This chart tells us two things:
- First: there is a direct correlation between the amount of training employees receive and the store’s overall performance; the retailers that put the most importance on training are Retail Winners (retailers performing above average).
- Second: Across the board, all organizations consistently provide less training than they think is necessary.
What would make a more passionate, informed, and engaged associate? “Retail Winners” seem to agree:
- Training – For employees to remain informed and best able to assist customers, more robust and frequent training is necessary.
- Passionate – Store associates are the face of your brand and the primary representative to the public. Their presence is the key differentiator between online and in-person shopping. These staff members must be enthusiastic and dedicated to their roles.
- No More Churn-and-Burn – Treating associates like they’re expendable and unappreciated is the exact opposite of making them more engaged. If workers are shown no confidence by their employers, they’ll return the sentiment.
So, what are we to do to overcome these obstacles, answer these challenges, and capitalize on these opportunities?
Active lifestyle clothing brand Fabletics was facing many of these same challenges in their transition from being solely an e-commerce platform to also including brick-and-mortar stores in their business model. They adopted WorkForce Software’s Experience solution, making use of its messaging and photo-sharing abilities to provide a streamlined and efficient communication channel between HQ and retail stores.
Fabletics found success with WorkForce Experience. They eliminated the need for email and built a stronger company culture by using the WorkForce Experience communication features, including media sharing (to send photos of displays and arrangements back to HQ) and central task management lists (to keep multiple franchises on the same page and assure uniformity in branding). The bottom-line result was two hours saved every day on sending emails, one to seven days saved on merchandise execution, and an entire day per week saved on merchandise validation.
Modern Workforce Management Solutions
Digital tools like those provided in the WorkForce Suite are designed precisely to answer these issues facing retailers today. Modern workforce management (MWFM) platforms provide employees with the support they need in their daily tasks as well as their interactions with management and the organization itself.
Some of the primary features of MWFM are:
- Communication – Retailers can now revolutionize communications within their organization, all through a consumer-grade app much like the ones your employees already use in their day-to-day lives. It also allows easier access to information on products, practices, schedules, payroll, and much more.
- Training – Through these communication channels, it’s much easier to train new employees, re-train existing employees, and upskill other employees to be of more use and value. These “in the moment” trainings can be sent from HQ to any store location to ensure workers are staying informed and in top shape for their roles.
- Employee Experience – Satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers. In opposition to the churn-and-burn style, an investment in MWFM solutions shows associates that they are appreciated. With extra support making their roles easier, open communication to ensure their voices are heard, and more accessibility to important employee tasks (scheduling, time-off requests, payroll, etc.), employees are given agency and independence in their jobs.
Digital workforce management solutions have what is necessary for retailers. Customers want the best of both worlds—online shopping and in-person brick-and-mortar. The missing ingredient in your in-store shopping experience is a hefty dose of digital support. Your passionate, informed, and engaged associates and your satisfied, enthusiastic, loyal customers will thank you!