees can steal by running ‘open drawers.’ This occurs when the employee does not ring everything into the register but takes the money. He then goes back and later removes the money. This happens a lot with items that come exactly to a dollar amount. For instance, if a pack of cigarettes is exactly four dollars, then the cashier will announce that without punching it into the register and then if the customer hands him the exact change, he will keep it and later remove it from the register. An employee will often keep track of all of the money they made off of running an open register, and remove it later in the shift at the same time. To prevent employees from running an open register, management needs to make random cash register audits. They should come into the store unannounced and audit the drawer. If the register is way over then they should ask questions and compare the detail tapes to video tapes in order to see how this happened.
Sometimes employees will make deals with customers. I have seen employee’s trade product for drugs. At one store I managed, I noticed a large amount of lunch meat missing. After conducting interviews and watching tapes, it became apparent that a customer came in and gave an employee pills in order for the employee to turn their back while they stole merchandise. A store manager should be aware of what is in the store so they can determine what is missing. It is easier to catch the culprit and prevent further theft when you know there is a problem.
Managers also steal from their stores. Embezzlement is becoming more of a problem as the economy worsens. Store managers will often make ‘mistakes’ in determining the retail costs of invoices. They may make the actual retail price of an invoice cheaper than what it is. They use this method to ‘pad’ the inventory rather than deal with a theft problem. A manager can also steal money by creating fraudulent voids and keeping the money and it will not hurt the inventory just the gross profit margin. Supervisors can watch for this by going through and recalculating the invoices at random to see if this is going on. Not only can this catch the manager but it would also make him aware that the supervisor is checking this and act as a determent.
Communication is a major weapon in preventing employee theft. Communication is a major trait of leaders. Leaders inspire loyalty and an employee that cares about their job and takes pride in their company is less likely to steal. Communication and awareness as well as using simple controls are ways that managers and supervisors can prevent employee theft.
RETAIL IS A SCIENCE
Retail is a science. No, there may not be any scientists in white coats and glasses scrambling around a lab calculating formulas and mixing chemicals, but there may well be executives scurrying around corporate headquarters conducting market research, analyzing sales numbers, computing sales forecasts, and usually other methods to figure out who buys what and why and how to make them buy more.
There are many ways that corporate executives and market analysis’s use to determine what items will bring the most revenue and how to present them just right so that the average consumer will buy them. Many of these techniques are used when companies formulate their retail strategies. Store managers can use science as well when increasing their sales.
Although most major decisions are made farther up the chain of command, store managers still can make decisions that can impact sales and profits in a spectacular fashion. That's why there are successful store managers who move further up the ladder of success and there are managers who either move stay in the same spot, move sideways to another company, or change fields altogether.
Psychology is one scientific tool managers can use to their advantage. They can determine why their customers buy what they do or why they do not buy. An easy way for managers to do this is to look inside them. For instance, why do managers shop where they do and buy what they do? A manager can ask themselves why they shop at a certain gas station/ convenience store. The truth is we all have buying habits. In this day and age, there are many c-stores on the same street. If you as a manager ask yourself why you as a customer shop somewhere you may learn why your customers do the same. You may not receive a scientific answer but it allows you to look at your business objectively.
Back to the c-store question; If the stores on the street all have relatively the same prices which most stores in a completive environment will, why do you shop at store A? What makes store A standout in your mind over store B? Is it because the employees offer superior customer service? Is it because the restrooms are cleaner? Is it because the coffee is fresher? When you scrutinize your own buying decisions it gives you an idea of what the average customer considers when making their buying decisions. Then, you can take these factors and apply them objectively to your store.
For instance, if a store manager as a customer shops at store A because he likes the employees at that store because they know him by name and pleasantly greet him and are genuinely glad to see him, then maybe this manager can go back to his grocery store or whatever store he manages and step back and look to see if his business lives up to his standards or what he expects from the business he shops at and visits regularly. Are his employees smiling and greeting customers? Are they keeping the shelves clean at the grocery store he manages the way he expects to see the deli bar and coffee bar clean at his favorite convenience store. Is the deli area in his grocery store cleaner than the fast food restaurant he quit eating at because the tables were always dirty. A manager should look himself to see why he shops at the places he does and then apply those standards to his business to see if his business passes his own tests. If his business does not pass his standards then he can correct those practices and maybe increase his business.
In the blog that follows I will look at several points I have learned from my experiences in managing top retail chains, learned in training provided by top chains, principles I have learned from college courses from when I obtained my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees, and information I have gathered from reading and observing others. Some of these blogs will contain very basic information that managers may overlook on a daily basis. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting back to the basics. Just like a baseball team has to practice simple things like fielding ground balls and bunting, a retail manager has to look at the basics of running his business. Some factors may be applying new methods and techniques that managers have not been exposed to yet. I will even attempt to apply a little science from time to time. Because when you go into a Target or a Kroger, nothing is where it is buy accident.
