From IL — 06/08/2010
The company itself has gone through a major overhaul in the few years since I've joined the company. I am seeing things from a different perspective as I am a departmental manager. The difficulties that the floor employees don't see are really coming directly down from the top. Corporate's secrecy on developmental programs and revisions to systems has been vague. When something new debuts, it's brand new and unfortunately, nobody knows what is going on because there was no information until it happened. Additionally, store budgets, payroll reports, etc. take their time coming down the line. Without these guidelines, the stores are left to guess and attempt to manage their locations blindly. With more and more pressure on management teams to drive sales, eliminate payroll, and somehow maintain good morale, this is a difficult task. My specific gripe is in regards to our district management. There is a complete lack of positivity and a constant drive for results. There is never a positive comment, only criticism. This diminishes pride and causes anxiety within the store manager and other managers alike.
B&N has phenomenal benefits, a great respect for work/life balance, accessible locations, and great employees. It's a true shame their pay for managers is not competitive and that for departmental sales managers, there is not a bonus structure. I personally, negotiated my pay before accepting the job. It was never mentioned to me as a result of that, I would be docked a portion of a percentage of my future raises because I am at the top of the pay scale for my position. If I am producing above and beyond goal, I should at least get the full 3% raise! A disgruntled and stressed management team leads to a negative environment for our floor employees. Finally, it seems, managers give up and do what it takes to skate by. I'm someone who thrives for results and my performance shows that. Without any incentive structure for pay and a lack of any positive recognition, I'm feeling under-appreciated by my district manager and my company. We all go above and beyond and deserve an incentive to keep up the great work. A kind word goes a long way!
For a retail job, this is an amazing opportunity. For a manager, there is almost no opportunity to advance quickly within B&N. If you're looking for retail for life, B&N is the place to be but it isn't for me. I love my customers, I love what I do, I just can't live a lifestyle I work for without being rewarded for my results. It gets frustrating and without venting to fellow managers, there is no place to communicate your frustrations.