Retail jobs have long suffered a perception problem — one that contributes to high workforce turnover. But with the right solutions in hand, retailers can combat the many shallow portrayals of retail as a fleeting, part-time job for youngsters and turn their business into a place employees want to stay and contribute to for the long term.
In order to change the "replaceable" perception of retail gigs in the minds of employees, retailers must differentiate themselves as an employer by offering advantages that others do not. Here are a few simple, yet meaningful propositions retailers can achieve through workforce management reconfiguration to better retain talent and avert recurring costs (financial, knowledge, and otherwise) associated with restaffing.
The growing availability of employee self-service features, such as shift swaps and time-off requests, allows employees to take greater responsibility for their schedule. When life events require short-term availability challenges, employees can more easily negotiate with their peers and turn a counterproductive no-show into a covered shift with automated compliance oversight.
This added flexibility (without throwing weight on managers) gives retail employees greater control over work-life balance when they need it most — strengthening connections as an employer that empowers personal responsibility both in and outside of work.
With increasing access to workforce management features through mobile-responsive apps, both managers and employees can handle important administrative tasks on the fly. Improved interfaces and user experiences have helped make many key functions as easy as a few taps. No longer are employees tethered to computer stations or terminals, since they can choose a preferred method for communications, work updates, and alerts, including email, SMS text, or mobile push notifications.
We are huge believers in the importance of sharing productivity and performance data with employees at all levels and not just with shop owners, managers, and corporate executives. By allowing front-line workers to see performance history and goals, they can better understand the impact of their work beyond the completion of tasks. Visibility into performance data allows workers who are closest to the work to be the ones who contribute on how to innovate and improve processes for greater efficiency.
Do your stores make enough use of the day-to-day workforce management features that impact employee retention? If you'd like to empower your retail employees in subtle ways that make a huge difference for turnover, consider starting using solutions you already have available to the fullest advantages.