GNcareers, from Gulf News

Mall managers serve as brand caretakers

Mall managers serve as brand caretakersImage Credit: Supplied

Says a property management expert, ''If shops were plants, malls would be greenhouses.'' A shopping mall is a covered and controlled area in which a mass of retail activities emerge like a flower, and a mall manager's role is to bring together retail activities under one roof. He should be able to provide a comfortable ambience, maintain areas, especially the toilets, so they are neat and clean, and provide areas for people to relax.

Also, in commercial leasing areas like food and entertainment facilities, he should make it his aim to stimulate and satisfy retail customers. Mall operators must also know one important thing – that their customers include mall management employees, outsourced contractual employees and merchandisers who must be paid reasonable and decent salaries. Mall operation technicians, BMS workers, floor cleaners and toilet cleaners must be paid decent wages to meet the current cost of living.

Mall managers must look at their venture as a brand, rather than simply a matter of selling off retail space. Who will reflect the brand? Is it the beautiful building? No, the employees – in fact, all employees in a mall mirror the brand. It is unfortunate that jobs in retailing have traditionally been looked down upon as menial and low paid. But this stereotype is changing in this part of the world, especially after a very prominent family into mall retail chains had invested into retail. Because of their professionalism and efficient HR management, their employees are treated fairly from top to bottom – truly an example worth following.

Mall managers must recruit qualified people with formal training. Mall management must help clients standardize the way they do things and set down formal procedures to manage issues like customer complaints. Standardization also involves the pay and perks of staff, and quality people to govern the business.

Handy Hints:

• Mall managers take care of satisfying customer expectations

• Their customers include mall clients and all mall employees

• All mall staff reflect mall's branding regardless of who they work for

Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant