In my time across many businesses, I have worked with many different people, worked with a whole host of characters and have managed many different personalities.

I don’t want to say I was the best boss in the world, but I had a team which delivered, I had little turnover of staff and above all, I loved managing the people who worked in my team.

I also had many different experiences of being managed myself, some which were good, some which made me want to go and sulk in a corner and some which made me determined to be a much better manager.

Part of the work that fkp consultancy is focused on is training and developing people, especially in the merchandising function, but I believe the advice and tips that I offer can help across many different functions.

Here are some of my observations and advice that can help you get the best out of your team and also make work a good place for you and others.

Good Cop, not Bad Cop

There is a natural tendency to believe that if you want to get results, you need to be tough and make sure that your team know when they have done something wrong, instilling a sense of ‘fear’.

The bad cop routine doesn’t work to help drive motivation and ultimately results.

Working with your team, understanding their issues, approaching work in a friendly manner is the best way to get results.

Simple things, which are often missed in busy environments, such as smiling when asking for something, being polite in emails, adding a please and a thank you are all important. These are the things that will motivate others and make them want to go that extra mile, which will ultimately lead to meeting deadlines and driving results.

Praise when praise is due

Not all businesses can afford pay increases and promotions for individuals who are high performing so it’s the little things that matter.

Rewarding your team in other ways will make them feel wanted and part of the team. Examples such as drinks at the end of a training session or when a deadline has been met, will always be welcomed and will let others know that they are appreciated.

Train them; don’t just tell them what you need

Lack of training within a business is one of the biggest reasons that mistakes are made and often missed until it is too late.

At fkp consultancy I have developed an ‘Introduction to Merchandising’ training pack. This will help train people at introductory levels and act as a reference guide at all levels. It offers the terms, what actions they should take, and also has an excel test attached to it to make sure that it has been understood.

When a mistake is made or a spreadsheet is wrong, it is important to understand what has gone wrong. Sitting down and talking through why a mistake has been made is the best way for the team member to understand where they were wrong and for you to see where there is a lack of training which needs to be addressed.

Working in partnership and guiding your team them through their own career is beneficial to both you and them in the long term..

Regular contact

Regular one to ones are important but work can make it seem that there is no time to have these. However, regular contact is really important as people will often find it easier to bring up issues in these than at other times.

If time really is an issue, then it only has to be a 15 minute chat but making sure it’s away from the desk is really important.

Cancelling at the last minute is also something to be avoided. People can really build themselves up to talk to their managers and for these to be cancelled can be a real let down, especially if they aren’t re-scheduled within a short period of time.

The contact doesn’t always have to be about work and to do lists; you can find out a lot more about a person in these meetings….


When someone arrives in the business, they don’t know who they should meet, what training they need and, who will help them.

It is important to have a schedule for new members of the team for their first month. This could include, organising a schedule of meet and greets with people they need to know about (and who need to know about them!), training on the job with someone experienced within the team , and having a mentor who they can go to if they need help, possibly someone at a similar grade with whom they would feel comfortable.

Again, simple things like this may seem obvious but are so often missed. The benefits of welcoming new team members are endless, the main one being an engaged member of staff who knows what they are doing as soon as they arrive.

Engage with your team

Are you training them yourself? Are you organising ad hoc training sessions? Are different levels getting the training they need as soon as they arrive into the business?

What team building team sessions have you organised which is just about engaging them? Have you organised a special speaker to talk to them?

Regular engagement with the team as a whole is really important at all levels for delivery and a happy and content team.

Progressing their career

We all have individuals who are striving to get to the next level in their career. For them being told you will get there isn’t always enough.

In my last role I helped introduce a Assistant Merchandiser training booklet, working with HR to clearly identify what they should be focusing on in their role to help them forward, both at a technical level and a personal development level.

This is something which we are keen to help bring into businesses and develop, as it really adds validation to an individuals quest to move up, whilst making sure that they have something to regularly review with their line manager.

Please email to discuss any of the above or any specific training your team may need focused on merchandising/management and leadership.

If you would also like to be sent a sample copy of the fkp consultancy‘Introduction to Merchandising’ training pack please contact us.

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