BY AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION
How to transform the employee experience by mobile solutions to, communicate and engage retail workforce’s.
Want to harness the power of a virtuous cycle to ultimately improve profits for your retail organisation? Then implement a mobile technology solution to create a positive employee experience and a positive retail brand to not only enhance the customer experience but also increase profitability.
The fact is, the retail sector faces unique challenges in relation to engagement. A recent Hay Group study clocked median turnover rate for part-time retail workers at 67%. This high level of employee churn exacts a huge toll on retailers – in particular, it creates an ongoing challenge in attracting and keeping talent. This is why determining how to increase engagement is so critical from a bottom-line business perspective. If you can improve engagement amongst your retail staff, you will open communication channels, improve productivity, and retain talented employees.
Keys to the kingdom
Lack of engagement is a core driver that leads to poor attrition rates. Retailers who don’t make employee engagement a priority risk losing talented employees to their competitors and increasing recruitment costs. What’s really behind disengagement? Lack of effective communication plays a large part – between retail workers and their managers, and between peers – both of which can lead to employees feeling out of the loop and disconnected from the organisations goals and vision.
There’s another key influence as well when it comes to these dynamics – remote working has become increasingly common in the retail sector. According to Gallup, the percentage of retail workers who spend at least some time working remotely has reached 30%. Distributed workforces can produce another layer of complication into internal communication, leading to morale dips paired with a negative impact on the customer experience and the retailer’s brand.
Technology is critical to addressing this issue, as the retail industry continues its transformation to a business model that’s digitally driven and online. What would an ideal engagement solution entail? For starters, it must address the sector’s specific communication challenges, particularly with employees increasingly likely to work in different locations. Another requirement in this scenario is effective workforce management technology – ideally in a single seamless platform. There are new mobile engagement platforms available to help navigate through and around the above challenges to drive positive engagement between management and employees.
What engages the entire sector?
Whether you’re a traditional retailer or an online retailer, your organisation stands to benefit from utilising mobile technology solutions to address engagement, just as the industry as a whole has successfully incorporated innovative technologies into their business model.
By drawing on the power of mobile technologies, you can ultimately deliver best-in-class customer experiences, while helping to share a clear company ethos with employees across the organisation. This happens by building a bridge between different functions, geographies, and strata of workers. How can an employee app do this? By helping everyone see clearly what the organisation stands for and how it relates to their specific job, leads to increased employee engagement, resulting in better customer service and the cycle of virtue as described above.
When choosing an employee engagement platform, not only do you need a mobile solution that can help create effective communication for both desk and non-desk employees (NDEs), but you also need one with analytics capability to measure success. Mobile tools are uniquely qualified to provide measurement functionality that can address needs and foster continued improvement in the employee experience (EX).
In terms of communication, look for a mobile-enabled app that provides users with the ability to interact with and share information while working within defined communities from the storefront to the warehouse. Your mobile engagement platform might even offer access to an instant messaging feature to let workers connect and engage with each other regardless of their location or job function.
When it comes to measurement, you want a mobile app to help you untangle gathered employee data so that you can use this information to help define your ongoing internal comms strategy and further boost engagement. Only a comprehensive technology platform lets you measure and analyse engagement changes over time to understand how to increase engagement and business performance long-term. Seek an engagement platform with access to real-time analytics. This is the only way to collect the information needed to constantly adapt and improve processes, meet the needs of your workforce, and achieve higher engagement levels while minimising turnover rates.
When you have the technology in place to build an emotional, two-way connection with your retail staff, including NDEs, you can help your entire organisation feel closer to your brand. It’s only then that they will actively connect, engage, and positively promote your organisation, becoming brand advocates and helping retailers finally break the cycle of their current engagement woes.
Geraldine Osman is the Chief Marketing Officer for StaffConnect, a leading provider of mobile employee engagement solutions for the enterprise. She brings a wealth of global technology B2B marketing leadership in public and pre-IPO start-ups accelerating revenue growth through growth hacking, high conversion inbound marketing. Learn more at www.staffconnectapp.com/