Internet start-ups have changed how employees work in recent years, offering flexible schedules and taking in remote employees. While all of this may be quite simple for an internet start-up, it is not easy for retail outlets. They need to have a well-disciplined shift system. However, it proves to be tricky. The requirements of a strict shift system make retail jobs relatively undesirable compared to online companies that, as said before, offer their employees flexibility.
Bloomberg states that employee retention is one of the biggest problems of the retail sector in today’s world. However, if you take up certain practices to improve the quality of work in retail, there is a solution to producing happy and productive employees.
It is estimated that 17% of retail employees have unstable work schedules, which lead to difficulties for employees. To avoid your employees facing such problems, it is important to inform them about your shift needs and the times you require them to be on the floor. Come up with a suitable shift calendar, share it with your employees, and do your best to adhere to what you publish in that shift calendar.
Plan in Advance
In certain states, shift scheduling problems have led to lawsuits. The main practice highlighted in the lawsuits was on-call shift scheduling. This on-call practice puts employees under immense pressure, forcing them to be available during the times they are off. It can also violate the labor laws in many states.
It is much better to work with a streamlined schedule posted well in advance for employees to see. You can work with a good strategy. For example, have at least one experienced and well-performing employee on the floor at all times.
Making on-paper schedules is not a thing of the past. Current technology allows you to construct and share shift schedules with your employees. Transparency will improve your relations with your employees and help your business follow labor laws more efficiently.
Improvement of relations with employees also means that they will be happier and this work kind of work environment will yield higher productivity.
Managers often get pressured by shift change and vacation requests. You can streamline this practice by encouraging your employees to communicate and coordinate all of their needs through scheduling software. Given the autonomy, your employees will plan a shift schedule for themselves, which the scheduling manager can later on approve. This will improve teamwork, shift the burden of rescheduling everyone for a one-day leave, and help avoid the uncomfortable situation of telling a particular employee that they might have to work extra shifts.
Encourage employees to give you feedback on the shift schedule by making yourself available. Remember that the feedback process is always helpful.
Feedback will help build a positive employee-manager/owner relationship, raise employees’ happiness and productivity, avoid any accusation of favoritism, and set up a feedback framework such as an anonymous questionnaire or survey. This will also help if you put some of their suggestions into action to let the employees know that their feedback and suggestions are not being ignored.
Employee satisfaction is one of the primary objectives that your business wishes to achieve. However, it shouldn’t let you go off-track with your primary goal to sell your products.
Note and mark the times when your retail store is filled with customers and assign shifts so that more employees are available at that time. Similarly, keep fewer employees on the floor when there are only a few customers around. This will balance each employee’s workload and derail any grievance that employees might have related to them being more burdened than their co-workers.
Retail stores rarely offer their employees a clear road to promotion and growth. The most they might get is an advance to a managerial position. Due to this, temporary or even permanent employees might not be productive, and employee retention can become a serious issue. Giving incentives, such as role-based training from someone experienced can help enhance your workers’ quality of customer service and productivity.
Acknowledgment of achievements through a proper recognition framework can help boost your employees’ performance. You can also choose to provide bonuses. Providing respect to your employees can help you build manager-employee relationships. Assigning extra tasks, such as bookkeeping, based on your permanent employees’ qualifications or skills, can give them a fulfilled feeling that will boost their work performance.