Bob Morrell, managing director of Reality Training suggests how to stop the perpetuation of poor practices

Travel retailers quickly recognises good people, and so roles like duty manager, assistant manager and store manager are natural aspirations for new starters.

So what must they do to achieve this promotion? They are probably smart, punctual, organised, positive and demonstrate, in some form, the brand values that you want to communicate. They are promoted, given the responsibility and the money, and off they go.

They may be lucky and sit through a one or two day manager training course, which is unlikely to contain much about how to manage. It will be what your major processes are – to make sure you adhere to the company systems, and essential rules and regulations.

How do you practice managing? That’s a tough one. How do you learn the 10 different ways to delegate? What is delegation? Do I really have to ask people to do things that I used to do myself? How does the relationship change between the manager and the managed? What is leadership?

How do you motivate a team? How do you improve performance? How do you organise and run a successful meeting? How do you coach individuals and teams? Why am I suddenly typing out reports and filling in forms? And all at the same time as maintaining your position as top salesperson in the store.

New managers, who are largely untrained can then only do one thing, fall back on the behaviours and practices they experienced by their previous managers.

Some of that will be good stuff, and some will be de-motivational because their previous managers had little development too. And so the cycle perpetuates. We all know that well-managed teams perform well, so why do we not make sure the managers have the requisite skills to deliver that performance?

Here are my Top 5 Tips for new travel retail managers:

1. Learn real time management skills – what is the different between urgent and important? Learn to buy back time by identifying and stopping pointless tasks.

2. Learn to manage upwards – most middle and senior managers also have poor time management – so make sure you and they manage each other’s expectations.

3. Treat forecasts and reports with total contempt – make your best guess and send them in – don’t pour over them for hours – it’s only a guess after all.

4. Make sure you and your team put customers first every time – nothing is more important than them.

5. Don’t confuse managing and coaching with counselling – you should focus on the first two.

Becoming a manager for the first time should be one of the most challenging and exciting periods in anyone’s career. So what is your brand doing to make that happen for your new managers? What are you doing to make sure that you keep the best one’s too?