What will your retail workforce look like on the road to recovery?
Join our webinar on Tuesday 26th May to hear from REPL, Reflexis and Catapult on how to create effective workforce management strategies for retail in a post-Covid-19 world.
Whether you are an essential retailer that has kept stores open or you are now starting to think about re-opening stores, you will know that Covid-19 has already led to a change of direction in your workforce strategies. Many of these changes will have been immediate reactions to quickly evolving situations and it is likely that long-term workforce plans have been shelved in favour of a more agile approach.
In the past few weeks, it is likely you have had to contend with:
• Volatile demand: Those retailers that have stayed open have experienced peaks and troughs when it comes to customer footfall, with unusual patterns of when people are choosing to shop, requiring a flexible workforce.
• Employee absences: While most retailers have excellent systems in place to deal with unexpected absences, none could have been ready for the numbers that occurred during the first weeks of the Covid-19 crisis.
• Rapid recruitment and onboarding: Both the scale and the speed at which new employees needed to be taken on will have tested all retailers that experienced it. Most rose to the challenge with rapidly shortened onboarding processes – many achieving the entire hiring and induction in just hours.
• Furloughing employees: For any retailer, to close your store for more than a day or two is unheard of and to have to furlough staff is unthinkable. However, many retail employers have found themselves having to place their staff into an uncertain position with no clear understanding of what lies ahead. This is both financially and emotionally difficult.
The fact that many retailers have come through this is testament to the robustness of their brands and their leadership teams, but also in the way that retailers have managed to adjust their staffing planning and processes to meet immediate needs. More importantly, it has highlighted the loyalty of retail staff and their commitment to adjusting their ways of working to suit the changing environment; developing a closer relationship between staff and management as a result. We predict that the outcome of Covid-19 will see retailers hold on to the most effective trends and turn them into large-scale and long-lasting change.
As you return to the boardroom and think about reopening or normalising stores, what are your most pressing questions? These are some of the topics that will be discussed by our three panellists:
• How can you enable flexible working without impacting customer service?
• Is now the perfect opportunity for retail to embrace the gig economy?
• How can you manage the operational challenges of ‘socially distanced’ stores whilst tightly controlling costs?
• What does the future of the employer-employee relationship look like?
• What role will technology play in disrupting the retail workforce?
Now is the time to think about how technology could help, from gamification to appointment booking solutions, retail is going to need to embrace new trends in order to survive. Whether still in-store, working from home or furloughed, all employees are using technology in different ways for work. To lose this momentum could result in losing one of the only benefits to come from recent events – a renewed interest and acceptance of technology as part of working life.
Join the discussion at 3.30pm BST on Tuesday 26th May with three of the world’s leading workforce transformation organisations and discover how to maximise the learnings from lockdown. Register here!