Keys to Retail Workforce Success
It’s important not to underestimate the importance of optimized workforce management to the success of omni-channel retail. Ensuring that labor forecasts and associate schedules accurately account for a range of factors like customer traffic and sales volumes, BOPIS-related activities, labor regulations, and associate availability and skillset can be key to store success. Additionally, retail turnover rates have been on the rise, with part-time hourly positions seeing an 81% turnover rate in 2018, which can be a strain on resources. With the right retail workforce management solution you can improve employee satisfaction, optimize your labor operations, and simplify scheduling so managers can spend more time on the sales floor. So how do you find the best solution for your organization?
Identify Your Basic Needs
The first step is to narrow down what features will empower you to be successful. While the majority of workforce management systems will offer budgeting, forecasting and scheduling capabilities, there are many features that impact how well those capabilities will meet your needs. Some key features to consider include things like: retail-specific design and cloud deployment for a fast ROI, advanced analytics and reporting, AI and machine learning, and support for complexity in your labor models.
Identify the Impact of Inaction
Once you establish your basic needs, it can be tempting to declare your current solution “good enough” and avoid the cost and effort associated with changing solutions. As a result, it’s also important to consider the cost of not upgrading your workforce management.
Scheduling on many legacy systems can take hours every week, time your managers can’t spend coaching associates and helping customers, but with a next-gen workforce management platform store managers can create optimized schedules in just minutes. Similarly, with improved forecasting and scheduling, you can eliminate errors and mismatches that cause frustration for associates and negatively impact the customer experience. Eliminating inefficiencies and scheduling for customer engagement can be huge ROI drivers.
Consider the Impact on Employees
Replacing employees that leave is costly and time consuming, even for entry-level or unskilled positions. Your retail workforce management solution should help make work simpler for employees so they stay engaged and stay with your organization.
Look for a solution that is user-friendly and intuitive. Features like mobile employee self-service enables associates to view their schedules and request changes from their phones, while making it easy for managers to approve requests, find replacements, and fill open shifts in accordance with store rules and regulations. Simplifying and streamlining scheduling improves employee satisfaction and helps you avoid the cost of hiring and training replacements.
Plan Workforce Management as Part of Your Total Retail Work Strategy
Workforce management is important, but it’s still only one part of the total work problem. If you align your labor needs with real-time store workloads, using a solutions platform including both workforce and task management components, you can streamline work for associates and ensure they aren’t burned out or overwhelmed.
Additionally, this alignment of labor and task management ensures you have the right staff in the right place at the right time to maximize customer engagement. By considering your workforce management system as part of a total work ecosystem, you can improve both store execution and employee retention.
Find a Solution Provider that Can Be a Trusted Partner
Finding the right solution isn’t just about the features or capabilities. Upgrading your solution is a major investment that drives improvements in employee retention and customer engagement, enabling stores to drive increased sales. Retail isn’t a one size fits all industry, so it’s important to partner with a solutions provider that understands the retail industry and your specific challenges, and is committed to maximizing your ROI and to optimizing your solution for your needs.