This is for my colleagues doing time as a human resources professional in retail. As you struggle to staff your locations and meet your goals, I feel your pain. Once again we face harsh deadlines, seemingly impossible expectations and difficult challenges in order to get ready for the crush of customers in spring. Somehow though, we always seem to be able to pull it off. I’ve learned over time as I’ve hired new employees to leverage existing employees to make this time a little bit easier. I shared this with my people and it has been met with enthusiasm and shared around other locations. I edited out a section with location specific information and dates. Perhaps you may find the rest of the message helpful. Feel free to share it.
Think Back and Remember Your First Day…
How long have you been with us? Are you new? Do you consider yourself a seasoned veteran? What was it like when you first started here? What was it like when you transferred from another location? What was it like when you started your first retail job? Have you ever been unemployed and looking for work? Have you ever wondered how you were going to pay the rent and feed your family?
Why did I get all up in your business to ask that of you? Well, it is that time of year. SEASONAL HIRING!!!!
YES! YES! YES!
Store associates in every department are rejoicing as they think about all of the new help they will have in their areas. Assistant Store Managers and Department Managers are dreaming about what they will be able to get done with all of those new bodies in their departments. Human Resources Managers are looking forward to the smiling, fresh faces in their stores in each new location.
We’ve already started hiring and training for the spring season. Some of your new teammates are already working in their departments and you may have met them already. As you encounter them, I would expect that you would show your new colleagues that we are a warm and professional team. Introduce yourself and get to know your new teammates. Please think back to your first experiences as a retail employee. Ask yourself the questions I asked you above. Show empathy, be open to their questions, share your experience, offer your expertise, and remember that everyone, yes everyone, to include your store manager was once The New Guy or The New Gal.