How Grocery Leaders Can Boost Employee Morale and Retention
As we know, COVID-19 has massively changed consumers’ in-store behavior. And as a previous blog notes, this in turn altered how the stores themselves operate. Initially, store associates were rewarded with praise and extra pay. Now, for many employees, both incentives are gone.
In some cases, store associates are working extra shifts or filling in for colleagues who have quit or suddenly call out. Add to that the burden of dealing with hostile or potentially sick customers, and you can understand why employees are overworked and facing burnout. Grocery workers themselves are claiming that morale is crushingly low as the pandemic wears on with no end in sight.
However, there are ways in which you can deploy technology to address the needs of your store teams. By making them safer, empowered, and happier in their jobs, you can improve employee retention and productivity. Here are some operational areas grocers can address with task management, mobile employee self-service, and workforce management solutions:
Supporting Associate Preferences: Like everyone else, associates have been affected by COVID-19, both at work and at home. Some are even caregivers who must assist children or parents. With a workforce management application that automates the labor scheduling process, grocers can optimize labor budgeting, forecasting, and scheduling procedures, thereby creating schedules that help associates balance their personal and professional lives. It also supports associate preferences for work hours—while adhering to corporate goals and policies.
This gives frontline grocery workers more choice when it comes to picking shifts and taking time-off. An associate can, for instance, use their phone to initiate a shift swap, which takes skills and availability into account and is subject to a quick managerial approval. This sort of system reduces the chances that a team member suddenly calls out and leaves a shift short-staffed. It also builds morale and engagement without burdening store managers, who earlier had to constantly make cumbersome and time-consuming schedule edits.
Streamlining Task Execution: Circumstances have forced grocery store associates to adapt to new store environments and duties, along with traditional routine work, such as stocking shelves. Now they are also performing COVID-related tasks, including sanitizing store fixtures, placing special signage, or adding customer spacing markers.
Help them execute their various tasks by letting them know what is expected (and when) via a real-time task management application. This can provide a prioritized list of tasks, push-based alerts, and notifications on the fly. Additionally, with such a solution, corporate, field, and store leadership have real-time visibility into task completion rates. If a grocer needs to recall a food item, the activity goes through the task management application to all stores in real-time, providing corporate and field leadership with real-time visibility into nationwide recall compliance rates, as well as the ability to follow-up with stores that don’t complete the recall within a few hours.
Ultimately, with these grocery tech solutions, you can help keep your frontline workers happy, safe, and productive. These solutions work in the real world: for instance, El Super leveraged Reflexis task management to reduce shrink by $1M per year. You can also read how Big Lots adapted to the pandemic using Reflexis applications.
For more insight into how you can provide your employees with the tools they need to get them engaged and productive, talk to us at email@example.com and we’ll set up time to chat.