For instance, has a customer ever felt upset because stores move items and reset their stores? Do you shake your head and wonder why they put something where you can't find it? Has a stock boy had you wondering why your manager had you move a display from one side of an aisle to another? This is done because customers have tunnel vision. They know exactly where the item is and as a consequence they may not be looking at the whole store or seeing every item. When the store is merchandised and they look for the items they regularly buy, they see things they may not have noticed in the past and usually increase their purchase amount. This allows impulse products and impulse merchandising to be more effective.
Merchandising can be an exact science. Again, it is not as complicated as physics but can be just as effective. As a customer; have you ever shaken your head in amazement because you entered a store with the intention of buying a few items and left with way more than you set out to purchase? This was not an accident. It was not even your fault for being frivolous. The store was set up in a scientific fashion to entice you to buy impulse products. Many thoughts and decisions went into everything from the traffic flow of the store to where signs and displays were placed to even store decor and the music being played, to make the store environment conducive to increasing sales. So as a store manager, if you begin to understand your own buying habits, you can begin to have a grasp on why customers buy, and be able to use this information to increase your store's sales.
Niche marketing is when a store or company focuses on a small part of a market or a certain demographic. Usually it involves targeting a smaller market whose needs large companies do not meet. It may be a particular ethnic demographic like different nationalities like Mexicans or Chinese or it may be a particular group with different interests like science fiction fans or more specific like Star Wars fans. A company may come out with a certain product that may appeal to this group or a store may decide to expand their product line to meet a group's specific needs. For instance a local market may do research or testing to determine there is a number of sports fans in their market and decide to put a baseball card shop inside of their store.
Operating in a niche market means that you may not have a lot of competition so you may be able to maintain a higher profit margin through higher prices.
It is imperative that you do market research to determine if there is a need for your product, service, or business. Because it is something that no one else is offering does not necessarily mean that there is a need for it. You need to figure out exactly who your target market is and what their needs are and then determine if you can meet those needs.
A few factors you can determine without conducting any expensive tests or survey. You need to determine if you have a large enough target group to make a profit and be worth your while. In other words, is their enough demand for the product?
You also need to know if you can get the products that this group may need. If you do not have a local supplier, you may try the internet. You may also need to modify your products or services to specifically meet the needs of this group. Then, you need to make sure the market is being underserved. The key to successful niche marketing is to pick a product line or business in which there is not any competition or very little competition.
It is necessary to analyze and make sure that you can meet this need in a cost effective manner. You have to be certain you can get the profit margin you need and to get enough customers in order to stay in business.
If you are marketing a product or service that can be sold on the internet; you need to determine where you can find your market. These can be on many sites online. You can advertise your product on those sites or meet customers on different forums. Once, you found a way to contact your customer you can keep in touch with newsletters and mailing lists which keep them informed.
While a company can make niche marketing their whole focus, they can also just add aspects of niche marketing to their marketing mix. This can be done to increase sales. For instance, as a manager of a convenience store on a college campus, I increased sales by adding shirts, hats, and novelty items that pertained to that college. I also added other items like incense, CD’s, and other items that the college students that lived in the dorm rooms and did not have cars would be able to purchase. My sales increased. As a sales rep for a grocery wholesale company, I had several stores out in the country. We carried tools, canning jars, and other items that customers in that demographic would benefit from and sales increased.
Niche marketing is all about knowing your customer and potential customer and making the effort to meet their needs. It is meeting a demand that other businesses are not currently meeting.
REACTIVE VS PROACTIVE MANAGEMENT
A manager that is reactive instead of proactive really is not managing. He is being controlled by his environment. He is simply reacting to the situations which arise on a daily basis.
A manager who is proactive stays on top of the situation. He is prepared and often ahead of the situation. He can prevent going into crisis management mode. By looking ahead and often looking behind at history, he can forecast and foresee situations (good and bad) that can before coming. The 'bad' can be dodged and the 'good' can be expanded and taken full advantage of and profit extended.
This is particularly true when ordering. A retail manager needs to take a look at past trends and upcoming events when ordering for their store. By examining past histories and notes, they can determine if they were overstocked or under stocked the past year and adjust the upcoming order accordingly. Seasons are usually the same for year to year and can be used as an indicator. As an example, a manager can look at last Christmas as an indicator for this Christmas. They can examine which items sold well and which items they were overstocked or under stocked on and adjust the order for the upcoming season. It is also important to consider other current and future factors when calculating. New competition (or perhaps a competitor has gone out of business), new products, and current and upcoming economic factors can often be reasons to adjust orders. Taking a look at weather forecasts can help c-stores and grocery stores be prepared for hot weather and to have plenty of beverages on hand. Hardware stores need to stay on top of weather forecasts to make sure they have salt and snow shovels to handle the demand for products needed in adverse winter conditions. Examining the calendar and being aware of upcoming local events can help adjust the ordering for increased or decreased traffic.
It is important to be proactive in hiring and scheduling. By forecasting ahead and examining economic trends, a manager can prevent the possibility that they will be over or under staffed. Again, past histories and upcoming factors can play a helpful role in determining this.
