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4 Common Team Management Problems [And How Activ8 Can Help]

Team Management

If you want to lead a retail team successfully, it’s crucial that you learn to juggle multiple different aspects simultaneously. After all, effective team management involves coordinating numerous people in various roles across your business. If you fail to guide them and consider the impact they can have on your retail store, you’re likely to face many long-term consequences.

Fortunately, the opposite is also true. If you can pinpoint potential weak points before they become problems that have long-lasting consequences, you’ll be stronger for it.

So, what are these shortcomings? We’ve listed the most common problems below. Because listing problems alone means nothing, we’ve also provided solutions. That means that if you’re currently struggling with any of these issues, you’ll know how to get your business back on track.

Lack of Trust

There is a lack of trust amongst your team

Trust is a vital aspect that you would do well to foster in any team you manage. Treat it carefully and with respect and you’ll soon find you have a company that flourishes. Treat it carelessly, and you could find your team becoming apathetic about their work.

Therein lies the dilemma of effective team management.

Of course, depending on the size of your retail organisation, trust can be hard to foster. It’s even harder to control if you’re a large organisation, and your approach to decision-making is top-down.

In that case, you might find that a junior employee has minimal opportunity to engage with the colleagues at a higher level, be that top management or the CEO. Even someone more senior up might struggle to engage.

As a result, you could quite easily foster an environment where you place little trust in anyone other than top management. That can result in unnecessary barriers forming.

How can Activ8 help correct this problem?

Firstly, fostering trust is an ongoing exercise. Yes, you must earn it, but it’s not once-off. The way to achieve it is to consistently strive to build the trust account through open and fair work policies, accountability, and input from everyone.

It’s also worth considering specialised software with features that focus on earning and building trust.

For example, Activ8 has a time and attendance feature that allows anyone in the business to know where everyone is at any time during the day. What’s more, it holds your top management accountable. If a senior manager is consistently late, they can’t hide that fact - their team will know.

By using software that can keep everyone in check, and do so consistently, you can begin to build that trust bank.

Lack of Transparency

There is a lack of transparency and accountability

Similar to the issue of a lack of trust, is the problem of transparency. In reality, as you continue to read this piece, you’ll notice these team management problems all have a connection in some shape or form.

Transparency is closely related to trust. But, there is also a difference.

The difference with transparency is that it stems from the fact that you might give instructions verbally. However, it doesn’t always manifest into actual work done. That’s because of many reasons, some of which are not in your control.

Let’s say, for example; you want to implement a project. You could be rolling out new planograms for a category or need to remerchandise a section of your store. Without documenting what you need to do to get to the end point, you’ll struggle to keep anyone accountable.

It doesn’t matter the type of business. If you have very little transparency and by association, no accountability, it creates distrust and leaves everyone feeling uncertain and stressed. That much should be obvious.

Meanwhile, holding people accountable for projects gives your business direction.

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How can Activ8 help correct this problem?

Fortunately, software such as Activ8 has a specific function that can help you to become more transparent and hold everyone accountable.

In short, it’s the task management system which holds your team accountable for delivering on a task. You can create and assign tasks with criteria and deadlines specific to your business. It includes creating checklists for more extensive work projects. If you wish, you can also add filters that assign tasks based on workload.

That further encourages transparency (builds trust) and allows you to take an unbiased approach to distributing work.

It’s also worth mentioning the time and attendance side of Activ8. As already mentioned, on the dashboard, everyone can see where everyone is at any given time.

Team Role Uncertainty

There is uncertainty over team roles

If you want to get anything done, it’s critical that you and your team understand what they need to do to get the result you want. After all, if anyone is unclear about their part in a project, you’ll find it difficult if not impossible to achieve the right result.

Let’s use the above example of rolling out planograms again.

Your team might know that by a specific date you intend to have rolled out planograms for every category in your store. However, if you don’t set particular milestones or assign specific tasks to your team, the project won’t move forward.

What’s more, you can create a chaotic environment full of mistrust and stress. Who is responsible for what part of the project? Also, you might find one or two people taking on the entire project while others sit back. But can you blame anyone? If you fail to assign roles and set expectations, you’ll struggle to hold anyone accountable.

There is also the point that by failing to provide certainty about team roles and expectations, you can create animosity.

How can Activ8 help correct this problem?

If you need to create certainty around team roles, Activ8 has a function for that: it’s the project management feature that allows you to create, plan, and manage any project, regardless of the size or scope of work.

Here’s a different example. Let’s say you’re in the process of opening a new store. It’s a monumental task where you need to be in control of everything to pull it off successfully.

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can select a project manager to run it and include observers. You can also include the purpose of the project, add milestones, and assign tasks to specific people within your team with set criteria and deadlines.

By adding clarity, there is no room for your team to feel uncertain. What’s more, it also comes down to transparency and accountability. Your team know they are responsible for a specific aspect, and if they don’t fulfil the assigned role, the project can fail. However, instead of not knowing whom to turn to if the project fails, by documenting the process, you’ll know.

In so doing, you can reduce any unnecessary chaos and stress that comes with project management.

Failure to Set Goals

 
There is a failure to set clear goals and expectations

A mistake common to many teams is the assumption that everyone has the same goal in mind. What’s more, they know the steps to take to achieve it. That is, of course, a huge mistake.

That’s especially true if you haven’t had any meaningful conversation about what you expect. Or, if you’ve spoken of a project but haven’t gone into too much detail because you believe your team know what to do.

The result is that without a clear goal and understanding of what to expect, you can find your team following different paths. It’s also linked to the point on team role uncertainty. You’re essentially setting up a scenario where a lack of clarity leads to inaction.

That’s not to say team members do that on purpose. If you’ve chosen your team with care, you’ll know they all want your retail business to succeed. Instead, it’s because of a lack of clear direction; direction that you must provide from the beginning.

How can Activ8 help correct this problem?

If you want to set goals and clear expectations from the beginning, the feature available to you in Activ8 is again the project management function.

With it, you can create projects that align your goals from the start and tasks that have clear objectives. More importantly, you can create projects with deadlines that keep your team in check and on schedule.

For example, you’re busy with a store revamp. Perhaps not as big of a task as a store opening but it’s still significant.

By setting up a project, creating the tasks and giving them criteria and deadlines before assigning them to individual team members, you can set clear expectations. Your team knows what they need to complete and by when.

Adding checklists to your projects provides an extra layer or accountability and transparency too.

Conclusion

Activ8 is team management software for retail with various functionalities to assist you to get the most out of your retail team. That includes time and attendance, task management, project management and more.

If you’re interested in pursuing a culture of transparency, accountability and high levels of work ethic then Activ8 is for you. Learn more by scheduling a demo with one of our sales consultants below.

Darren Gilbert

Content Manager at DotActiv

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