Best Practices for Increasing Internal Support of Retail RD Programs

Best Practices for Increasing Internal Support of Retail RD Programs

December 8, 2021
Business Skills

By Mandy Katz, MS, RD, CSP, LDN, CLC, Manager of Healthy Living at Giant Food

As Retail Dietitians we live in both the corporate and clinical world. Although we’re trained in nutrition, our day-to-day work often requires us to nutrition less and market more. In a recent RDBA Retail Mastermind Alliance discussion, the topic of internal company awareness was brought up as an opportunity. The consensus was that most retail RDs need as much help with connecting with those that support their efforts as they do with customers in store. If you’re looking to optimize your internal support, consider these best practices:

Define who you are and repeat it over and over.

Does the perception of who you are and what you do precede you? If the category manager for snacks or meat sees you in the office (or aisles) are they thinking “there’s the produce pusher?” If so, read on.

Get to know the people and what is important to them.

There are two kinds of people – those who are new to the company and have no idea what you do and those who are fixtures at the company who likely have no idea what you do. Change this! Connect with your HR department, find out how they onboard and work to be part of that process. Or send a welcome email to share who you are and how you can support them in their new role.

For those company fixtures, you’ll need to work on those built-in perceptions. The trick here is to listen, learn, and share your philosophy as often as you can in one-on-one or in team meetings. What are the KPIs they are working towards? How can you support those goals with your expertise or action?

Say yes. To everything.

This is the hard one. Will you be asked to support keto or promote lower sugar candy? Absolutely.  But the yes is to listen and share what you can do. And for that they will be grateful and consider you an ally and resource.

Another area of opportunity our group discussed is increasing customer awareness.  And guess what, internal awareness can help drive that too.