Training is a useful tool in allowing a manager to be proactive. By increasing training he can make sure his workforce is prepared to deal with situations that may arise. The more knowledgeable the employee is of his job and his environment, the more they can help in or prevent crisis situations.
Proactive managers rely more on coaching. They are supportive and point out to employees how they should act in situations. Because they are more hands on and involved in the situations, they can prevent errors. Proactive managers have good communication skills and hold regular meetings. The staff talks about what has gone well since the last meeting before the discussion moves on to problems. Everyone gives their point of view on current topics affecting the business. Issues are anticipated and avoided by cultivating an atmosphere of safety and openness. Positive feedback that is genuinely felt is offered and employees are encouraged to think of solutions to problems in a supportive, coaching manner.
Tips for being proactive:
Planning - both short and long term Teamwork - makes sure all departments are working together and are aware of upcoming opportunities. Innovating - by coming up with new ways to do things and new ideas a manager can have his business ahead of the competition. Customers like new products and like to be the first to have them. By seeing into the future a business can be ahead of the trends and the earlier a company gets into the products life cycle, the more of this product they can sell. Pretesting and forecasting and examining past histories helps to be proactive. By taking polls and doing market research they can stay on top of customer demand.
So choosing to be proactive as opposed to being reactive is like choosing to be the type of manager who makes things happens instead of being a maintenance or fix-it man who just reacts and puts things back together after they happen. The key to being proactive is taking action before the problem arises, that way the manager is managing the situation instead of just reacting to it.
Many managers fail because they lack essential leadership skills. They may be very educated, know their job inside and out, and even be very organized but they quite simply cannot get tasks completed. In a retail environment, uncompleted tasks mean lost sales. If an item is left empty on the shelf and is instead, sitting on a skid in the back room - lost sale. If customer service protocol is not followed; a customer is irritated; never comes back - loss sale. A manager is only as good as his ability to complete the job and complete the job effectively.
Leadership, though, is just one component of management, although a very important one. I worked at a grocery store in the eighties where there was a great prodigal leader. He was very charismatic and looked like a young Clint Eastwood at a time when Eastwood was at his career peak. He had great confidence and it was evident in the way he carried himself. In leadership terms, he was a natural. He quickly raised through the ranks of management due to his leadership skills. Once he rose to high, his lack of other skills such as organization and ability to forecast imperiled his management career. Hence, a manager can be a leader, but a leader is not necessarily a good manager.
At the same time, we have all seen managers who know every aspect of their jobs but lack the communication skills that make them effective leaders. They can answer any question pertaining to their jobs but because they cannot motivate anyone, their stores are a mess.
It helps for a manager to be hands-on because people are inspired by hard workers and managers that will get their hands dirty. But, a manager cannot do it all himself. While a manager, at say 20 dollars an hour, is hustling around getting things done, he may have sixty dollars an hour worth of employees not accomplishing anything. So a manager can inspire his employees by working hard but at the same time he cannot do the employees job for them.
Employees follow leaders because they want to do. They follow out of respect and choice. Many time managers use their position to get things accomplished. When a manager uses their influence to achieve the company's goals without relying on their authority, they are employing their leadership skills.
Leaders may be very charismatic but that does not mean they have to be loud, forceful, or cocky. Leaders are usually good with people, good communicators, and are not afraid to give employees the credit that is done. They often motivate people by making them feel good about themselves. By investing something into people that builds them up and empowers them, they get loyalty in return. Leaders do not always have to be friendly and outgoing because some leaders maintain a mystique by keeping separated from the rest of the group.
Leaders have vision and do what is right. While managers are mainly by the book, leaders will often improvise to get things done but still completes the company's objectives.
To be a great leader, people first have to determine what they believe and what is their ethical makeup? A manager or person who aspires to be a leader has to know who they are and what is important to them.
The person has to ask themselves if they are conveying these values. They have to make sure they are sending the right signal. If a person shows that they believe in what they are doing it is more likely that others will follow him. If they the manager is doing it because he has to and he expects his employees to do it because they are told to, it is less likely the person will be an effective leader. So, it is important that a leader or manager shows that he believes in the company's goals and objectives. He cannot criticize the company and expect his employs to give their best effort.
Great leaders are great listeners. When a manager listens to his employees they feel important. A manager can create empathy and teamwork, by listening to an employees input about a job or situation and can suggest alternatives and get everyone on the same wavelength.
A good leader develops their communication skills. They make sure they are conveying the right message. They make sure their message is positive and they mean what they are actually saying. They invest in others. They show a concern and help other workers develop their skills. A manager that tries to coach their subordinates instead of merely directing them will be investing in building a better, more confident person and empower that person to think on their own.
A manager can become a leader by simply trusting people. If they trust their subordinate’s skills and their ability to get work done instead of watching their every move, it can bring out the best in people and motivate them to be their best. By letting others make decisions, it helps improve their confidence and helps them invest something of themselves into their jobs.
A person can improve their leadership skills by setting a good example. By demonstrating integrity and loyalty to the company others may follow.
Never just initial a delivery, always use a signature.