Retail is one of the most rapidly changing and dynamic sectors, where customer experience is paramount. The pandemic has highlighted more than ever the need for a joined-up customer experience across all buying channels. Delivering a consistent omnichannel experience whether a customer is shopping online from a mobile device, click to buy via Instagram, shopping baskets on a laptop or physically visiting a bricks and mortar store is essential.
With staff scattered across multiple locations, working different shifts, working remotely and a vast choice of technology available to use, its more challenging than ever to unite your people. Bringing together processes, people, training, communication and knowledge is tough. Silos rise really easily and a multi-platform approach can eat away at productivity gains and efficiency. It’s an approach that destroys a much-needed user experience and makes it harder than ever to engage your people.
Workers get frustrated when they feel they are held back by inefficient technology and processes. Technology should be an enabler in the workplace and today, staff expect immediate access and immediacy. That’s why retailers are turning to a digital workplace for their people.
People and digital working in harmony
An exceptional customer experience cannot be delivered without happy, satisfied and trained staff who are motivated and give their best. A digital workplace is the virtual equivalent to a physical workspace… almost. Seamlessly bringing together digital tools, technology and platforms that people use to do their work. A great digital workplace is an environment where workers can access everything they need immediately, quickly and easily, without frustration. Access and navigation is intuitive and easy with no disjointed tools that create silos.
Many businesses have attempted to stitch together systems and done a reasonable job, others have created a central hub which can work well creating a central point to access everything. Frustration comes with having to log into different systems, lack of response when accessing via a mobile device, not user friendly and intuitive and slow.
1. Great employee experience is essential
Its crucial for retailers to provide a great employee experience. Unfortunately the retail sector is facing a plethora of HR challenges. Significant challenges regarding attraction, retention, onboarding and training are impacting operational efficiency. Employee turnover rates remains one of the highest at up to 70%. As a result its crucial to take proactive steps to keep staff happy and engaged and reduce the staff turnover rates. This is where HR software is solving some of these sticky problems. Its automating and simplifying essential processes, using a user-first, mobile-first approach.
With over 87% of the UK population owing a smart-phone and a large percentage suffering from suffer from nomophobia (fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity), mobile-first goes a long way in delivering great employee experience.
2. Enhanced employee engagement
Employee recognition is only one aspect of employee engagement. Staff need to feel recognised, appreciated and valued. With HR software employee recognition and engagement can be advanced easily. This offers real-time, visibility and access via their phones. Staff can access training modules, video and e-training which can be completed and driven by the employee. Access 24/7 is what staff want. This will significantly increase engagement and remove barriers and frustrations.
Managers can use interactive and social communications digitally to share employee achievements, engage with a more ‘natural conversation’ that’s different in approach and style to corporate communications.
Single logon along with the ease staff can perform HR tasks will significantly improve engagement.
3. Significantly improve staff retention rates
So how can a digital approach impact retention rates? Improved engagement goes a long way to reducing churn rates. The benefits of a digital workplace enables smarter and faster identification of why staff are leaving. Proactively highlight ‘risk’ and ‘flight’ factors drawn from real-time data, analytics and insights. Digital HR provides people analytics can provide in-depth insights around your people, which can be used to build retention strategies.
Its easy to run surveys and feedback questionnaires to understand staff expectations, frustrations and issues. This approach can also be used to generate ideas for improvements from around the workforce. You don’t need to bring everyone together in order to achieve this.
4. Save time creating staff rotas and streamline shift scheduling
Retail workers are often working different shifts and often working in different locations. The retail workforce is varied, made up of a mix of part-time, casual and seasonal staff, including hourly paid. As a result, creating, maintaining and managing rotas can be a real headache. With HR software, its easy to handle employee shifts in a fraction of the time.
Standard shifts can be created based on employee availability, training, skills and knowledge. Shifts and rotas are transparent using HR software, which means staff are well-informed of their shifts. Staff can check at any time, see who else is working their shift and put in requests to change shifts. Staff get immediate updates and communication on any changes immediately. This is where digital connectivity comes into play, bringing everything together.
5. Streamlined communication
A digital workplace makes internal communications easy and more streamlined. Many staff who work in retail don’t have a work email address wich means your digital workplace provides easy, intuitive channels to communicate through. Communication is unified and consistent and allows for easy and natural personalised messages and interactions.
Communications can be more relaxed creating a feeling of inclusion and belonging which contributes to engagement and retention.
6. Better employee training
Training is essential for retail employees, who need to be up to date with health and safety as well as customer service. Investing in employee training and development is a great way to show you care about your staff. With HR software, creating e-learning, digital course and video is easy and can be easily accessed. Managers can quickly see who has completed the training.
Mobile learning is flexible, giving staff choice to access them at their convenience. All your organisations knowledge is in one place, easily accessisble with tagging for a great user experience.
7. Increase transparency
Transparency is vital for all staff and a digital workforce cultivates a culture of transparency. All essential HR information can be accessed 24/7 by any employee, on any device. That includes salaries, payslips, requesting holiday, absence and medial benefits. People are at the core of a successful retail business, so its essential to create better people strategies to enable staff to work smarter, and be happy and productive.
A good digital workplace delivers numerous benefits for retailers including delivering outstanding user experience.
Providing employees with the tools they need, easily accessible, will make their lives so much easier, improving their satisfaction. Giving them personalized content and messaging will also increase their engagement at work. It’s a win-win that will improve overall retention rates.
Giving staff all the tools they need at the tips of their fingers, they can focus on doing what they’re best at – delivering great customer service. They become more efficient and productive since they don’t waste time trying to find stuff.
Easy access to communication and what they need not only saves time, but removes frustration, improves engagement and supports business needs.
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