WE ALL KNOW that having a team of qualified and edicated individuals is imperative for success, and tends to make a leader’s job easier. In this way, successful leadership is a two-way street that requires a
team effort not only from the top down but
also the bottom up. From store managers
to hourly team members running a department at night, it is important to have a toolbox of ideas at the ready for a more effective
journey to success.
As the saying goes, there is no “I” in team,
but there should be. Here are five “I”s to
invigorate your team. Consider these “I”deas
as the food retail industry looks to the future.
It must start with the desire to challenge
yourself and others to seek out inspiration.
For young people, inspiration is what drives
motivation. Inspire them
to think beyond who or
what your company or
their job is, and instead
begin to consider what
they can be. The grocery industry is full of
opportunity, but it needs
to be communicated.
Exposure to opportunity
to grow professionally is
a must for younger generations, and offering
the guidance of an experienced mentor is a great way to do that.
Inspiration can come from a myriad of other
sources, too. Industry trade shows, networking events, workshops, store visits or simply
tapping into the ideas of colleagues at work.
As leaders, young people look to you for
inspiration, so do not be afraid to allow yourself to let them inspire you, too.
Information today is so widely available
that it can be a challenge to find the right
information when we need it. It is important
to not overlook even the most basic information needs of our teams. From industry trends and market research to training
and product information, there is always a
need for accurate and timely information.
Food safety and customer service knowledge is not always obvious for some people. Department managers are sometimes
chosen based on need rather than merit,
often leading to managers with little knowledge of what the job entails. It is also important to inform your team about opportunities. Grocery retail relies heavily on student
workers who could benefit from scholarships and internships provided through
industry partners. By passing that information to your teams, you can literally change
lives. Without good information we cannot
be inspired, nor can we innovate.
Innovation keeps people, products and
places relevant. As an industry, are we
focused on maintenance or are we look-
ing to grow? Innovation does not have to
be limited to products or technology for
it to be impactful. Something as simple as
food safety certification training for all ser-
vice department employees is an innova-
tive way to increase shopper confidence
in the safety of their food, with the added
benefit of reducing product waste and
improving quality. Communicate this new
focus on food safety so shoppers know they
are shopping at the right place. Perhaps
the team can help find innovative ways to
improve efficiency, saving the store or com-
Consider how many people have their first
jobs in a grocery store. Now consider the
opportunity for those managers and colleagues to be positively influential in the
lives of all those young people. Forward-looking industry leaders recognize the
need for experienced professionals in the
not-too-distant future. Now is the opportunity to influence those already in the industry and those who might not be thinking
about food retail, manufacturing or marketing at all. Let them know there are career
paths for all skills: culinary skills, business
skills, graphic design skills, truck-driving
skills, mechanical engineering skills, effective breaking-the-ice-in-a-booth-at-trade-shows skills. It is up to all of us to get this
message out and influence the future to
meet the industry’s needs. Spread the word
about internships and job openings in the
industry to expose new professionals to the
opportunities out there.
Finally, the fifth “I” for your team is IDDBA.
With the mission to be the essential resource
for dairy, deli and bakery, IDDBA is on your
team every step of the way with free training, scholarships, mentor grants, and food
safety certification reimbursement for members, industry trends research, and of course,
IDDBA 17. IDDBA also facilitates a career center for both internships and jobs. IDDBA is
here to support the industry at all levels.
Jonathan Whalley is education
coordinator at IDDBA. He can be
reached at email@example.com.
PUT AN “I” IN YOUR TEAM
IDDBA offers five ways to motivate employees in 2017 and beyond.
By Jonathan Whalley