How Do Retail Employees View Store Operations?
With the start of a new year, many retailers are pushing forward with plans that have been accelerated by the events of the ongoing pandemic. Necessity has pushed technology and people strategies to the top of the agenda and forced retailers to act quickly and innovate in more ways than one.
With over 3 million individuals employed in the retail industry, investments in operational strategies are key to the survival of physical stores. Retailers need the right partners to support them, while being aware of the effects of such rapid change on their workforce and the need to minimise complexity in order to focus on what matters most – customers.
During one of the most tumultuous years that retail has seen, we took the time to discover how those on the frontline are feeling about their roles and how Covid-19 has impacted them. Our Talking Shop report, created in collaboration with Retail Week and Retail Trust, revealed that 75% of the retail workers questioned felt that Covid had made their job more complex and just 50% felt that they had access to the technology they needed to do their jobs well. The success of online retailers compounded with the intensity of Covid, has resulted in retail employees who feel unsure about the future of bricks and mortar stores and insecure in their jobs, similar to many other sectors. By uncovering these concerns, we can see where action needs to be taken.
What we do know is that employees who feel motivated and engaged in their roles will add huge value to the business. These employees produce exceptional shopping experiences for customers and help to promote a positive brand image. But it is more than that. They also feel a sense of autonomy and pride in their work which results in loyal, long-term employees. Considering that our report indicated that 40% of retail workers felt that their industry was a poor career choice – this is hugely important.
The Talking Shop report, which surveyed 500 UK store workers, found that:
- 86% think technology will play an increasingly pivotal role in stores with many agreeing that training, learning, access to documentation and in-store communication could all be improved.
- 76% believe that retail will involve more personalised services with a focus on bringing together online and in-store shopping options. Digitalisation will play a huge role in this, with intelligence-led data central to producing the best shopping experiences.
- 72% agree that retail will become more experience-focused, allowing staff to become more specialised in their roles – creating product experts that attract shoppers to physical stores.
The introduction of solutions such as Employee Self-Service and Real-Time Task Manager can ensure that frontline staff have one place to go for all the work they need to complete, giving them the confidence to excel in their roles.
To learn more about how communication solutions can empower your workforce, take a look at our latest Coffee Break webinar.