By Hannah Whittenly

Retail managers need to have a wealth of skills in order to be successful. Many of these skills fall under the category of interpersonal abilities. Other skills can be taught and refined with practice. Here are some of those skills that will help you to be a proficient manager.

Time Management

The basis of effectively managing your time is setting priorities. Being able to determine what is a priority and what can be done in downtime is crucial. Another aspect for a manager is being able to delegate. It may seem tempting to do everything yourself. This won’t save you time in the long run. The best way to get the work done is to share the load. As manager, you have the responsibility to share your wisdom. Having employees that know how to prioritize will make your job easier. It will leave you the time to manage other parts of the business.

Team Building Skills

The most demanding thing to any team is being able to work together. This doesn’t mean that your employees have to be best friends. They just need to be able to communicate with each other. You are the captain of the ship. It is up to you to set a good example. Having positive interactions with your team sets the tone. Discipline should only ever occur in private. If employees are having a hard time working together, you need to nip that behavior in the bud. Poor interpersonal employee interactions can degrade the whole team. It also leads to poor customer service.

Effective Recruiting

Hiring the right people for the job makes everything go smoother. This is a skill that is learned from trial and error. You need to hire people that will have a personality that will work with your team. This doesn’t mean that you want to hire employees that only have one type of personality. Having a mix will lead to your team being able to meet goals in a timely manner. It will provide you with the opportunity to come up with creative new ideas as a team. Another consideration is hiring someone that is comfortable dealing with all kinds of customers.

Cross Training Abilities

You also need to know how to perform all the tasks that you are asking of your employees. You want to lead by example. Being able to help if an employee is sick can really build morale on your team. Having a forklift certification is a good idea. You are more versatile in being able to help in the dock area offloading inventory. It can also help if you just need to move around your inventory. Showing your employees that you are willing to pitch in can lead to a more productive workplace. Your employees may respect you more because they see you working hard to get the job done.

Being an effective manager is a challenge. Develop these skills to help you be more proficient at managing your employees.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.