My team is making me crazy…

Team BuildingDear Cathy,

Do you allow other employees to do markdowns (or be in charge of them and make them)? How do you handle delegating that job (one specific employee)?

Also, is it okay (wise, smart…..not sure of the right word to use here) to make a rule that NO MARKDOWNS are to be taken without my approval? Any reason this would be a problem?

As I am writing this, I feel like I am probably being too “legalistic” and know the answer. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on how you handle this.

This question is arriving due to a situation I discovered that happened while I was on vacation. As I was leaving today to come home for my appointment with you today, I was leaving instructions with Crystal to run a report on one of my STAPLE accessory vendors and put together a fill in order. I knew it was picked over and we needed inventory. She then informed me that Erin had put it all on redline and had a clearance sign on it! I was livid to say the least. One, it is a staple vendor and we order from them every season, and two, the merchandise that we had was probably 90% current product that was carrying over into fall. I was really taken back by Erin’s decision and immediately had Crystal take it down and reprice them. This is not the first time I have felt disgruntled by her “on the fly” or “uninformed” decisions. Love her, she has a lot of great attributes and I think? she means well, but it certainly causes a lot of stress in my world as well as Crystal’s.

Thanks for hearing me out.
What should I do?



This is a GREAT question. Thanks for asking.
Erin doesn’t have the ability to discontinue an entire vendor from the store without discussing it with you. A couple of items….ok but not that big of a decision.

She does have the store’s best interests at heart.
She wants to feel valued.
She wants to do a good job.
She moves fast and makes quick decisions.

You don’t make decisions as quickly as she does and that might frustrate her…although I certainly don’t know if that is why she decided to do what she did.
You don’t have a clear way to communicate about markdowns

Ask her over a cup of coffee. Take that time to do that and talk about the above.
I am sure that this is not the first time you have reversed one of her actions.
It has to stop.
Too much wasted time.
Too many mixed messages to the entire team.
Too much drama

You must start have regularly scheduled meetings. The meetings will give you and your team a time and place to bring up ideas like vendor performance on a regular basis.

The meeting should have a standing agenda – and everyone should be responsible for bringing something to the table. Ask everyone what info they want to have and discuss as you are beginning this culture change. The sales to plan should always be included and discussed.

A few key points for successful meetings:
STICK TO THE TIME TABLE. Have people come 15 minutes early to chit chat – it must start and end on time no matter what.
NO FOOD – this is a business meeting not a coffee klutch.



My team is making me crazy.