Retail stores succeed on the strength of their people and colleague teams. Leading and managing those teams is, therefore, a critical element. But finding the right retail store management structure can be complex with many considerations to include. In this podcast episode, productivity expert, Simon Hedaux, joins Oliver Banks to explore how you should go about finding the right store management structures.

Listen to the episode in full to discover:

  • Why the language and terminology can tell you a lot about your business.
  • The reasons that finding the right management structure can be challenging.
  • Why work studies can be an important source of truth for your business.
  • How the National Living Wage can result in blurring of the management levels across the hierarchy.
  • What is the span of control rule of thumb should you use to test your organisation structure.

Introducing Simon Hedaux

Simon Hedaux is a productivity expert and founder / CEO of Rethink Productivity (rethinkproductivity.co.uk).

Starting in the home improvement sector for Focus DIY, Simon learned relevant experience as a Store Manager and introduced a colleague scheduling system. He later moved to Boots as a Productivity Manager where he re-engineered the budget model and found productivity cost savings.

He founded Rethink Productivity to help retail, hospitality and consumer-facing businesses to conduct time and motion studies to help drive improved productivity.

Connect with Simon on social media:

Simon also appeared in episode 12: The Future Of Retail In 2019 (part 1) alongside retail technology expert Miya Knights and retail regional director, Darren Kay.

Expert opinion: What's exciting about the future of retail in 2019 - part 1

Reviewing your store management structure or organisation

Your store leadership costs can quickly mount up as management roles command the higher salaries in a store operation. Use these questions to consider your own management structures:

  • Retail Manager and Store ColleagueAre you clear on the purpose of your business and your brand promises? If not, then your leaders may struggle to align and deliver against them. As a result, you get more operational variability and store colleagues will find themselves being treated differently by different managers.
  • What is the right span of control between a manager and direct report (i.e. how big is the team size reporting into a line manager)?
  • Why should someone look to win promotion? Will the reward be enough?
  • Is there a suitable jump between levels – in both pay / reward and in responsibility. The gap must be big enough to warrant having two different levels but small enough to make them achievable without catastrophic failure.
  • You must also be clear on what you are entrusting to your managers exclusively and what can be suitably delegated to a cheaper resource.
  • How much “task” (doing work) should a manager be doing versus the amount of “managing” work that they do?
  • Does your organisation match your proposition?
  • What are your policies when it comes to minimum manning? For example, do you need managers on-site for all trading hours?
  • How does your organisation compare to other businesses in your category?
  • Do you know (really know) what your managers and management levels are doing?
  • If you are looking to make changes to your organisational structure, are you being clear on the true reasons for doing so?
  • And finally, if you are willing to trust your colleagues with handling customer relationships, what else could they be trusted with?

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