Faced with a Big Challenge? Consider these Strategies
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
On any given day, the retail environment can have its challenges. But in the current environment of supply chain shortages and inflation, retailers are forced to refocus and re-evaluate priorities to maintain sales and customer satisfaction. Shifting goals can impact retail RD programs, creating new work trials for you. When challenges seem overwhelming, realistically assess the situation, identify the key problems that need to be addressed, and control what you can. Be prepared to shift your own strategy and goals to align with the new corporate direction.
Consider the following strategies to face business challenges head on and learn and grow from them.
Be realistic. Elimination of team member roles, retail leadership asking you to completely shift directions in your programs and services – these are significant work challenges that can make you feel defeated or leave you considering leaving your retail role. The key is to not take any of it personally. The reality is that retail is a business that shifts on a dime; the industry quickly responds to consumer demands and cultural shifts. Seeking to understand why a big challenge is in front of you can help take the emotion out of it as well as position you to more logically and strategically create a realistic response.
Find control. There are things within your control and those that aren’t. When you feel out of control, motivation can drop significantly. When confronted with a major business change, understand what you can’t control (think staff cuts, budget cuts, new corporate direction). Then within that, find what you can control. This will position you to move forward in a more positive direction to problem solve the situation, being solution minded.
Respond don’t react. It’s okay to show emotions in a workplace, but when you receive news about a big change or challenge, it’s essential to respond instead of react. Treat emotions as part of the information tree about the new situation. Let your brain process emotions with all the other data you’ve received on the change. Consider all the information together and all sides of the issue before you formulate your response to it, considering how your response impacts your professional brand as well as your future career development at your retailer.
Be willing to take risks. When you original took your job in retail, you were taking a risk as this is a non-traditional career path for dietitians. You’ve proven your capable of taking risks, so consider the challenge facing you as an opportunity to pivot in a new direction, potentially setting aside work and programs you’ve done in the past.