For the last 4 years ReXP has worked in partnership with a well known high street optical retailer to develop the focus and leadership capability of their 1,000 plus store directors.
As joint venture partners, store leaders are actually owners of the store so time away for development is precious and protected. For the first time the brand wished to develop structured and focussed leadership development for all store owners which was practical, engaging and results driven.
Leadership development activity
The role of the optical retailer has changed drastically over the last 20 years. Many stores that began as a sole optician with a couple of staff and a dozen customers per week now turn over many millions and have staffing levels unheard of just a few years ago. The new reality requires new leadership skills, attitudes and behaviours for success. We have worked closely with store owners, internal training and support teams and Head Office departments to develop a long term leadership development approach in line with the business needs and the sector opportunities.
Over the last 4 years we have developed a number of leadership development events for the 1,000 plus store owners focussing on engaging them in their role, supporting them to develop their capability and now simply setting leadership challenges and focus for the year ahead, ReXP has developed a range of styles, formats and support processes to continue to support brand growth and customer focus.
In previous years store leaders had undertaken theory based development so ReXP used its retail experience to create a much more interactive and retail based set of training programmes. Ranging from an electronic business simulation that prompted decision making and strategic thinking, through to developing a series of in-store tools and training materials to focus on retail growth, and most recently a series of interactive seminars with over 60 attendees per event attending their own selection of workshops and surgeries to focus on the issues that are important to them.
Each programme was designed using our knowledge and experience of the retail and service sector but was developed alongside real store owners to genuinely understand their day to day issues and develop appropriate solutions. Solutions included KPI and vision wall-charts, customer profiling cards, sales training exercises, and training and communication tools for embedding messages back in-store.
The most important factor was that all of the programmes were developed with the people doing the job to ensure that they delivered results back in the store.
A key success has been a new focus towards learning and development from the Director population. Not only is there now a hunger and drive for more development from the director population but involvement and interaction on events is highly positive and motivational.
Use of in-store tools has driven engagement and motivation of in-store teams where owners are reporting rises of up to 10% in sales growth and 3% reduction in costs through engagement, motivation and delegation activity driven by the programme.
ReXP worked specifically with one store to demonstrate the effectiveness of the interventions and evidenced a turnaround in only 6 months from high risk rating (consistent under-performance against primary KPIs) to exceeding sales, sustainable profit figures, improved customer focus and raised team morale, plus a new level of confidence and energy from the 2 partner directors.
"ReXP provides; a highly realistic (rather than theoretical) approach to Training and Development in a retail arena and this carries through into all of the material the way it is delivered."
- Chris Howarth, Head of Professional Recruitment, Specsavers
"Their approach is truly collaborative, they spend time really understanding our business and the challenges we face - a style that brings about a very high degree of success in terms of content and delivery style, but more importantly, real, tangible results back in the workplace."
- Mark Stables, Global Head of L&D, Specsavers