A Day in the life of Farhana Kirshan – Food Lover’s Market Middelburg

FARHANA KRISHNA has been Store Manager at FLM Middelburg for three years and her aim has been to build the Middelburg team and together, make it a profitable and successful store.  

What steps did you put in place to achieve these magnificent results?  

  • We built a Safe Place for our team. This is a place of respect and trust for one another and once we had established that, we could easily move forward and grow together as a team. I made sure the team understood our FLM Values of Loyalty, Respect, Excellence and Shared Success.
    • We built an understanding of the FLM processes and why certain things had to be done – the reason for everything. Through this buy-in, colleagues started feeling more at home in the store and trust was built, and it was a natural progression the store looking great and sales increasing.
    • We introduced firm and fair discipline to ensure peace within the working area. As much as we provide a safe space, discipline also needs to be implemented fairly. 

As a result of the above, the team started working hard. We have a few of our members who drove the team with us, especially the supervisors. We also started with weekly meetings (management meetings) where we communicate challenges and provide solutions together on how we can move positively move forward. 

What advice would you give to other stores to improve their performance?  

Creating a safe space for colleagues is the first step. Provide knowledge and background on why certain processes must be followed. Make everyone understand our values. Promote from within your store. We also have monthly awards such as ‘best performing department’, ‘most hardworking colleague of the month’, etc. Once all this is done the team will work together to ensure the store is ready to receive customers. 

What leadership tactics do you use to motivate your teams?  

  • Monthly Awards – reward individuals that are voted for by their fellow hardworking colleagues, this is constant motivation
    • Weekly meetings that show the team how sales are doing, how we’re improving and what areas we can improve on.
    • Create a safe space for colleagues that makes them feel valued.
    • Teamwork – my Regional Manager, Don Alegra (my role model), has always told me to keep momentum going. If you have R10, you can’t spend R11, and this advice has stuck with me and has gotten me to where I am today. 

How does being ‘relentless’ have an impact on your success?  

For me, it is powered by the people. The idea of being relentless really grabbed my attention and I learned a lot from it. For me, it was when Roxy Norman spoke at the Conference and shared her ideas about taking one brick at a time to build that wall. That is what I do best in FLM Middelburg, I take each day as it comes. I also felt very valued, respected, and appreciated when my CEO, Brian Coppin, called my name. I was still trying to figure out if I heard right that I was chosen to be part of this FLM family.  

Do you do anything specific each day to be such a successful achiever?  

Yes, I make sure I get each department to highlight their achievements and correct where they are falling short. This is done through close monitoring and interaction with customers to find out how we can be a better local shop for them. “We aim high, and we want to be the store with the highest sales in the Inland district, with a positive team mentality – ONE TEAM ONE DREAM,” concludes Farhana.