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8 Essential Skills for Managers (in Food Service, Retail, and Beyond!)

As a manager, it is important that you are prepared to take on leadership and control the chaos that is busy nights and impatient customers. As the highest power on the floor, responsibility for success or failure falls to you and it is your job to be prepared for anything. Whether you are a restaurant, hotel, retail, or any establishment manager these 8 skills will give you the edge you need for success.

1. Professionalism

You are the highest in-store authority. That means you are responsible for looking and acting like it. As someone employees go to for questions and customers ask for to solve problems, you are responsible for conveying your authority in your tone of voice, the clothing you wear, and how you interact with customers. Be certain of your professionalism or risk losing your authority.

2. Interviewing

If you don’t have a hiring manager, interviewing responsibility often falls to the store manager. As a manager the actions of your employees reflect on you; if you hire the wrong employees that will affect the business. Understanding how to conduct an effective interview and what to look for is necessary for good hiring.

3. Fostering Teamwork

Teamwork is essential and as a leader it is your responsibility to lead your team and foster working together to solve problems and address issues. Your role is to inspire employee collaboration. The leadership style you utilize has to reflect this every day. Instead of driving employees against each other using competition, focus on encouraging cooperation.

4. Active Listening

As a manager you need to understand the difference between active and passive listening and utilize active listening in your daily work. Employees and customers alike look to you for guidance, and if you fail to have stellar communication skills, problems that could easily be solved becomes issues and miscommunication spreads discontent.

5. Delegation

You have a lot of responsibilities, and sometimes you are faced with more tasks than you alone can handle without getting overwhelmed. That’s okay and it’s the reason delegation is necessary. Knowing how, when, and to whom you should delegate is an incredible important skill for management.

6. Providing Feedback

Employees can’t know what they’re not doing well, or are excelling in, unless you tell them. If employees are not performing to standards, feedback is the first step, not punishment. As a manager it is your responsibility to coach employees to success. To do this you must be prepared to provide constructive feedback. On the other hand, if an employee is excelling, it is your responsibility to acknowledge their successes.

7. Conflict Resolution

There will be conflict between employees and between customers. As a person in a leadership role, you are responsible for resolving sometimes complicated encounters. The situational nature of conflict makes this a difficult responsibility to bear. Having a strategy for handling conflict resolution conversations gives you a framework to work through and adapt for each unique situation.

8. Security Awareness

If you are the leadership, security awareness falls to you. Organizing security employees, being aware of risk, and training employees is part of your job. Managers have to ensure all employees are aware of security strategies and encourage them to be proactive.

Your job is diverse, complicated, and never-ending. Planning, training, and preparing is the key to staying on top of everything you need to know and being ready for the unknown.

Can you think of any skills we didn’t list? Drop us a comment and let us know!

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