What will you remember and do differently after Covid19? Essential comes to mind.
It has been a trying time in retail. What we learn from this time is something to ponder while we all start to recover and head back to stores. Having worked in retail for over two decades, one thing I have always appreciated is the sense of family and teamwork. What I mean by this is retail is a place where teams are built, cultures merge and friendships are formed that can last a lifetime. One thing I will remember about covid19 is the number of photos on social feeds of teams proud to share who they are and where they work. This post on LinkedIn of a “Target” team wearing red t-shirts with a quote saying, “Yep, I am essential.“ had over 30k views and 900 likes. This post holds the record for views and likes on my social feed.
Essential is a powerful word. The word essential means “absolutely necessary, extremely important.”
Running a retail store will teach you how each person’s function is essential to the entire operating cycle. From the stock person that unpacks the merchandise, to the cleaner that washes the floor and dusts the shelves. The part-time sales associate that works the night shift and the manager that leads and guides the team. And, don’ forget, customers are essential to keeping the business alive and healthy. So, what will you remember and do differently after covid19? You see, everyone is essential to the eco-system of a healthy retail business and community. We know this for the most part, but how often do we recognize this during the day to day of running the business?
Retail and Covid19 – This is a time to come together.
I have been happily watching the retail community at large come together. I have witnessed leaders forming and building communities that reach far beyond the four walls of their specific brand and locations. As we continue to feel the impact of job losses and temporary closures, it is more important now than ever to support each other. Retail is the third-highest employment sector in the world, today there are many people displaced, unsure and fearful of what the next couple of months have in store for them. Every day we hear another announcement of a retailer closing or filing for protection.
It is time to realize what is essential; Today how leaders demonstrate care and concern for their frontline workers will be remembered. We must encourage, connect, and positively lift each other through our words, actions and service. Lifting each other up is essential to life. It is one of the reasons I chose retail as a career. We all need to ask our self, what will we remember about Covid19? And what will we do differently based on what we have learned?
Here’s what I will remember, how we connected, encouraged and supported each other.
During this time new relationships and networks are being formed by being open to them. We are all essential (“absolutely necessary, extremely important.”). If we can activate this feeling within ourselves and treat others in the same way, we will come out of this with lessons learned that last a lifetime one of them being focused leaders on the greater good of their people. Leaders that show compassion, kindness and a shared responsibility towards others, will translate into serving teams and customers in a more meaningful way.
I was in a local grocery store yesterday, I was about to leave when the cashier said thank you, and I said thank YOU for being here so I can get what I need to stay home. She smiled.
Can you imagine the impact of that in the retail world?
My mission has always been to help leaders understand how they treat others creates a place where people feel essential (“absolutely necessary, extremely important.”), which equates to feeling valued. So, what will you remember and do differently after covid19? In my book “The Positive Effect” I talk about three ways to lead. Leading is a way of being not just doing. It is essential that we remember this after covid19, and not just go back to taking people for granted. So ask yourself what and how will you remember the lessons learned?
Remember to appreciate your team and lead with care when you return to the day to day of operations and selling. At retailu, we are by no means an essential service. However, we are a community of like-minded people all connected by the LOVE of retail. And we show up daily by appreciating our team and customers. Our goal is to help you develop and grow and become the leader your team needs you to be. Leadership takes courage and confidence to do the right thing. There will decisions that need to be made and problems to be solved. Take time to regroup when you need to.
How will you remember the lessons learned during COVID19? ” we are all essential.”
Stay positive; remember YOU are essential!