Supermarket shopping is a large part of our everyday lives and it's no wonder that it holds a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans. Whether it's fond memories as a child wandering through the confectionery aisle, or frantic trips to the supermarket each festive season, we all enjoy great experiences at Giant. The role of supermarkets is especially important during the pedemic period, when shopping for essential items is one of the few valid reasons to head out of the house! It has made supermarket shopping a treasured experience and this is only possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of all supermarket staff.
In this article:
- Introducing Lin
- Taking Pride in One's Work
- Receiving Affirmation From Customers
- Taking Care of the Team
- Showing Appreciation
Considering the adjustments needed to keep up with the high demand, we can only imagine how supervisors and their staff are managing the daily challenges. We spoke to Lin, a store manager at Giant, who took us behind the scenes at how his typical day goes and what motivates him to do his best. Read on to find out what it takes to be a Giant store manager.
1. Introducing Lin
Lin recalled how he first started out as a retail assistant, in charge of receiving orders and restocking products on shelves. "After a while, you can predict which products sell faster or how to quickly spot shoppers who need your help," he says. Work can be pretty routine, but there are also many situations where staff need to think and move fast. For Lin, the difficult aspects of his job are also what keep it interesting, especially when it requires juggling different tasks and improvising a solution.
Back then, he knew that no task is too small nor too big when working at a supermarket. Even after he was promoted to store manager, he still maintains his can-do attitude. "If there's a sudden need for baggers at the checkout and no one to take it on, I’m the kind of manager who bags", Lin declares. Despite his humble attitude, Lin's staff know how sharp he is when managing the store's finances, investigating new trends, and motivating employees to achieve monthly targets. Being a store manager means developing a 'sixth sense' to see, listen, and act on opportunities that can increase the happiness of both shoppers and staff.
2. Taking Pride in One's Work
Lin's favourite part of the day is doing a store walk right before the opening so he can "see what our customers would see" and ensure that everything is in tip top shape before opening for business. Among the areas he frequently scans throughout the day is the fresh produce section. His responsibilities include ensuring that fresh products are in good condition, managing stock inventory and controlling shrinkage. Often, staff assigned to the produce section are knowledgeable on how to choose the freshest supermarket foods and the best cooking techniques for each produce. If you're curious about something, just ask a friendly Giant staff!
Like most grocery stores during the pandemic, some products run out quickly. To be on the proactive side, Lin encourages shoppers to think of ways to be flexible with their ingredients. He suggests alternative ingredients to customers such as crushed crackers to replace breadcrumbs. Lin says that he feels a sense of satisfaction to see customers happy, which motivates him to work harder to serve them.
3. Receiving Affirmation From Customers
For Lin, the best part of his job is serving customers. These days, however, interactions have shortened because everything needs to happen fast. “We have to ensure social distancing rules are followed," he explains. Meanwhile, many customers are thoughtful enough to ask how the staff are doing, and he appreciates the sentiment. A simple question from customers like "Have you eaten?" makes Lin and his team feel seen and appreciated.
4. Taking Care of the Team
In this pandemic, Lin shares that his staff try to cope the best way they can and encourage each other where possible to prevent burnout. "We are providing mandatory breaks and allocating time for temperature checks and store sanitisation to keep the staff safe," he explains. Lin encourages all staff to get enough rest and voice their concerns when they are overwhelmed.
At the end of the work day, Lin looks forward to going home, taking a hot shower and spending quality time with his wife and kids. He describes himself as "a simple man" whose family is his source of strength.
5. Showing Appreciation
Lin is among the many other supermarket staff at Giant working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the show running. The work might not be glamorous, but it is important and meaningful. Be sure to show your appreciation to service staff with a big smile and a cheerful "thank you!"