FMI Connect: How Happy Are Dept. Managers?

At the recent FMI Connect show, Harold Lloyd presented new department manager research from FMI and The Retail Feedback Group. Nearly 2,000 department managers from 63 supermarkets participated in the survey.

The first of its kind data revealed that nine in 10 department managers love their job, although Harold Lloyd noted during the presentation of the data that the 46 percent of department managers who strongly agreed with the sentiment was too low for the industry.

A red flag that upper management needs to watch is that 23 percent of department managers disagree or strongly disagree that there that they have a healthy work/life balance. “No work goes home with department managers,” Llyod said. “They’re not owners and it’s a 40-hour work week.”

Another area that bears scrutiny in retail operations is communication from headquarters. The survey found that 20 percent of department managers disagreed that they received timely and effective communication. Lloyd noted that good supervisors should announce when they are visiting half the time and limit surprise visits to 50 percent of total visits. “They can’t plan their day if they don’t know you’re coming,” he said.

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