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Three Guiding Rules for Managing a Strong, Multigenerational Retail Workforce

Chrissy Kozey
Posted by Chrissy Kozey on Sep 29, 2020 10:45:00 AM

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Retail work provides people of all ages the opportunity to find employment, but this generational diversity also requires employers to take on a diverse approach to engagement. Here are three rules to keep in mind when considering new ways to strengthen your business and retain valuable employees of every life experience level.

Younger Workers Seek Flexibility and Digital Empowerment

Do not make the mistake of casting Millennials and Gen Z employees and candidates as apathetic workers by default. When given the right tools and experiences, they can be an inimitable, productive force in retail environments. 

One huge way to ensure employees’ engagement is to enable workplace technology that suits their already digital lifestyles. Get as mobile as you can get with your workplace administrative tools. Over the past year, retailers have begun rapidly adopting mobile-first workforce management solutions in the form of Kronos Workforce Dimensions. Platforms like this help retailers quickly access significant employee resources remotely, from the smartphones they already use regularly throughout the day.

With this newfound flexibility, employers can offer digital self-service features, such as employee-driven shift swaps — enabling workers to adjust their schedules as their active lifestyles need. These features help lift a burden from managers who previously had to approve and coordinate schedule changes, as long as the swap is compliant.

Older Workers Want More Autonomy and Trust

Whether your older workers have worked in retail long or are coming into the business following other lines of work, this group can prove to be quite loyal. Gen X workers (and Xennials) are accustomed to more regular schedules, and they want to feel a strong sense of purpose in their work. Part of this sense of purpose comes from more meaningful interactions with coworkers and superiors. 

Retailers can boost this interpersonal connection by empowering managers to engage these workers in person more often, first and foremost, by streamlining the many administrative tasks that keep them too occupied to build those connections. Seasoned retail employees want to establish a strong line of trust and earn more opportunities to lead the way, often towards creating a better customer experience. The more they feel they can make a meaningful difference, the longer they will tend to stick around.

Empowered Employees Create Better Customer Experiences

When retail employees are unhappy at work, their customers are sure to notice. Whether employees are retail pros, seasonal hires, or students working around classes, each has unique needs that traditional, impersonal management styles and solutions often fail to address. 

By using smarter technology, even tapping into newer AI offerings, retail employers can create a workplace where employees can feel seen and heard by managers who feel unburdened and empowered to support their entire teams. Some things still matter across all generations, and today's workforce technologies make these achievements even more accessible than ever before.

How well are you using the tools available to you to create a strong, connected retail workplace for multigenerational workers? Is there still more you can do to strengthen your workforce management? Schedule a consultation with one of The Workforce Consulting Group’s retail workforce management experts today.

Topics: Kronos, Workforce Management

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