Women Retail Leaders Share Tips for Motivating a Team
Women in Retail Leadership Circle (WIRLC), sister brand of Total Retail, recently released its ninth annual list of the Top Women in Retail. This annual feature, a joint effort of Total Retail and WIRLC, shines a spotlight on the innovative female minds leading some of the top retail organizations and brands in the industry today. As part of the special feature, WIRLC conducted interviews with each of the 16 women on this year's list. Among other questions, the honorees were asked, "What strategies have you used to motivate your team?" Here's a sampling of the answers we received:
"Communication. Being informed, valued and appreciated is the key to individual and team satisfaction and company results. Having a clear plan that the entire organization understands so that execution with excellence can occur is critical to success for all stakeholders. Nothing makes a team feel more empowered and confident than an environment of trust and appropriate collaboration and transparency. Knowing and understanding the full picture of the direction the company is heading in and why, and the importance of their contribution and accountability to it, is key." — Melissa Reiff, CEO, The Container Store
"Motivation starts with transparency. Every month, I gather my entire team and lay out key milestones, shifts, and my intended focus for the next four weeks. I find this keeps us all grounded and unified in our purpose and collective mission as a company. I firmly believe that if you don’t know the “why” of your CEO’s goals, it’s almost impossible to stay motivated. Transparency and context are key.
"On a more day-to-day basis, I aim to make my top-of-mind insights visible in real time. I fly at least once a week, so I use this airtime to catch up on articles across the retail, management, leadership and tech spaces. Anything relevant to a problem we’re solving or a new opportunity we can explore, I share with the team." — Katie Finnegan, Founding Principal, Store No. 8; CEO, Spatialand
"I have four adult children. One of the biggest lessons from raising them is learning that different people respond to different motivational styles, and I embrace that when nurturing talent. That said, one thing I’d say motivates everyone at Athleta is a sense of purpose. I think everyone I speak with, from my leadership team to our newest employees, is driven by our mission to inspire women and girls to reach their limitless potential. Different companies and brands stand for different things, but a sense of purpose is one of the most powerful motivators I know." — Nancy Green, President and CEO, Athleta
"Making each meeting and interaction matter is paramount. As a leader, when you show you care by being present, authentic, transparent and delivering on your promises, it establishes trust and credibility. It’s critical for leaders to paint a picture and lead the way. This will instill confidence, whereby your team will be excited to be along for the ride because they believe in you and your leadership.
"Investing time with the team in the right moments is also key. All my success has been through the high performance of my teams. Finally, having fun together as a team. Create team gatherings with activities that promote active engagement, including silly ones that lead to lots of laughter. When people get to know one another, it’s amazing how much they help motivate and lift each other up." — Samantha Lee, Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, Tailored Brands
To see WIRLC's 2019 Top Women in Retail List, and gain more valuable insights like these from the honorees, download the report today.
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