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When it comes to retail, it is no secret that things have changed. Savvy retail operators manage their stores unlike ever before with new merchandising approaches, marketing strategies, customer service techniques, and more.  The major catalyst for change is e-commerce, however a not so distant second influence is the employees of today’s modern merchants. It is essential for retailers to be proactive in their efforts to optimize the management of their employees – as well as to aim to understand all the dynamics that impact their employee management. To help, consider the following tips that can help retailers update their staffing best practices.

#1: DO NOT underestimate the value of convenience. Smartphones are not just for making calls. Folks use their mobile devices to message friends, manage email, browse social media, read the news, check the weather, play games, purchase products and even manage their work schedules. Keeping this in mind, embrace the reality of how employees interact in their daily lives and introduce employee management strategies that compliment how your employees manage the rest of their lives. Through next-generation workforce platforms, retailers can streamline employee communication within a mobile app and strengthen their employee interaction – ultimately helping to ease their overall engagement at the convenience of each unique employee’s time.

#2: DO put your employees in control. Empowering your employees with control over their schedules not only helps them gain confidence in their role as a part of your team, but also allows merchants to have a ‘no excuses’ policy since employees are in fact in control. This is a winning scenario that benefits everyone involved – particularly when you recognize the time saved by store managers and employees as they adjust their schedules and update their scheduling preferences in real time. Through technology-powered and mobile-enabled support, employees gain a sense of ownership in their scheduling preferences while also automating many of the retailer’s responsibilities. Ultimately, this gives employees the power to manage their availability, scheduling conflicts, communication efforts and more while truly positioning them to be in control of not only their work performance, but also their schedule management.

#3: DO NOT staff employees without reflecting on data. Without accurately forecasting traffic in 15 minute intervals, how can you accurately staff your stores? With data, retailers can confidently identify labor needs and optimize their staffing budgets. Retailers use Legion to identify which employees are best qualified for specific tasks and schedule them during times of peak demand. Increasing conversion, reducing unnecessary labor spend, and decreasing time spent creating and managing employee schedules are three major benefits that Legion delivers to today’s modern merchants.

#4: DO respect your employee’s preferences. As Legion’s Founder and CEO Sanish Mondkar recently said, “engaging your hourly employees using technology they grew up with, such as smart mobile apps to allow them to choose when and where they want to work, goes a long way to adapt your workplace to the new reality. Coupled with AI, mobile engagement can make something as trivial as a weekly schedule match their preferences without compromise to the organization, increasing motivation, retention and the quality of the service your employees provide to your customers.”

There are many ways merchants can engage employees, but chief among them is supplying them with a platform which enables modern interactions with their employer. With technology like Legion’s, retailers can confidently identify future work demands and automate hourly employee scheduling while placing employees in control. Finally, as you reflect on how technology can help your employee scheduling best practices, also consider what the long-term goals for your business. If employee retention and employee appreciation are among your priorities, make sure to introduce modern technology today.

About our Guest Author

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the founder and publisher of Retail Minded, the co-founder of the Independent Retailer Conference and has contributed to publications and companies that include IBM, Fiverr, Forbes and more. Additionally, Reyhle is the author of the book Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Businessfrom McGraw-Hill and has been the spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Follow Reyhle on Twitter at @RetailMinded.  
Nicole will be speaking at NRF in January 2019 – take a look: